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.
I'm very tired of seeing our culture praise bullies and automatically equate bullying with leadership. Heather is a bully. Also, I think double elim challenges are incredibly unfair and have nothing to do with cooking.
I'd very much like you guys to stop doing Team Dish challenges. Team challenges are one thing. Team dish challenges aren't good for the viewer because it's hard to distinguish people and it doesn't really show off chef's talents. Additionally, I found the double elimination really hard to swallow. It should have been obvious to the producers that someone who did not deserve to go home would. Yes, I know it's about "TV," but one of the things that makes Top Chef palatable is that it focuses on talent, not cheap tricks. And that's all this was. I don't blame Dakota or anything, but it should have been the two worst performers. Not that travesty.
This is a case of "we've seen it all before." I am a trained Chef and 400 shrimp in 6 hours? I'd lose my job, that really was too long. Considering that I did 100 giant prawns, peeled, deveined and beheaded at a James Beard event in about 25 minutes and I was in culinary school at the time, Beverly should really have been done during her 3 hour time period easy. And I like Beverly! I'm just keeping it real. Now, Heather. What I've liked this year is that the Cheftestants are generally nice. Heather isn't. She is a Kitchen Bully a la Michael Chiarello (See Top Chef Masters). To bring up a previous challenge like that served no purpose but to try to excuse yourself for losing. I hate team challenges just because it isn't usually fait to someone. At least there is last chance kitchen this time!
Heather is a loudmouth. Seriously, her attitude is unnecessary. While Beverly is not my favorite, heather continues to single her out. She loud and obnoxious. She's the epitome of the word bully. Can't wait until she's sent home so I don't have to listen to her mouth. Shut up already Heather and get over yourself.
Really? Vomit in your mouth?
I am so over that little turn of phrase, this is a food blog....and I'm sorry...but please come up with something new and not so gross!
Chris' oyster pairing looked like the winner to me. Try to understand what you're writing about, and don't force the "cute". It doesn't work. I don't want to say your blog sucks, but it needs some work. A LOT of work.
Now let's see if you publish this comment.
I think Heather is a bully. I can understand that she felt that Beverly didn't work hard enough on the last challenge, but enough is enough. She was bossy throughout the entire episode and then had the nerve to say she had no input...huh? I felt so conflicted. I wanted her to go home, but not Beverly. I did feel sorry for Dakota and Nyesha...I thought their dish was actually better than Chris and Grayson's.
Heather's attitude towards Bev is a little uncomfortable. Her concerns seems more personal, and not very professional... I notice it every time she says Asian. Bev is one of the few chefs who stands out. And I think she singles her out to get herself attention. Otherwise her comments are not really coming from a good place, because it does not show intent to work together and it is sharply targeted to put Bev as a chef, and the food she creates, down.
Heather is bully! Yes Bev is a little to calm, but that does not mean she is a bad chef! Heather needs to find someone to pick on to make herself feel good, hopefully the judges see that.
Heather leaves a very sour taste in my mouth. She is easily classified as a bully who is quick to find someone she perceives as weak and toss that individual under the bus. That is unfortunate. Her personality distracts from her talent and makes her easy to dislike. I hope she gets a clue and realizes that Karma is a bitch and what she doles out in mal-intent she gets back three-fold. Lighten up b-i-atch!
So...this episode was awesome. I am so happy for Ty-Lor and Edward, their dish looked awesome. I agree about Grayson, she is one my my top favorites as well as Nyesha (who I hope makes it back into the game). They are both talented as hell and are so calm and collected. All in all they also just seem like good people to me. I hope Heather is somewhere watching this episode and is mortified about her performance tonight. Her behavior has been ridiculous the last two challenges. Let. the. shrimp. go. No-one cares. Does she really think the judges will kick Beverly off for a dish from LAST week? You won the damn car - shut up already! She is a bully and doesn't seem to compromise at all - just talks over her competitors until she is heard. There is lack of respect overall and also lacks a humbleness to stop and listen to others ideas and self-reflect on her own thoughts. She needs a muzzle and as Sarah says, "Karma is a b*tch". I hope Heather gets hers in the end.
