Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson offers his best leadership methods to Sheldon and Kristen.

on Jan 16, 20130

Brooke reminds us that she is more than just a great chef. Kristen is watching over everything, but Josie is barely keeping up with her Bangin’ Bouilla. Boil boil toil and trouble. Stefan is training people and setting up. Sheldon is delegating his work to a dishwasher. This happens in real restaurants too.

It’s a frantic finish to prep time. Brooke and Stefan are trying their best to make people feel at home. The judges arrive to Atelier first. Tom, Emeril, Gail, Padma, and Danny Meyer. Nice-looking menu. 

Lizzie is making 34 plates when Kristen only needs 10. Come on now, people. You know that communication is key. The charcuterie plate is a soup? But everyone seems to adore it, so Lizzie is winning on that front. Sometimes complete reinterpretations of plates can be risky. Josie’s non-frothy soup is causing a rift in the fabric of Atelier. Lizzie calls it a “clash of styles,” which is the understatement of the year. Mixed reviews on the bouillabaisse. Some displaced Liverpudlian says that the concept is great, but the execution is off. We call all dream beautiful food, but whether you call actually do it when you have to feed the masses is the biggest reality check in the business. 

Urbano is running smooth, but Atelier is having a bumpy flight. Kristen’s shortrib is enjoyed, but lacks the Burgundy for the Bourguignon. Cheese course from Brooke results in $33,000 in dental expenses because of the toffee of pebbles. The dessert from Kristen is not loved by Gail, who secretly wants to be a light green macaron. 

Universally they loved the charcuterie soup made by Thin Lizzie. Padma calls a finish to this Atelier affair and they head to Urbano. Urbano looks like an Olive Garden after payday and is on a wait. Stefan is doing the much-debated (in hospitality circles) move of rewarding diners with liquor if they get up from their table.  

The judges finally get sat and get to watch the clusterfuck of people at the host stand to URBANo. Kilawen goes out. Stefan often makes sashimi crudo stuff so this is in his regimen. He’s good at it and it’s easy to pull off. I predict that will get called out for not thinking outside of the crudo. Balut goes out and Josh looks to have done a pretty fine job. The problem is that though these are seasoned food vets, they could have used a primer in Balut knowledge. Seems like it tasted good though. Josh is improving at a quick pace. 

44 comments
leesadiva
leesadiva

OMG, a frantic Leisure Suit Larry! Hugh, I <3 you. 

carlthehero
carlthehero

It's so cool that you know Bonifacio. You do research well! :)

 

I was so proud watching this episode because I have never seen Filipino Food cooked in a fancy way. So glad Sheldon won. He just cannot lose with this concept.

LadyJules
LadyJules

Team Hugh all the way.

 

When are you coming back on WWHL???  You were awesome as are your blogs.  I miss you when TC isn't on.

 

This week...EPIC FAIL...I don't care if Kristen did choose Jose...Jose is a loser that should have been gone two weeks earlier.  Zero class and no ability to step up her game when needed. 

 

I am not "done" with the show and I never will be, been a fan from season one.  But this was just wrong.  While there were problems to be sure...Kristen can out-cook most of the chefs this season with one arm tied behind her back and has proved it over and over.

 

I hope she is back after LCK...but I have little love for any of the remaining chefs.  When Kristen pulled away from the pack early on  and kept that position, she was the clear winner of this season.  *shrugs*

 

Last thing...I know the guys drool over Padma...but really?  REALLY?  Two words...GOTTA GO.  Okay...three, sort of.  But meant with honesty.

 

@ Hugh...more HP, ST and Firefly references please...or any other SciFi/Fantasy...you rock.

shysharon
shysharon

Sorry, insulting guests trumps not enough sauce...I get what the judges decided and why, but they wrong, sorry. I still remember when and where an establishment burned me, but I can't tell you where I didn't get enough sauce or whatever I loved and wanted more of....

Julie109
Julie109

Dude...In the words of the great David Cassidy..."I think I love you".  Thank you for your funny and insightful musings on the show.  Now, if you could only work in a few Star Trek references...I might consider you a God!  

