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9-8: "Tribute Dinner" 2011.12.21


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#61

anonymiss

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 11:33 AM

Keep Emeril, remove Hugh, please.

I'm really pleased to see that there are more than just the one token Asian minority represented this season. Also, Ed is so witty and makes the otherwise somewhat bland episodes entertaining when he speaks.

Edited by anonymiss, Dec 22, 2011 @ 11:35 AM.


#62

bowlwoman

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 11:39 AM

I've gotten steak from that very WF many times, and it is usually spot on. I think Grayson and Heather just got unlucky, and neither adjusted to it.


I don't think the quality of meat was bad or that they got unlucky. I think they didn't cook that quality of meat properly. I go to the Austin-Gateway WF all the time, and I've never had a problem with their quality of meats. And you know the Gateway and Downtown stores source their meat from the same place.

WF meat quality standards dictate that the beef they source must have lived at least 2/3 of its life on pasture or range. I don't imagine that the rib-eyes that Grayson's dad cooked in Wisconsin when she was a kid were mostly grass-fed. Since she so faithfully tried to replicate his meal and technique, it was bound to fail because she didn't adjust for a different style of meat. My parents raise a couple of beef cattle every year on their farm with pretty much the same standards as WF uses, and I know we have to be really careful to watch the steaks when grilling or they get wonky really quickly.

And Heather using rib-eye for stroganoff...there are no words. I'm just glad she's gone. Buh-Bye.

Edited by bowlwoman, Dec 22, 2011 @ 11:40 AM.


#63

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 11:41 AM

I'm letting Whole Foods off the hook. I'm no expert, but I thought that Whole Foods only buys grass fed, naturally raised beef which has less fat. After this many weeks shopping at Whole Foods, the chefs know what's gonna be at the grocery store. Grayson said when she bought the ribeye it didn't have the marbling she was looking for. E.g., she bought an inappropriate ingredient and tried to force it into her niche, almost always a quick trap door to bottom on Top Chef.

I could see stroganoff working, but it would have to be a very rich, old timey, elegant presentation. Everything Heather is not, and quite at odds with her self proclaimed rustic American, whatever the hell that is. And it looked like dog food. But, hey, ding dong the witch is dead, so it's all good.

I don't eat flesh, but I do eat eggs. Ed's dish looked pretty good to me.

#64

sloper96

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 11:58 AM

I'm going to try Ed's dish at home.

Oddly enough it's actually simpler than Bibimbop you see at Korean restaurants.
The Korean restaurant versions usually have meat, and all sorts of vegetables - some not found in American groceries.
Ed's version had only 3-4 veggies right?
It's totally doable.

#65

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:05 PM

What a relief to see Heather get her comeuppance, even though hating her was probably the most interesting thing about this season so far.

I live in Wisconsin so I'm rooting for Grayson, but that steak and potatoes was basically something you'd get at Country Buffet.

Moto Chris needs to go. It's pretty clear he's a mediocre chef at best.

Edited by Baby Fish Mouth, Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:10 PM.


#66

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:19 PM

I'm still not clear on how much of the problem wth Grayson's steak was the meat itself or how she trimmed and cooked it, but i never understand the complaint (which you get all the time on "Chopped") that a portion is too big. Not only do the judges compain about this, they often act morally offended. If you've been served more than you want to eat, just don't eat it all. Take some home for tomorrow. Of course food show judges, or restaurant critics, don't pay for their meals. In the real world, with today's hefty restaurant prices, I can't imagine anyone being upset that they were served too much food. It's generally the opposite. I think that some restaurants use the health/obesity issue to skimp on portions and increase their profit margin. If I pay $30 for an entree, I don't want "three perfect bites of food." I want a meal. (Okay, end of rant.)

I was struck by how many of the chefs named their grandmother as their inspiration. (I also had a grandmother who was a great cook.) Ty-lor's mention of his Japanese nanny was interesting.

