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S2 - Elia Aboumrad: So Long and Thanks for All the Tuna Juice


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#1

OPP

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Posted Oct 22, 2006 @ 6:21 AM

At 23, I thought she was going to be too inexperienced like Candace from S1 to seriously compete and that she was on the show to serve just as eye candy/cannon fodder. Although, in some shots, she's simply stunning and others, she's just meh. I think its the hair that really makes all the difference with how she looks.

But, looking at her CV, she brings more to the table than just a pretty face. At her young age, she's already earned 34 culinary degrees and trained in Robuchon's kitchen in Paris. But, its tough to know how much we should really be impressed by that since Bravo also claimed that she was the sous chef of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand but that's since been changed to a less impressive Assistant Room Chef at The Hotel.

She's also got an interesting backstory, where she was more interested in medicine. But, before going off to school to study for that, she took a year off and discovered what she really wanted to do was cook.

#2

Bungalow Joy

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Posted Oct 22, 2006 @ 5:25 PM

I'm not getting sucked in by the resume again! I did that with Miguel and he turned out to be a lame horse. I got her distaste for processed American cheese, but man, did it call for that much sneering? She and Marcel may turn out to be the ugly twins hatched from the egg Stephen laid last season. There might have been juuuuust enough lip curl on her mouth to insert a fishhook.

Edited by Bungalow Joy, Oct 22, 2006 @ 5:25 PM.


#3

biakbiak

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Posted Oct 22, 2006 @ 6:45 PM

For someone's who's favorite movie is Forest Gump she should really watch the sneering around cheesy crap.

#4

pomme de terre

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Posted Oct 23, 2006 @ 10:57 AM

So pretty! Gorgeous accent, too. I wonder what her ethnicity is. She said she was Mexican, but her last name sounds sort of Middle Eastern to me.

#5

mistiec

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Posted Oct 23, 2006 @ 12:04 PM

Cheese sneering aside, she's already won me over. Probably because she bears a ridiculously striking resemblance to my cousin who also lived in Mexico and refused to get married and went to school and caused a scandel as a result.

Oh, that Mexican Machismo.

Edited by mistiec, Oct 23, 2006 @ 2:19 PM.


#6

safranal moeity

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Posted Oct 23, 2006 @ 1:50 PM

She said she was Mexican, but her last name sounds sort of Middle Eastern to me.


Yes, she was born in Mexico but her family is Lebanese.

#7

kappy72287

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Posted Oct 23, 2006 @ 3:10 PM

I got her distaste for processed American cheese, but man, did it call for that much sneering? She and Marcel may turn out to be the ugly twins hatched from the egg Stephen laid last season.


I think that Marcel is far more egregious than Elia in this respect. I think Elia's distaste, while certainly reflective of a distinct preference for higher quality ingredients, was also also just reflective of the difficulty with incorporating cheese product into the type of dish that she knew the judges would expect, and I think that her sneer may have been more of an isolated incidence. But with Marcel, he was not just fishhooking it throughout, but he went further in that he lent voice to all of our favorite reality television cliches, his own take on our favorites from Tiffani.

Edited because "from" and "more" don't mean the same thing.

Edited by kappy72287, Oct 23, 2006 @ 6:51 PM.


#8

screamapiller

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Posted Oct 23, 2006 @ 4:39 PM

At her young age, she's already earned 34 culinary degrees


A degree in culinary or baking & pastry arts generally takes 18-24 months to complete (the diploma program at Ecole Lenotre takes 24 months - scroll down to page 4, it takes 22 months at the school where I work). Now, certifications in specialties can be completed in 8-10 weeks (and sometimes less depending on what they are), so it's more likely that she's completed many of the fifty specialized training courses at Lenotre that are listed as 3 to 5 days (3 5 jours) of training.

I think Elia's distaste, while certainly reflective of a distinct preference for higher quality ingredients, was also also just reflective of the difficulty with incorporating cheese product into the type of dish that she knew the judges would expect, and I think that her sneer may have been more of an isolated incidence.

I like her so far, including the sneer. I might have been hard pressed to not sneer if I were working with processed american cheese food (as it is marketed, cause it isn't actually labeled as just "cheese")

Edited by screamapiller, Oct 23, 2006 @ 4:46 PM.


