But when he labels a dish a train wreck that another diner called the best in a series, I feel like I am not dealing with an honest broker.
I rewatched and one does seem to call it the best dish in the series, but it doesn't appear as if any of the actual judges, including Toby, agreed with that, but this happens all the time. It's one quote out of hours and hours of tasting and deliberation they went through. Unless everybody but Tom, Toby, Padma, Gail and Fabio thought that Stefan's dish was either his best dish or the best dish of the final round, I don't see how Tom's being dishonest when he gives his opinion that the dessert was a "trainwreck."
I would have rather that Tom took the position that his, Gail's and Padma's protein biased palates prevailed over Toby's and those are the breaks.
I don't think it's entirely fair to base this on those judges being biased in favor of protein. One could argue that Toby was biased in favor of getting a dessert, since Tom seemed to have to keep reiterating that they couldn't punish Hosea for not producing one. All of the judges agreed that Hosea's venison was better than Stefan's dessert. But Toby's blog does make it clear that his arguments for Stefan (the dessert wasn't that bad, finishing with a dessert was a better end to the meal) was overruled by the other three judges. Maybe that could have been clearer on the show, but it's there in the blogs.
Although it does seem like most considered Hosea's venison the better dish, it just wasn't by a huge margin.
It didn't necessarily need to be by a huge margin. Their apps were both fine, their first courses were both just a little off with Hosea slightly ahead, their second courses were both strong with Stefan slightly ahead. That made it something of a tie going into the final round. And, for three of the judges, the venison won by a wide enough margin to give the victory to Hosea. It probably wasn't a blowout, no.ETA:
I don't agree with this. As I have said more than once, I don't think Hosea should have been penalized for the venison and I have not been one of the viewers who has dismissed it. We have been told that this decision boiled down to how big the gap was between the dishes.
Hosea's venison was superior to Stefan's dessert and Stefan's performance in the prior three rounds wasn't enough to make up the margin in the final round. The only way for the judges to ignore that and give the win to Stefan anyway is to give him credit for making a dessert and penalize Hosea for not making one.
The only judge making an argument for giving the win to Stefan was Toby:
And I thought it was disappointing of Hosea not to at least attempt to cook something sweet. As Hubert Keller pointed out, being a great chef involves mastering a broad range of skills, including how to make desserts, and for that reason he preferred Stefanís meal to Hoseaís.
But Tom made it plain that we couldnít penalize the chefs for serving three savory courses since that was perfectly within the rules ó and while I tried to argue that acknowledging Stefanís range of skills would be rewarding him, rather than penalizing Hosea, that argument didnít cut much ice with the other judges. Bottom line: Hosea cooked a marginally better meal than Stefan on the night and for that reason he was declared the winner.
Toby's not contending that Stefan should have won because he thought his menu was better overall or that it was close enough to allow for using overall performance as a guide. It seems to me that Toby's primary argument was that Stefan should have won because of the greater range of skills that Stefan displayed, namely that he chose to make a dessert.
Edited by OmahaMtLion, Mar 2, 2009 @ 7:00 PM.