The theme of this season seems to be how many middle-of-the pack chefs keep skating through, while some of the better chefs make one mistake and are gone. I would love to have seen what Chuy or Keith would've cooked, instead of Chris (either one), Sarah, Lindsay. I think both those guys had distinctive cooking styles. Among most of the remaining chefs there's a real sameness to the food. Outside of Bev and Ed's Asian influences, it's almost impossible to remember who cooked what.

I don't buy that there's anything conspiritorial about so many of the non-white chefs being eliminated, but last night in one of the group scenes it struck me, wow, that's a lot of white people. (plus Asian).

And as a hetero male i may not be the best judge of this, but I've never found John Besh that attractive. I think he's kind of creepy looking. And a narcissist to boot.

Edited by Northwester, Dec 22, 2011 @ 1:23 PM.


#67

BeanyMalone

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:20 PM

Harsh is one word. Poetic justice is another.

#68

swell

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:43 PM

As others have said, those bad steaks don't speak well for Whole Food's meat market. While Grayson's clunky, uninspired offering would have probably gotten her the axe if they hadn't been itching to get rid of bullying Heather, I don't understand how she could be held responsible for "stringy", "spongy" (blehh!) meat.


Because as a chef, Grayson should have looked at the quality of the meat and rejected it as a bad quality cut of rib eye.

What I don't get is the fixation on ribeye as the steak of choice. While it's nice once in a while, it's too fatty for me. I prefer a good T-bone where I can get my jaw working on some real nice juicy rare meat!

#69

Taj Cloud7

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 1:01 PM

I think I'm in a minority of one here, but I like Heather more than I like Beverly. I can't forgive Heather for orchestrating Keith's ouster in the first episode so I'm not sorry she's gone. And yes, I thought she was inexcusably mean to Beverly last week, but I think a lot of Heather's criticism of Beverly were spot on. Beverly seems very passive aggressive to me. She does her own thing regardless of the challenge (not a team player in other words) and the glimpses into her home life made me angry. She left her 4 month old at home to come be on this show. It's bad enough when the dad's do it, but she's the mom, leaving a child for extended periods when they are under 12 months is not good for their emotional and mental development. It's not. And that stupid sign she has tacked up on her mirror? Bitch, please, leave it somewhere that the rest of the contestants don't have to look at it. Put me in Heather's place and I'd be trying to shove her "humble" ass under the bus too.

#70

rab01

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 1:27 PM

Taj -- the entire filming of Top Chef is 4-5 weeks so it's not going to impair the child's development. The only "selfishness" I've seen Bev display in the kitchen was possibly taking up too much space during the progressive dinner episode. Everything else boils down to Heather complaining and the other chefs disagreeing with those complaints. But, everyone's mileage varies - where I see conflict avoidance, you see passive agressive. We'll see which way the editing monkeys spin it next week ;)

Edited by rab01, Dec 22, 2011 @ 1:31 PM.


#71

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 2:04 PM

While Grayson's clunky, uninspired offering would have probably gotten her the axe if they hadn't been itching to get rid of bullying Heather, I don't understand how she could be held responsible for "stringy", "spongy" (blehh!) meat.

You forgot my favorite, 'gristly', which seems to be wholely avoidable. If meat turns out stringy or spongy, you're not going to know it until after it's cooked and you've tasted it. But gristle? They couldn't see gristle on the meat? Or were the judges experiencing some other texture and calling it 'gristly'?

I am really, really glad that a dish like stuffed cabbage won.

Edited by Quilt Fairy, Dec 22, 2011 @ 2:04 PM.


#72

femina

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 2:43 PM

She left her 4 month old at home to come be on this show. It's bad enough when the dad's do it, but she's the mom, leaving a child for extended periods when they are under 12 months is not good for their emotional and mental development. It's not.