#9

safranal moeity

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Posted Oct 24, 2006 @ 6:42 PM

I call dibs on Elia -- I've already signed the chef-adoption papers. She's a picky one, but I'm confident in my decision. All play-dates should be arranged no later than one week in advance.

#10

Donny Ketchum

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Posted Oct 24, 2006 @ 6:57 PM

I like her. She did poorly in the Quickfire Challenge but jumped back to place in the top four in the Elimination Challenge. I think if she keeps up her focus, she may at least make it to the midpoint of the season.

#11

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Posted Oct 25, 2006 @ 10:48 PM

I love her. I thought she was the right mix of honest and diplomatic, and she's adorable. Go Elia! I like how she tried to manage the gelatin issue delicately without lying, and I like how she handled the Otto situation.

#12

416

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Posted Oct 25, 2006 @ 11:42 PM

As a fan of emotional characters, I like Elia. I can't stand seeing people emasculated so I really felt for her when she covered her eyes while Otto spilled his guts. Also I think she was working okay with tightface throughout the episode and think she must have been stunned when Marisa turned on her. And before Marisa rudely interrupted her, I thought she was going to give a neutral review of her panna-cota.

Edited by 416, Oct 25, 2006 @ 11:56 PM.


#13

Donny Ketchum

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 1:49 AM

To her credit, she handled the Otto thing better than I would've. I do love that she tried to get the team focused on planning their meal, too. I love her. I hope she lasts a long time in this competition. I suspect that she might.

#14

baha0007

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 2:07 AM

Eh. I'm still neutral about her cooking skills, but she needs to lose the perma-bitchface, and fast.

#15

BravesChick2001

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 2:26 AM

Everytime Elia comes on the screen, this thought pops into my head:

Elia = Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, anyone?

What? Just me, then? Oh, okay.

Other than that, I definitely agree that the freakin' perma-bitchface has GOT to go. Has she even smiled once on the show, yet?

#16

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 8:24 AM

I love her and her totally Flashdance hair! (Seriously, it's one of my favorite hairstyles...probably because my pathetic stringy strands could never do that.)

I don't think she's had a reason to smile yet - all the moments that we've seen onscreen were kind of nerve-racking ones for Elia.

#17

sweet potato

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 8:52 AM

Eh. I'm still neutral about her cooking skills, but she needs to lose the perma-bitchface, and fast.


Amen! I do not want to read about Harold's crankiness anymore.
This woman NEVER smiles...not once.

I do not dislike her, but she does not exactly have an inviting personality.

#18

smrou

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 9:25 AM

I honestly can't figure out if I like Elia or not, but what I noticed this week and somehow failed to notice last week is that she's completely adorable. Just so so cute.

#19

hoopoe

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 9:43 AM

Elia, Marissa, please, ladies, lose the bitch faces...they both look as if they have smelled something really, really bad.

#20

baha0007

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 10:51 AM

they both look as if they have smelled something really, really bad.


DELICIOUS American Cheese ?

Sorry, I'll stay away from the obvious jokes in the future.

#21

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Posted Oct 26, 2006 @ 11:34 AM

I really like her so far, bitchface and all. During the team's planning when all the guys got drunk, I would have felt tempted to hit them over the head with a 2x4, if I was her. I don't think she generally turns her nose up at ingredients either, but I may be biased in that regard because I happen to also believe that quite a few American food products just shouldn't exist.

And I do believe that she's very cute. She does not appear to like drama, which is another positive thing.

#22

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Posted Oct 27, 2006 @ 12:08 PM

I thought it was super cute (in a "aww, puppy!" sort of way, not a "HUBBA HUBBA" sort of way) when she professed her love for the various aspects of fish. Particularly "I love SWEEMING with feesh!"

#23

safranal moeity

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Posted Oct 27, 2006 @ 4:38 PM

Yes, I find my foster-chef to be ridiculously cute at times and wanted to give her a a big-sister/little-sister hug throughout most of this past episode. I try to keep myself neutral about even the unlikable contestants on this particular show just because I have a lot of respect for what they do and realize that people are painted differently on t.v., but I seriously wanted to smack the shit out of Marisa when she snapped at my Lebanese-sister (my family has some Lebanese background -- hmm, maybe that's why I took a liking to Elia). Nobody talks to sissy that way!!! Cue ::MADFACE:: via belligerent

I understand how people feel that she comes across as a little snot, but I honestly don't think that she has that sort of personality. I've gotten comments alot over the years about how I come across as really snobby to those that don't interact with me much (I'm not a snob, I promise!) I really think that people can emit that sort of snobbish personality without being aware of how they can come across sometimes. Snobbery might be there in small amounts, but not nearly to the extent that it can come across as. I got the feeling that last season's Stephen had no idea how he came across to others and it endeared me to him throughout the season because I thought he was a decent guy at heart. Then the reunion aired along with the finale and I was all, "Thanks for proving me right!"