 

ok111
ok111

can someone explain why padma was not her usual calm, kinda-glazed-eyes, pretty self this episode?  maybe it was stefan's making her so angry (which was really very funny)...i think it's time that we get some new judging blood in there.  until then, i'm just reading recaps online so i don't cast my vote by viewing. 

somemore
somemore

Too funny!  That about sums it up...Thanks for the laugh

Writeflier
Writeflier

Why won't any of the Bravo/ Top Chef bloggers admit that the judges TOTALLY FU%&ED UP on this episode? Padma really needs to pack her knives and go home after this travesty. You have lost a host of viewers with this crappy decision

Baby0112
Baby0112

LOL- BEST BLOG EVER ...............

popowers
popowers

Hugh - I'm counting on you man to bring some sanity back to Top Chef!  Oh, maybe your not the right guy for that any more than I would be, but at least some laughs.  That was a horrible episode and painful to watch.  Next time I have an operation scheduled - I'm going to replay this from my DVR first.  There is no sugar coating it or justifying it in the end - it was an inappropriate decision based on a lack of information.  I have suggested on Gayle and Tom's blogs that perhaps they could feed the live video from the kitchens during a competition back to the judges IPADs so that don't have to wait to watch the episode to find out what is going on.  And please ask ALL of the team members who should go home and why to prevent more of this falling on swords nonsense.  Is this Top Chef or a Band of Brothers?

bananasplit
bananasplit

I'm overwhelmed what Sheldon decided to cooked. Asian food is always rated the least. Even thou Asians were already developing modern cuisine, America wasn't discovered and Europe was still barbaric. The French became cannibals, "bon appetite" was derived at.  Despite the prejudices in the culinary world. Sheldon was able to pull it off.

notagame
notagame

I've watched for 10 years almost leaving after season two's Cheetos dish, but stayed on for the art of cooking. Many of the chef's are talented. However, this last episode was the last straw. Another reality show contestant is punished for integrity, decency, and good sportsmanship and another contestant is rewarded for cowardice, histrionics, and "just playing the game" as if this can be divorced from personal ethics. I guess becoming a top chef has nothing to do with integrity and actual leadership: the buck stops here. This is a cooking competition, not a leadership competition (of which the panel seems to know little about).

 

By "falling on her sword" Kristen showed she was a good leader and a great cook. She indicated that she would have fired Josie if this were real life replacing her with a dishwasher.


ksuzy
ksuzy

Hugh, your blogs crack me up. I ran to get a Bravo account specifically so I could comment as I'm sure I'll be the ONLY one commenting on the Beachcombers reference, which I totally got (well and maybe Gail will get it too). But not sure I agree that Sheldon looks like Relic, I think maybe you meant Bruno Gerussi's character, Nick Adonodis? Or maybe a cross between Relic and Nick.... 

mrshappy8371
mrshappy8371

"There will be dessert. Josh is making ice."

 

Funniest.

Line.

EVER.

starbourina
starbourina

". . . Gail, who secretly wants to be a light green macaron" is the phrase of 2013. I'm comfortable calling it now. 

ATLFoodie
ATLFoodie

Kristen choose Josie.  In the end, she owned up to her mistakes and left with her head held high. 

 

Yes, Josie, we know it's a game - it's Top Chef not Survivor.  So take your football playing, headband wearing, scheming, non-cooking, uncouth self and GO!  

matchf
matchf

It's unfortunate that Kristin was sent home, but I'm glad that she got the opportunity to show the world her integrity and class. She took responsibility and took her role as Executive Chef seriously, thus displaying the character of a genuine TOP CHEF.   That is real life. You sometimes lose even if you do the honorable thing. That is why Josie's all broken up not just because she knows she should've gone home instead of Kristen, but I think it's because this is the first time she saw nobility.  