Sorry but NO. Heather is just being a bully. The way to win isn't to treat everyone else like they don't deserve to be there. There's just no evidence that Beverly isn't every bit the chef that Heather is. And in terms of temperment, professionalism, and just intelligence (send yourself home to prove how 'right' you are?), far more so.
first of all everything they make looks so much better than the slop I get at home im sure would feel i entered heaven to eat the losing chef's food, I think the contestants must be under o pressure to know that even a tiny error can get you sent home.hot kitchens, running and knives in the hands of people who know how to butcher.... sounds scary... could be good spoof horor movie
Kudos on your blog. Heather is agressive period. She was so 'this is what I am doing' and you (Beverly) are going to do! I wish that Heather had worked for me! I would have not given her long to mellow. I am female now retired from Reuters NYC. I ate people like for breakfast. Kidding, I had lox and bagel. After the latkas, try making sweet potato knishes. For real tempermental! I miss the City. Please say Hello from Maddy.
I think Heather is just too full of herself! She has thoroughly antagonized me and everyone who watches the show during our weekly Top Chef get together! She may be a good chef, but a "Top Chef" is one who has the ability to get the other chef's working with her to perform to the best of their ability without belittling them! As an African-American male, I really didn't care for her inference in not wanting to cook "Asian Food"! I hope she's off the show soon. I haven't had such a bad taste from the show since the chef who almost got is head shaved. He and Heather deserve each other!!!
Most people worked well with their partners and took and gave ideas willingly. Heather is the exception. As we move forward in the season and see moreteam challenges,I think we are really going to see some heated arguments arise because of her! I don't care how good of a chef she may be, I would never attend her restaurant if that's how she treats her partner. Imgagine her as a boss, sheesh! Bev may or may not be an amazing chef but she did make it to the show, and that says she obviously has talent. Heather is a terrible person inside and out for knowingly picking on someone who is easy going and non confrontational. go home heather
Hope Heather, THE BULLY, heads her a** home nxt week. She really is a negative ingredient in the kitchen and I think everyone is tired of walking on egg shells with her..........................GO HOME HEATHER!!!!! Let these Chefs COOK with out your mouth in there dish!!!!
Three things: First,Beverly Kim, do not let Heather push you around. Heather, you should be ashamed of yourself. Second, like your smile and easy-going attitude,Paul Qui. Third, really happy for you,Nyesha. You deserve that second chance. And love your calmness on the show. A very classy lady. You will do great.
Heather is exhibiting classic bully behavior, simple as that. She's found someone she perceives as weak and she's not letting up. Bullying is a major concern, not just in the school playground but in the workplace, too. The producers of the show have an obligation to put a stop to it - even if they think the drama makes for good television.
If that chef Heather was in my employment she would be stuck washing pots and pans. Leaders come in a variety of packages, each with their own strengths. She comes from no leadership type that I ever wished to asdpire to. The last challenge where she and Bev were to cook duck I clearly heard her say she did not want asian influences on that plate. She also seemed to think that because she was paired with Bev that she was going to loose the challenge. She comes off so charming with the right people around yet I've haven't seen a clearer case of discrimination, bullying and rudeness. I'm just as surprized to see that there is not a stronger influence amongst the other chef to say enough is enough, keep your rude remarks to yourself. There is only one reason I did not want her team to loose, Bev deserves to loose with a higher class of chef.
Isn't Top Chef exciting enough without all the focus on Heather and Bev? I get it, they don't work well together and their communication styles don't bring out the best in each other. Duly noted, but it's time to move on. I am just as interested in the other remaining chefs and the challenges ahead of them. I do have to say that Dakota's guilt over failing Nyesha in the double elimination challenge brought tears to my eyes. It was refreshing to see a competitor take so much responsibility and to communicate that so openly on camera. This was the first time I'd seen Dakota and Nyesha work together, and while they ultimately failed on the execution of their dish, they did have a key ingredient which was missing in the Bev/Heather team: respect for each other. I'd rather of a Dakota or Nyesha on my team than a stubbornly aggressive Heather or stressed out Bev - any day of the week. I will say that I was very worried that another poor decision on the part of Chris J. was going to send Grayson home, which would have been tragic. Grayson has shown some excellent classic cooking expertise as well as some actual professionalism (she didn't go after Chris J. in fact making an active effort to protect the dish/team -- Heather could take a page from this book), and I wouldn't be surprised if Grayson's strong performance up to now is what saved that team from elimination. At this point in the season, clear contenders are beginning to emerge, but Chris J. seems nowhere close to having what it takes. I was pleased to see a win from Ty-Lör and Ed, particularly Ty-Lör, who won both the Quick Fire and the Elimination Challenge. Chris C. was not far behind in the Quick Fire, so the guys really ruled this episode. But with a lot of strong female contestants and several early eliminations on the guys' side, it's nice to see some of the male contestants really beginning to shine. But overall, I do feel that the double elimination challenge is not fair. If working in a team is truly important for the next Top Chef, show Heather the door. But the next Top Chef must have superior culinary skills, so let's not set up a challenge where that person has to go home for someone else's mistake.