Elia, please don't go and do something incredibly mean-spirited to make me eat my words! I'll have to cancel our special trip to the aquarium to see the feeshes.

#24

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Posted Oct 27, 2006 @ 5:28 PM

As someone who liked Elia alot going into this competition, I think she was just a little too quick to jump on the dump Otto train in Ep2. Without any real proof other than back-stabbing Marisa's say so. I'd watch my back around her.

Edited by bbcookin, Oct 27, 2006 @ 5:31 PM.


#25

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Posted Oct 28, 2006 @ 5:08 AM

I'd really be interested to see how she'd look if she got a better haircut, maybe even straightening those curls.

I understand how people feel that she comes across as a little snot, but I honestly don't think that she has that sort of personality.


I think she's gorgeous, but I also think she's probably going to be snobby. In her preview interview, she talks about how she was originally reluctant to become a chef because she viewed cooking as only for women looking to find a man and thought that only stupid people would cook. In her view, she thought it would be a waste of her intelligence and smarts to become a chef. Say what you want about her, but she certainly has a high self regard for herself and her skills.

If she was really sous chef at a Roulcheban restaurant, that would certainly be impressive. There are much older and experienced chefs who would aspire to that. But, it still seems fishy that she would go from sous chef at a Roulcheban restaurant to a assistant hotel chef at The Hotel.

Edited by OPP, Oct 28, 2006 @ 5:13 AM.


#26

chefashley

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Posted Oct 29, 2006 @ 12:06 AM

Elia said that her family and society saw cooking as something for women to do after they get married, but she said that smart people do what they want. She didn't say that it was stupid.

She's okay, though. Kinda whiny and picky, what with complaining about the American cheese, and how she doesn't care for gelatin.

I think she'll go far though. She seems talented enough. She's also beautiful with her hair down.

#27

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Posted Oct 29, 2006 @ 6:40 PM

She's the assistant room service chef at THE Hotel which is inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

I've stayed at the Hotel. It's great because there is no casino in THE Hotel...separate entrance from Mandalay Bay. The rooms are all suites with separate living/sleeping areas and flat screen TVs in living/sleeping areas AND bathroom. It's really nice because it avoids so much of what I don't like about Vegas...the constant noise of the slots and the cigarette smoke.

The service is okay. Better than average for Vegas. Food from room service? Just okay. Which is oh-so typical for Vegas.

Exactly where is her Joel Robuchon experience? Did she once fill out at application? Or did she actually apprentice?


Her favorite movie is "Forrest Gump?" Get out much?

#28

tool

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Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 1:56 PM

bbcookin, Elia worked for Robuchon himself in France as sous chef of L'Atelier before moving to Las Vegas to open the L'Atelier in the MGM Grand. Enough Robuchon experience for you?

#29

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Posted Nov 1, 2006 @ 2:32 PM

Hey tool

bbcookin, Elia worked for Robuchon himself in France as sous chef of L'Atelier before moving to Las Vegas to open the L'Atelier in the MGM Grand. Enough Robuchon experience for you?


If you've got information other than what's on the Bravo website, please feel free to share.

I only see a reference on the Bravo site that she trained under Robuchon which could be anything from actual training to Robuchon wrote a menu that someone at the cooking school she attended taught her. Her resume seems inflated to me for her age.

And why would someone go from being a sous chef for Robuchon to being a room service cook at MGM Grand? Isn't that like putting your career in reverse?

ETA: AND wouldn't Robuchon experience teach you that red wine does not flambe? Her story does not add up.

Edited by bbcookin, Nov 2, 2006 @ 12:12 AM.


#30

416

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Posted Nov 2, 2006 @ 1:54 AM

Sweet of Elia to try to advise Marcel on the fryer, even though he didn't seem to appreciate it. Hope he doesn't end up pissing her off. For those of us who feel for him we can live vicariously through her.