As for the judging, I agree that the judges know that Kristen has a good chance of coming back through LCK, so they could afford to send her home before Josie. Hat's off to you, Kristen. You deserve to win Top Chef for your skills and your character. =)

 

ez
ez

Bad judging.  It's obvious you judges are not looking for the TOP, most talented chef and you just lost another viewer.

saldiven
saldiven

I think it's absurd the no-win position Kristen was put into this week.  If she makes her decision on how to act to win the game, she comes off as catty and bitchy, and negatively affects her perception in the industry.  If she takes the moral high road, she lets that hack, Josie, throw her under the bus.  It astounds me that the judges were incapable of seeing what had happened here.  They had plenty of experience with Josie over two seasons to know how poorly she handles time management.  On multiple occasions this season, the judges have sat waiting to be served by her, even to the point where they have made multiple comments about it.  During discussions, one of the judges made the patently stupid comment that Kristen should have given Josie a deadline; what, exactly, about Josie's past has indicated that she has any ability at all to meet a deadline?  I'm being forced to come to the decision that the judges sent Kristen packing because they wanted to keep the "controversial" contestant on as long as possible.

JoelCairo
JoelCairo

JoelCairo So.......does this mean that if by some chance Josie stumbles to the finale and by some miracle makes the best dish that day that she will win the whole thing and be The Top Chef even tho she was obviously the most Mediocre of all the contestants through out the season?

sloopie72
sloopie72

 

You were all there was to smile about concerning this episode. The episode had to end the way it did, because Kristen made mistakes, too. Starting with picking Josie last week, but including a concept that set people up for one thing and delivered another. I think Kristen came out of this with the admiration and respect of just about everyone who watched; not everyone can say that after RW (or any episode, for that matter).

 

I think Sheldon kind of got short shrift in all the hubbub about Kristen, but quiet people are like that sometimes. Props to Sheldon for doing a terrific job and earning the win. Ok, he didn't brief Stefan as well as he could have, but Stefan didn't exactly put much effort into it either.

 

Love your blog (who else would say "Back in Stefan’s world, he is very into round tables and hates farmers"), love your live tweets (missed you week before). I keep confusing you with David Rees (so glad you guys got #Respect) because you're both tall, kind of rectangular (but don't ask me what I mean by that) and hilarious in ways that aren't always widely appreciated. I love you whichever one you are. Keep on keepin' on. 

 

drdavidgalloway
drdavidgalloway

I found this to be an interesting episode with all kinds of drama. Kristen's demise may have been correct but I think it was too bad as she is clearly the most talented chef, just as Josey is the biggest pain. Stephan's attitude on the floor is indicative to his general lack of concern for others. I am stunned that the judges did not dismiss him just in principle. Again, I am pleased that the format was about cooking and not some circus  stunts. Great assessment of the action, Hugh, as usual.

yvettegct
yvettegct

I am so over this show!! Last night was proof that it is about "drama" and not COOKING!! Josie is a loser and should have gone home weeks ago... Padma left a really bad taste in my mouth. What's her beef with Kristen? (Seems personal??!!!)

jjbowers
jjbowers

Love your blogs Hugh. I'm checking out of this show for good though so I will miss you.

 

mac5
mac5

Josie still here is a testament to the lack of talent that this show has come to garner. Could you see anyone from this season doing the bocuse d'or challenge of season 6? Practically any home cook could have put out the dishes from this season. If you cant get talent its time to go.

rnkat
rnkat

A travesty of a mockery of a sham.  A traveshamockery.  I can't watch one more episode with Josie in it.  I just can't.  I have officially hit my tolerance wall.  If I wanted to watch a cartoon, there is a whole other freaking network for that.  

TondalayoSchwartz
TondalayoSchwartz

Saboteurs, j'accuse!  From Stefan being disorganized, incoherent and rude as front of house to she-in-a-sweatband-who-must-not-be-named with no time management, both teams had their handicaps.  I swear I thought Stefan was being deliberately bizarre to hurt Sheldon's chances of winning and knock out a major competitor, when it was really Josie's ineptitude that took down the giant, and possibly the best chef ever.  As for Sheldon, so really impressed with his skills and ability to manage his team.  Go Sheldon.  

justgart
justgart

Next restaurant wars, the winner of the quick fire gets immunity not leadership the bottom chef becomes leaders

cfukumoto
cfukumoto

Perhaps you could send a search party to Seattle to find the rest of Padma's dress. 

mum0672
mum0672

Very exciting episode.  As much as I don't want to agree, it was appropriate that Kristen go home as the executive chef this week, HOWEVER, Josie should never have been there in the first place.  With a stronger person on her team, I truly believe Kristen's team would have won.  Granted she did choose Josie second, I believe.  Josie has been skating by.  How nice to still be on the show just because you're not the worst.  She is!  How many times in the bottom now?  Her time management skills suck, and that is why Kristen had to take over.  She needs to go!