Heather, please, just shut the hell up and stop being a passive agressive bully. I hope you're gone soon.
great blog and insight!
you summed up my feelings on last night's episode pretty much to a T...Grayson and Paul are my wife and totally my favorites, but we both really admire the majority of the cast this year...
heather is talented, but she needs to learn that she's just coming across as incredibly nasty and vindictive and NOT, in ANY way, as a leader...
in fairness, Bev DOES need to suck it up a bit though, although i can't even imagine having to just continually be put in these grueling, marathon situations...
so far, this is one of my very favorite seasons and casts
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas
Frankly, I side with Heather on this. The first two or three episodes I thought more than exhibited Bev's selfish behavior (cutting in line at the deli at Whole Foods, taking over most of the kitchen during the progressive party, just to name a few incidents) and I feel like she plays the victim more often than not. I also agree with Heather about the shrimp fiasco from the previous challenge. I would have been upset too if a member of my team was taking their sweet-ass time working on a single component of a single dish. As a professional chef, Bev should have been able to execute that task in a more timely fashion. I personally can't stand Bev or Chris Jones and hope they are the next to go.
It's difficult for me to remain neutral in the Heather vs. Bev debate or sugar coat Heather's behavior. The Heather's attitude and its manifestation as insults is inexcusable on a professional and personal level. This type of negativity should not be encouraged! I understand the frustration she may have much like the other chefs, but why let that be funneled into a personal attach on Bev? I hope the community cheers for top chef, who encompasses the character and skills of a great chef. Please no more sugar coating bad behaviors.
Oh and p.s. who DOESN'T find Paul adorable?! I was more in love after hearing him speak about his teammate Sarah.
Some folks defending Heather's criticism of Beverly's slow work is kinda befuddling to me! Considering that she was working slow what part of that dish did not get done in time?
Actually, if you see the steak episode in more details, you will see that not only did she meaninglessly go after Beverly for her slowness BUT between Lindsey and her rushed the steak dish and did not listen to Ty-lor's instruction. They fired the steaks too soon and then let it overcook and get cold waiting for service!
Moto Chris should also start focussing on the food rather than a pre conceived shape, art, etc. He messed up the cigar chicken dish in the progressive party and in this its clear he wanted that sweet potato fence no matter what the episode was about. If the flavors are not there then does not matter how much art and gastronomy you use the plate of food is a failure.
The Elim challenge was designed to bring out the best - $10K win, double elim if you lose - yet Heather didn't care - her vendetta was more important to her than ANYTHING else. She's loud with everyone, talks over everyone, and her food doesn't look that good either. Big deal, she cooked a good cake last week, this isn't the dessert version of TC. I felt so sorry for Beverley, she didn't deserve that treatment, and since Heather outweighs her by about a hundred pounds and is a foot taller than she is, she couldn't stick up for herself if she wanted to, could she? If Heather stays, I just hope the show keeps her away from Beverley so she can do her best. If H wins, it would be a crying shame!!!
It was not a surprise that Bev had been in an abusive relationship. I had a feeling somebody in her past had really beat her down. The last thing she needs is to have King Kong after her. Julia Child always treated all cooks/chefs with respect and was eager to learn some culinary talents from them. Closing your mind to what others can bring to the table is not allowing to yourself to grow.
This episode just showed Heather's true character. A mean bully. Sure Beverly can be annoying but Heather's abrasive and demeaning manner was uncall for. Their team was unsuccesful because of Heather and her treatment of her teammate.
I am totally Team Heather. Let's take a look at Bev: - cries a lot - didn't listen in the mother sauce challenge and made a plate of soy sauce - cut in line at the meat counter - took up the whole kitchen at the progressive party - obviously has her comments edited because she doesn't stop talking i.e. Ryan Season 4 - acts victimized when if she doesn't like it she should stand up for herself - she's a chef, not a sous chef - Heather is not the manager in this kitchen, she's a contestant. However she's wigged out be Bev - oh and let's not forget taking two days to devein and pickle shrimp if you're not Team Heather, get over yourselves...
