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2-7: "Tailgating" 2010.05.19


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#1

TWoP Nikita

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 11:10 AM

From Zap2it:

Masters must perfect the art of tailgating for hungry football fans.



#2

livefromprov

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:22 PM

Phew..... I am so glad Eeyore is gone. I was a little nervous that Jonathon might be going,really glad he didn't. Thrilled Rick is still here.

#3

pjamma

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:23 PM

I am in love with Susur Lee. Last week it was a crush, but now it is full on love.

This episode was good because I am a big fan of the tailgate. I'm not surprised Tony was voted off 1) because that pizza did not look good and 2) I've never known of anyone outside of Michael Chiarello BBQ pizza so well that it could be considered a masterpiece.

Susan being a Top Chef Master confuses me because I have eaten at Border Grill many times and while it is good it's no RM Seafood or on the level of Fleur de Lys. That said, I love her personality and happy she pulled off the double win.

Marcus can go anytime. I want to hug Jonathon. And Rick, I want him to stay because I think his head may actually explode at some point.

Edited by pjamma, May 19, 2010 @ 10:39 PM.


#4

diorella78

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:26 PM

For me this was a 'meh' episode although I was cheering on Waxman for defending his meat. Sad to see Tony go since his pizza looked great (to me) and the editing monkeys showed people raving...but yet the 'tailgaters' only gave him 2.5 stars? really?

James bugged me....I know this is still 'TCM' but again I agreed with Joanthan in that they weren't meant to cook a culinary masterpiece but good, solid, tasty food fit for a tailgating party. His sniping about texture and messiness was OTT at least IMO.

Overall, however, I really like this whole bunch--even Marcus, and am sad to see anyone leave. This doesn't usually happen for me.

Edited by diorella78, May 19, 2010 @ 10:27 PM.


#5

butterycroc

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:30 PM

I thought Tony wanted to clock the oblivious(?) Susur in the face, lol. "Lucky charm...lucky charm..."

#6

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:30 PM

I did not like this episode. For one thing, this whole second season in general is sub par compared to the first season. I don't think it's even about the chefs this season, although I am less familiar with them. I think the reason this second season feels more competitive and dramatic is because there were less preliminary rounds, with more contestants, and more championship rounds than the first season. The more the contestants, the less time we have to focus on each dish, and with more championship rounds the chefs spend more time with each other in the intense competitive environment, with more drama as a result. It feels a lot like the regular Top Chef. Top Chef Masters felt more like an exhibition than an actual competition last year. On TCM1, you show up, have a little fun competition, and most of them just move on with their lives. This season, they're more invested, physically and emotionally.

Way to ruin a good concept, Bravo.

Regarding this episode ....

So what was Susan Feniger's advantage for winning the QF?? A USC apron and jersey ("uniform")?

I'm glad Susur did better than he expected, I was a little worried for him, he's my favorite! And I wonder why he didn't do some Asian barbeque?

In fact, why didn't all the contestants do more barbeque??? That's what I expect at a tailgating party.

And maybe there was more to the conversation between Tony and Susur, but I thought Tony was being a little over sensitive about the Sopranos reference. He should have just told Susur he looks like he belongs in a kung-fu movie. But maybe there was more to their exchange, I can see Susur saying things that can be taken the wrong way, but not with ill intentions. I laughed at my roommate commenting, after seeing that Tony was making a pizza, "Wait, that's the guy who was mad about being stereotyped??"

I liked Tony though for the most part, but if I had to choose between him and Jonathan Waxman, I'm glad it was Tony who left. At this point, actually, the only chef I'm not rooting for is Marcus. I don't even know why, I just think I like all the other chefs more.

A lot of criticism and egos deflated today. I miss all the food being awesome, and the judging being a matter of which dish was the least awesome.

#7

biakbiak

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:38 PM

"Wait, that's the guy who was mad about being stereotyped??"


Stereotyped that all Italians have huge freezers where they keep their dead bodies, not because he cooks Italian food.

I love Waxman. His glee over telling the crowd that he was from Berkeley and his wife went to Stanford (particularly when he knew that they were playing them at the game) amused me!

#8

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:45 PM

Stereotyped that all Italians have huge freezers where they keep their dead bodies, not because he cooks Italian food.