 

bengough
bengough

Hugh, You are absolutely hilarious!  Loved your comment about Josie and her QVC cooking demonstration~"It's what she does when she's nervous"....Tom made a comment on tonight's show to the effect of Josie thinking that 'The Josie Show' was more important than getting her food out on time, but that isn't the case.  'The Josie Show' is the RESULT of her ineptitude and total lack of time-management skills....it's what she does when she gets nervous.  She seems to have any number of ways to distract, deflect, and divert attention from her clear lack of talent in comparison to most of the other contestants this season...flattening others under the Greyhound wheels being one of them!  Kristen did fall on her own sword tonight, but her future looks much much brighter than Josie's.

borbor
borbor

It kills me to say it but the judges made the right call. Kristen went after an ambitious French fine dining concept, and tried to do too much herself. Josie was her usual pokey uninspired and lackluster self. KRISTEN CHOSE HER FOR HER TEAM.  Kristen did not act like a chef in dealing with her. Chef means Chief. Jefe. Boss. She let Josie skate starting on the first day. Did you roast those bones Josie? Gonna do that now, says Josie. Does it get done? No. Does Kristen make her hustle? No. Why is Josie here? To sell headbands? I'm not buying one. I can't stand her but once again, she gets a pass. Kristen, I know you will learn from this and go on to do great things. Josie will do neither. 

pxanon
pxanon

Hugh! No mention of your Sargento commercial? No awkward, "oops, I'm on TV hocking cheese off the block--hi guys!"

 

Honestly, you could sell me anything, buddy. You're friggin' awesome.

RobertaC
RobertaC

Sorry - you all blew it tonight.. No integrity at all.

PaulainVA
PaulainVA

I can't really read your blog all the way through.  Sometimes good is just good, and not so good is just that .  I saw all the dysfunctionallty in each restaurant - and really wish I hadn't.  All I want of a night out is:  a pleasant experience, pretty good/sensational food, in a nice atmosphere.  Is that so hard?

leesadiva
leesadiva

First, it's JOSIE, not Jose. Second, Padma rocks, and I'm not a guy. Nor am I drooling. 

emceevee
emceevee

 @ok111 This is Insulting. 'Padma, kinda-glazed-eyes pretty self'. In other words, Padma should just shut up and look pretty.  She is an award winning food author.  Perhaps that is why she is on the show???

leesadiva
leesadiva

 @mrshappy8371 Next to the Leisure Suit Larry reference. Although, you might have to be in your late 30s to get that one!

bananasplit
bananasplit

 @yvettegct You forgot Kristen cooked 2 dishes that the judges had issues. Josie cooked one. Get your perspective right. It's about how well the food was cooked.

bananasplit
bananasplit

 @mac5 The largest people I cooked for was 468. With limited budget and budget constrains. The prep people either coming in late or call in sick. Pressure will build up. Lost of electricity, fire, domestic violence etc. can ruin your preps. So saying any home cook can put out dishes? Yes they can. But how well is the food cooked? 

yvettegct
yvettegct

@rnkat I so agree with you...I'm packing my knives from this show. I had hoped it would improve from last seaon but it is steadily going out the back door!

tretre2012
tretre2012

 @mum0672 Josie was Kristen's last pick, she wasn't picked 2nd.  Maybe you're thinking 2nd last?  Only reason Kristen chose her was because she wanted the most people on her team, and had a feeling Micah was going home. 

 

She would've been better off without Josie on her team. 

Kenlo
Kenlo

 @borbor Overall, I agree.  However who do you think can "make" Josie hustle no matter what you say to her?  She CAN'T hustle, that's the point, she just can't.  No amount of chastising her will do it, no amount of sarcasm, shouting or logic will make her do it, she just can't.

Kenlo
Kenlo

 @pxanon Me too, Hugh you're the bomb, hilarious, interesting and informative.  Thanks so much for staying on the Blog for us.