Heather is a bully.
Two weeks in a row she is harping on Bev's shrimp. In the same challenge one chef only made compound butter. OK.
Long time fan but I don't believe anyone is bringing it this season. Season should be called Safe Chef.
I don't think Heather is a bully but she must be very tough in her restaurant. What she doesn't realize is Top Chef isn't a restaurant it's a reality tv show..All the chefs are there because they qualified just like herself. When she watches this at home she'll probably cringe. Especially about the shrimp over and over again.
I agree with Grinning Cat's comment, although this is the first blog post of yours (Monica) I have read and so can't speak to the pattern, but here's a possible translation of some thinking in this one: "Heather's behavior is X, and in some sweeping, simplistic way I am also X, therefore while I cannot outright condone Heather's targeting of Beverly, I can relate to and almost admire her aggression." Heather's seeming delight in the attack goes well beyond "sauciness" or "personality" differences. Your "too tough" description implies strength -- bullying is a weak, not confident behavior, yet you seem to associate it with leadership. "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." Who exactly made Heather manager? The equation of aggression with strength and the assumption that it naturally qualifies a person to take the "manager" role comes a bit too close to endorsement of pathological power relations for me. Some commenters here and perhaps you also Monica see Beverly as somehow Heather's inverse, the weaker party, in this false notion of strong/weak. Note, it takes a much stronger person to leave an abusive relationship than to instigate one. Furthermore, approaches to the job may arise from different philosophies, social, economic, or cultural backgrounds, and styles as much as from temperament. Heather said Beverly does not "act like" a chef-- who's to say what a chef does or does not "act like"? Perhaps her rigid thinking will prevent Heather from ever becoming a great, groundbreaking chef. Perhaps she perceives Beverly as an unconventional threat. But, all that being said, watching a reality show it's hard to differentiate approach from game strategy. Maybe taking an eternity to peel shrimp or singling out one competitor to drag out petty grievances from a previous challenge are two sides of a coin.
For the past couple of episodes Madame Heather has been saying that all "Beverly does is Asian and the judges are going to get tired of it." I'm sorry but did anyone say that Mr. Fabio only cooked ITALIAN! or that that Mr. Richard only did molecular gastronomy??? NO! When it's something other than Western European food (ie. white) it's somehow narrow??? Heather should point the finger at herself and wonder what's up with that "rustic farm to kitchen" approach of hers. Can you say midwestern dooodooo? If you've ever been to "ASIA" you'd know that the food there is more diverse than anything you'd find in little Europe. If you dig into Beverly's Korean heritage you'd find that just in the borders of Korea are some of the most diverse types of food out there!
And btw, funny how Heather didn't notice that Whitney spent SIX hours on slicing potatoes. Good thing Collichio et al noticed! I don't think Heather's got a problem with Beverly's "work ethic" here, I think there's something else. Read between the lines.
I don't understand the Heather fans, she's been talking smack from git go!
Nothing wrong with someone who is outspoken, says what's on their mind. Heather is a great chef. Stop your crying, and execute your craft, and you won't have to worry about the "bullying". Its a competition for F*** sake. Its not like we haven't seen this before on season's past.
Rock on Heather!
One thing is for sure. When restaurant wars comes around it's going to be interesting. The cheftestants have all seen what Heather can do. I hope they're ready to keep her in line.
I agree that Heather is a bully! I wouldn't eat at her restuarant, even if by some fluke she were to win. I would prefer no more team challenges. I think each chef's position should be based on their own merits and not on that of others. I realize that working in a kitchen is a "team" effort, however, this is Top Chef and not Top Team Kitchen. I do love the show however, no matter how they want to do the challenges.
Pure and simple, Heather is insecure and unsure of herself (I'm guessing number one on her list would be her appearance. Oh sorry Heather was that insulting?) and Beverly is an easy target for someone like her. What would garner more respect is if Heather would pick on someone with a fast-talking loud-volume voice. What would garner even more respect is if she would cook instead of insulting others.
BTW, I think Heather's behavior is bullying but it is a bit overblown. Of course it's bad, but she isn't an awful person... It's just that her behavior is awful.
While Heather may have been a bit out of line last night, I also see where she is coming from, especially with regard to the shrimp in the last challenge. I would have been angry too if a member of my team (a professional chef, no less) took their sweet-**** time working on a single component of a single dish.