Yeah, this was the point of it. 'All Italians are in the mafia.' Although I give Susur a pass because I felt he didn't "get" it was so offensive. More like 'haha, that tv show...he's like him.' Ignorant, yep... but I didn't find him malicious.

In fact, why didn't all the contestants do more barbeque??? That's what I expect at a tailgating party.


I wondered that, too. Also aside from Marcus and his dry little burger, I thought someone would have done a more 'gourmet' burger.

Edited by diorella78, May 19, 2010 @ 10:47 PM.


#9

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:50 PM

Susur's befuddlement about tailgating was great. I was on the edge of my seat to see what he would come up with. German dumplings was not what I had in mind. Glad to see that the beef was good enough to put him through.

Susan Feniger as a cheerleader. First Govind Armstrong's crush and now this. The mind boggles.

I'm frankly shocked to see that a homemade bbq'd pizza was the dish that was eliminated. Thought that would go over a lot better.

#10

Mooncake76

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:51 PM

So what was Susan Feniger's advantage for winning the QF?? A USC apron and jersey ("uniform")?


Have you met USC fans? Definitely an advantage I think.

I'm glad Susur did better than he expected, I was a little worried for him, he's my favorite! And I wonder why he didn't do some Asian barbeque?


I thought he made a Korean BBQ style beef? I'm not all that familiar with tailgate parties, but I think a Hawaiian style macaroni and cheese would have been a better side than the Austrian dumpling.

Susur's befuddlement about tailgating was great. I was on the edge of my seat to see what he would come up with.


His exchange with Marcus in the car was hilarious. He was so clueless despite Marcus (who also hadn't been tailgating before) trying to explain it to him.

Edited by Mooncake76, May 19, 2010 @ 10:53 PM.


#11

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:54 PM

I'm glad Susur did better than he expected, I was a little worried for him, he's my favorite! And I wonder why he didn't do some Asian barbeque?


Or some form of Asian meat on a stick. Taligating food isn't that far off in concept than many Asian countries' version of street food. I think his food would have gone over better on a skewer (provided the meat wasn't so tender that it slid off or apart when you tried to pierce it)

#12

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:55 PM

I thought Susur was just implying that Tony looked like he could be on Sopranos. There doesn't seem to be anything about Tony that seems mafia-like otherwise. And watching the second airing right now, Tony is reminding me of Paul Sorvino in Goodfellas. I don't know, I'm Filipino and my friends playfully bust my chops about being a bad driver and being good at manicures (which aren't even specifically Filipino stereotypes), and I don't mind. But YMMV, and he's allowed to be offended.

#13

biakbiak

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 10:57 PM

Tony looked like he could be on Sopranos. There doesn't seem to be anything about Tony that seems mafia-like otherwise.


Yes, but he then he continued to say that he looks like one of those guys with a big freezer in the back (ie for the dead bodies, not because he likes to keep a lot of red sauce on hand).

#14

butterycroc

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Posted May 19, 2010 @ 11:24 PM

I'm with you, diorella78, I think Susur's comment was more ignorant than offensive.

Yes, but he then he continued to say that he looks like one of those guys with a big freezer in the back (ie for the dead bodies, not because he likes to keep a lot of red sauce on hand).


Heh. I'm first generation Korean-American and he reminds of some of my more FOB friends (Korea is a very xenophobic/closed off culture) who make the most politically incorrect observations with shiny, wide eyes and cheerful ignorance. Or barrage people from different backgrounds with inappropriate questions. They sometimes seize upon one facet of a person's background, like religion or nationality and use it as a way of making conversation. That being said, Susur has lived outside of Hong Kong for quite a while now.

Personally I thought Tony looked kind of like the Paulie Walnuts guy so the comment didn't quite register as offensive until Tony got riled up.

Edited for grammar.

Edited by butterycroc, May 19, 2010 @ 11:26 PM.


#15

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 12:02 AM

And maybe there was more to the conversation between Tony and Susur, but I thought Tony was being a little over sensitive about the Sopranos reference.

Whatever it was, I think it was innocent on Susur's part and Tony's reaction was perfect--"you know, that can be considered an insult" or whatever he said.