Also, Beverly is no saint, either. In the first several episodes, she showed herself to be obnoxious and inconsiderate (taking cuts in line at the deli at Whole Foods, taking over the kitchen during the progressive party, etc) and likes to play the victim. While Heather could have taken a different approach, ultimately, Beverly needs to step up her game. Also, Chris Jones is an idiot. Get a haircut, stop trying to be clever and just make good food! I hope he and Bev are the next to go.
I agree with Grinning Cat's comment, although this is the first TC blog post of yours I have read and so can't speak to the pattern, but here's a possible translation of some thinking in this one: "Heather's behavior is X, and in some sweeping, simplistic way I am also X, therefore while I cannot outright condone Heather's targeting of Beverly, I can relate to and almost admire her aggression." Heather's seeming delight in the attack goes well beyond "sauciness" or "personality" differences. The "too tough" description implies strength -- bullying is a weak, not confident behavior, yet many seem to associate it with leadership. "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." Who exactly made Heather manager? The equation of aggression with strength and the assumption that it naturally qualifies a person to take the "manager" role could be misconstrued as endorsement of pathological power relations. People who see Beverly as somehow Heather's inverse, the weaker party, in this false notion of strong/weak should consider that it takes a much stronger person to leave an abusive relationship than to instigate one. Furthermore, approaches to the job may arise from different philosophies, social, economic, or cultural backgrounds, and styles as much as from temperament. Heather said Beverly does not "think like" a chef-- who's to say what any chef does or doesn't, should or should not "think like"? Rigid thinking such as Heather displays in this episode seems more likely to prevent a person from becoming a great, groundbreaking chef. But, all that being said, watching a reality show it's hard to differentiate approach from game strategy. Maybe taking an eternity to peel shrimp or singling out one competitor to drag out petty grievances from a previous challenge are two sides of a coin.
Heather is a piece of work...and Bravo was making full use of it in this past episode! Looked like something straight out of Top Chef Housewives with the close-ups of Heather giving other contestants stink-eye. Beverly should feel better since she isn't the only one in Heather's line of sight!
That was torture watching Heather belittle Bev like that at judges table. I'm sure that Heather doesn't like several things about Bev but you do not treat people like that. There is a professional way to air your opinions and that was not it. That was poor leadership at its worst. Also sad to see Dakota & Nyesha go, they were wonderful to watch. This definitely wasn't one of my favorite episodes.
Hey, Monica, try sorghum on hot biscuits...it rocks! On a different note, I hate double eliminations. It was different in season two when everyone got a pass one week and they made up for it the next, but just eliminating two chefs (and not necessarily the TWO worst) just because you have too many cheftestants for your defined season is crappy.
First time commenting on this season so....real quick about Ed's cake recipe. I don't think Tom's point is valid. Anyone that's baked knows that the recipe is the key, and execution is following the recipe precisely. The argument holds for preparing a dish......but not baking a cake.
I can go on and on about Heather.....but I don't want to waste the time and effort.
But I have to throw in (as everyone agrees), the idea of the team elimination is so mind-bogglingly moronic, its hard to comprehend someone got paid for such a lousy idea. You only need to see a few episodes of Top Chef (with a team challenge) to know its very often that one person can ruin a dish...and to send someone home for another person's mistake INTENTIONALLY is....again just mind-boggling. Oh, and last I checked, this wasn't Top Check On Your Teammate's Work......its Top Chef. And sadly, Nyesha was one of the few chefs capable of winning the entire season.
I haven't minded Heather's "take charge" behavior because she stepped up when it was needed. Somebody has to lead the slack jawed, security conscious cooks into a unified group. However, she seems to target Bev as her personal whipping boy. Bev is quiet and introverted, yet stands by her food. So far, the cast holds no particular interest for me. They are generic and forgettable.
I'm amazed that time and again, a room full of 15 people stand silently and listen to Heather and her revolting high pitched comments going on and on ad nauseum. Why one person in the group does not pipe up and tell her that she is obnoxious - not necessarily to defend Bev [who I like] but just to set the record straight for humanity. I've generally found that the louder people talk, generally the more annoying they are. Heather is off the scale. Unfortunately it is so unpleasant to watch that I may not tune in to watch the show until she's gone- I don't need to sit and be pummeled by a bully, even as a viewer.