This wasn't the best episode and I really don't get why they don't give us a better idea whose food is better and whose is worse. When Susur won last week with 19 stars, I was somewhat amazed because the critics seemed much more invested in criticism than praise. This week, the criticisms of the pizza seemed so mild and Tony was only getting 2 and 2 1/2 stars.

I still prefer TCM to TC several times over. But I do have to agree about Susan's restaurant: it's slightly better than average, but it's nothing terribly special. I can't figure out how she got on the show but she is a lot of fun to watch (and maybe that's how she got on the show).

#16

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 1:04 AM

I realize that Susur really had no clue about tailgating, but I'm surprised that none of the contestants clued him in about it. I realize it's a competition- and I don't know much about tailgating because I really am not interested in football- but somebody could have said, it's a tradition among gamegoers, to arrive early and have a barbecue with friends in the parking lot before the game- so you're looking at tasty, solid finger food.

I'm a little surprised that Marcus' soup passed muster- is soup usual for tailgating? Maybe a chili?

#17

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 1:13 AM

I know Waxman is a favorite, but I'm kinda getting tired of him taking premade stuff and slapping some sauce on it (like he did in the quick fire). And saying its not about the crab, it's about the pasta...that silly premade stuff versus the "leg" which was what the challenge was about.

I think Waxman is done with this whole thing. And I think I may be done with him. I loved him in his initial challenge, but it seems (to me) that since last episode where he was taken out of his element, he became irate and it doesn't seem to be getting better. I thought he'd really shine with this type of challenge and he faltered. This sucks for me, because I was really buying into the Obi talk.

#18

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 1:17 AM

Marcus can go anytime.

Leave Marcus alone, I thought it was funny when he was trying to explain to Susur being an immigrant himself. Go NorCal!

#19

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 1:20 AM

Waxman was pretty on edge the episode. Confrontational with the critics, and being pretty bitter at times during the confessionals. Could just be the editing monkeys, though.

Susur was hilarious when he sees other guys out with their grills on the parking lot. "So there are other chefs here, too?"

I like all of them, although being the son of an immigrant myself, I'm feeling Susur and Marcus a little more.

#20

Kritter47

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 1:24 AM

As to why no barbeque, there simply wasn't enough time. Real BBQ is slow-cooked and smoked and takes 12-24 hours. They had about 3.5 hours of combined prep time. It also almost always involves smokers, which they weren't provided. They could slap some BBQ sauce on grilled meats (which might pass in SoCal, now that I think about it, but certainly wouldn't in the south), but they were going to be limited by the prep time there.

I like the idea of a pizza, but a charcoal grill seems a little too inconsistent to cook it on, and it's hard to make a pizza that will satisfy those diners and also seem high-end enough to meet TCM standards unless you go really outside the box, and he didn't.

#21

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 2:30 AM

Heh. I'm first generation Korean-American and he reminds of some of my more FOB friends (Korea is a very xenophobic/closed off culture) who make the most politically incorrect observations with shiny, wide eyes and cheerful ignorance. Or barrage people from different backgrounds with inappropriate questions. They sometimes seize upon one facet of a person's background, like religion or nationality and use it as a way of making conversation. That being said, Susur has lived outside of Hong Kong for quite a while now.


Hello, I am Korean, too. :) I lived in the states for about an year(when I was in elementary school) and came back. So I have been living in Korea for 23 years. May I ask if you've been to Korea recently?(or stayed) We've come so far from "nationalistic", "xenophobic", or "closed off" culture.. Some of our older generation still may not have changed, but Korea is one of the fastest(almost too fast) changing society.

So take some pride :)

About the episode, glad Jonathan's still there!

Edited by smay, May 20, 2010 @ 2:31 AM.


#22

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 2:44 AM

Susan's enthusiasm and energy in this episode was infectious. She was definitely in her element and I'm glad she won. Loved the clip about all of the other chefs raving about Susan.

Tony's pizza didn't seem all that special. You'd be able to find a similar pizza at any restaurant selling "gourmet" pizzas.

I recently dined at Susur's Toronto restaurant and the Korean style skirt steak is on the menu there. I was wondering when a menu item would show up on TCM...

#23

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 3:00 AM

I'm really surprised that Marcus and Susur were in the top three! The judges seemed to complain about their dishes seeming out of context, what with Marcus' combo of the chicken/shrimp stew & a slider <<huh?>> (no veges or salad?) and Susur's Bavarian spaetzle as a side to his Korean beef <<huh?>>!

At least the losing chef made tailgating food!

I am DYING for them to send Marcus home! Didn't he take all the chicken legs out of the market case just so Rick couldn't buy them - thereby requiring Rick to spend valuable time cutting up chickens, just to separate the legs? I remember seeing something like that, but I don't remember what Rick did with those chicken legs!

I'm beginning to think that the judges are sending chefs home for other reasons than the success of their dishes. Marcus and Sursur have distinct personalities and are obnoxious, yet fun to watch; whereas there were once two grey haired, overweight, affable chefs and now there is only one left on the show.

I think it will be a contest between the "one hot tamale" and Rick at the end, IMHO!

Still think last year's group was better - Michael Chiarello literally chewed scenery! I'd like to see HIM up against that Marcus guy!

#24

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 4:15 AM

Susur was hilarious when he sees other guys out with their grills on the parking lot. "So there are other chefs here, too?"


Yeah, that part was hilarious.

I was thinking that maybe Marcus didn't have enough english to really articulate what exactly what tailgating was.

Maybe it was just the editing monkeys, but saying it's part of the culture, wouldn't explain to me what tailgating is either.

#25

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 5:55 AM

Someone should get Susur tickets to the Toronto Argonauts next season.

I'm beginning to think that the judges are sending chefs home for other reasons than the success of their dishes. Marcus and Sursur have distinct personalities and are obnoxious, yet fun to watch; whereas there were once two grey haired, overweight, affable chefs and now there is only one left on the show.


Susur has outright dominated the season so far. Even this far out of his element he was a close second. Marcus scraped by last week, but this week he was in the top half.

Susan being a Top Chef Master confuses me because I have eaten at Border Grill many times and while it is good it's no RM Seafood or on the level of Fleur de Lys. That said, I love her personality and happy she pulled off the double win.


Well, she's a celebrity chef being one of the Two Hot Tamales. That probably is what got her cast. She's written five cookbooks, and owns three restaurants. She might not be as fine dining as some, but she's certainly holding her own with this crowd.

#26

Ben M

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 7:00 AM

This season, they're more invested, physically and emotionally.

Way to ruin a good concept, Bravo.


The prevalence of this particular strain of thought irks me somewhat, not only because it puts the blame squarely on the production/network team, of how much more competitive this current crop of masters are and how genteel the atmosphere was last season. But I do think that most of the chefs who have been on this season have watched the previous season and noticed how favourable the longer-lasting chefs' reputations and viability as business owners were positively affected.

How could they not be more competitive as a result? Free advertising and bragging rights will do that to ya.

#27

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 7:45 AM

I'm beginning to think that the judges are sending chefs home for other reasons than the success of their dishes. Marcus and Sursur have distinct personalities and are obnoxious, yet fun to watch; whereas there were once two grey haired, overweight, affable chefs and now there is only one left on the show.


Even though Susar has been on fire and I think they would be hard pressed to send him off early on, I agree with this. Someone asked how Susan got cast....aside from being capable, obviously, she likely falls into the tagline in the end credits in which producers have influence. She has a huge personality and won't go home....yet. Tony got an axe because he didn't really have any personality and viewers aren't invested in him. I will buy the judges didn't like his pizza, but I do not buy for 1 minute the diners only gave him 2.5 stars. Who doesn't like pizza overall? (yes, I know some people don't)....but the saying "any pizza is good pizza" rings true for the majority of people, and somehow I doubt tailgaters really care about anything BUT flavor. They seemed to be raving...Tony's station was picked clean. 2.5 stars? I love me some Waxman so I wasn't sad, but still...

I didn't mind Waxman's crankiness this round if only because he was right---James was talking out his ass to find a flaw with the meat. I sort of loved his chutzpah telling him "you're wrong." That said, I do hope Jonathan hasn't given up overall since last week threw him a bit.

The fan faves seems to be Waxman, Susur and Rick. I think 2 of those will make the final but it might not be Jonathan unless we see a 'redemption' edit in the next episode. Marcus may be in there for the 'villian' factor (though I don't see him as one, personally. I think he has a typical Euro-persona...straightforward, not so chummy, do the work he came to do) As for his Engish I think he simply didn't know himself the real main idea if tailgating...99% of people in Sweden grow up speaking flawless English.

Edited by diorella78, May 20, 2010 @ 7:48 AM.


#28

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 7:54 AM

Seeing Rick and Marcus quibble at the meatcounter over who got there first makes me miss Top Chef Masters 1st season.

I loved the play up of personality type during the quick fire. Flying through the kitchen gathering his ingredients, Susur becomes Super Ninja human food processor able to chop vegetables faster than a new KitchenAid. In contrast, Obi Wan Waxman is casually strolling along to get his pasta, open the package, and gently release the pasta into the boiling water. Yet, it's Wonder Woman Susan who wins the quickfire with her fried chicken legs.

Kelly was wearing jeans at the tailgate party. I've never seen jeans in a size below a "0" before. I tried not to look at her since I might sympathy eat for her.

I'm so glad Jonathan stuck up for the thickness of the meat he sliced. He's a well seasoned chef and knows about meat. James should have asked himself 'why did he leave the meat that thick?" rather than 'it's a mistake since most strips are sliced thinner". Jonathan got ding-ed for not having enough crab in his quickfire dish. So maybe he wanted to get a bigger steak bite in his dish to be more memorable. I do agree that Jonathan is maybe a bit tired of the show already. Package spaghetti seems to be a "cheat" for someone on top chef masters and he didn't want to work himself too much to come up with anything more masterful than crab tossed over pasta.

I love pizza, but I might have given Tony only 2 1/2 stars also. I know the style of old world pizza, but the toppings were rather sparse. I'd love more tomatoes and more CHEESE. It's like the guy was counting pennies on that food. Where did all of the budget money go on that pizza? I LOVED the abundance of herbs though. YMMV, of course.

Marcus trying to explain a tailgating party to Susur was so FUNNY!

Edited by SunShine Gal, May 20, 2010 @ 9:35 AM.


#29

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 8:28 AM

Something about this challenge doesn't make sense. They said Rick loves tailgating and cooking on a grill. Johnathan said he's used grills professionally for much of his career. How could these two be in the bottom?

Meanwhile a guy that's never used charcoal grills before (Susur) is in the top three? This doesn't add up.

James Oseland really got on my last nerve in this episode. He obviously has little experience eating food off a charcoal grill. Yes the food is a little drier. That's why experienced grillers like Johnathan use a thicker flank steak. It holds up better on a grill. Oseland was so darn clueless. He needs to get out more and eat some grilled food. Maybe then he'll appreciate how good a job experienced grillers like Rick and Johnathan did.

Edited by aceplace57, May 20, 2010 @ 8:31 AM.


#30

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Posted May 20, 2010 @ 8:41 AM

I thought Tony wanted to clock the oblivious(?) Susur in the face, lol. "Lucky charm...lucky charm..."

"Oblivious" is exactly how I'd describe Susur.

I'm with you, diorella78, I think Susur's comment was more ignorant than offensive.

It was both ignorant and offensive, IMO. Ignorance doesn't necessarily excuse the fact that he stereotyped in a negative way, esp. since he didn't seem to be listening when Tony was explaining that it was offensive. I'm sure Susur meant no harm, but that doesn't mean Tony wasn't right to be offended!

I realize that Susur really had no clue about tailgating, but I'm surprised that none of the contestants clued him in about it. I realize it's a competition- and I don't know much about tailgating because I really am not interested in football- but somebody could have said, it's a tradition among gamegoers, to arrive early and have a barbecue with friends in the parking lot before the game- so you're looking at tasty, solid finger food.

Marcus was trying to; I'm sure the other chefs did as well. On the one hand, tailgating might be something that you need to see to understand, particularly if you don't come from a sports-oriented culture. On the other, I tend to believe no amount of explanation would help Susur understand. He seems to one of those people who is so intense about his own interest that he won't really "get" something that is new to him until he is really immersed in it. I know a few artists who are very much like this (and, coincidentally, they are also foreigners). I was totally feeling Marcus's frustration!

I actually really enjoyed this episode. The chefs seemed to be having fun in their prep and at the game, and I loved Waxman taking Oseland on. I find Oseland to be miserable to watch. He is nitpicky to the extreme. Yes, it's a matter of taste, but his way of communicating his preferences as fact is very offputting!