Yeah, who does Beverly think she is trying to be more than a mother/breast milk maker? She is a MOTHER now and she have known she will have to sacrifice everything for the next eighteen years+nine months when she got knocked up. There is a BABY involved, a helpless cute BABY. Any woman who leaves her child behind in the incompetent hands of a man, even if he is the father and a loving one at that, is obviously a BAD MOTHER. And SELFISH. That child along with all the other children who do not grow up in a nuclear family that can afford maternal and paternal leave are doomed, DOOMED!

#73

Taj Cloud7

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 3:02 PM

All right, I'll admit, other than raising 4 children myself and reading up on parenting, I'm not an expert on childrearing. But I do know that I have read articles about attachment disorder and developmental problems caused by parental absence. Will her baby be all right? Probably, as long as dad is around to provide the emotional security a 4 month old needs. But yes, it is absolutely true that a 4 month old needs emotional security - security that is not being provided my mom in this case. Does my life completely revolve around my children? No. Should it? Again, no. But there is no way, barring global emergency, I would have left my baby for 5 weeks when they were less than a year old and I don't consider anybody who does that voluntarily to be a candidate for mother of the year. Top Chef, sure. YMMV, but I lost respect for her when I found out she left her baby to go do a television show.

Also, femina, there's a big difference between going to work and not being around at all. Big difference.

Edited by Taj Cloud7, Dec 22, 2011 @ 3:12 PM.


#74

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 3:28 PM

Paul's story deciding to stop dealing drugs and go to culinary school sounded a little like a bizzarro testimonial. "Are you burned out from the pot dealing rat race? Do your dope smoking friends always compliment you on your ability to pair Mary Jane with munchies? Then culinary school is for you!"

It kind of felt that way because he explained why he didn't want to be a drug dealer anymore, and how culinary school helped to turn his life around, but not why he chose cooking.

#75

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 3:30 PM

Not going to get into a parenting debate, but as a single mother with no family support, I will just say that Beverly's baby has plenty going for it. It's nobody's business but Beverly and her husband whether or not she should have entered this competition. She probably applied a long time ago before she had the baby and this was the slot that was available. If she wins, it will be a huge financial boost and a big career boost that will reap many benefits down the road for her baby. And being a chef and being in this competition makes her happy. A happy mom is a good mom. It's been really hard for me all these years to realize that endless self-sacrifice doesn't help the mom or the child.

#76

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 3:34 PM

Constantinople, what made me laugh was the photo Paul shown during his testimonial. I definitely know people who were just like that, kids with parents money freely given to them and having no direction.

Paul just realized that ultimately that life sucked and you have to grow up and earn your own money. The normal ending to that is that the kid becomes a regular white collar worker.

#77

Taj Cloud7

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 3:51 PM

All right, all right, I'm sure Beverly's baby will grow up to be a fine young man who is incredibly happy that his mother became a famous chef and he will write odes to her wonderful abilities as a mother. My bad.

But she made her family situation our business when she went on a reality TV show.

#78

Stanley

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 4:29 PM

She left her 4 month old at home to come be on this show. It's bad enough when the dad's do it, but she's the mom, leaving a child for extended periods when they are under 12 months is not good for their emotional and mental development.


This is my problem with your comments, Taj. You're condemning her more than you would a man in the same situation. And, as others have said, I don't think one parent being absent for one month is going to affect the kid's development. I also disagree she "made her family situation our business" by going on a cooking competition show.

I think that some restaurants use the health/obesity issue to skimp on portions and increase their profit margin. If I pay $30 for an entree, I don't want "three perfect bites of food." I want a meal.


We can agree to disagree on portion size generally (I personally would rather pay (and have paid) more for a small portion of expertly prepared food than a large portion of average food), but I think we can all agree that no one needs to eat a 12 oz. steak. That's just crazy. And I live in the Midwest, allegedly home of the gargantuan portions.

Edited by TWoP Nikita, Dec 22, 2011 @ 9:35 PM.
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#79

mahtov

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 4:39 PM

I wanted Heather to go home, but I really thought it would be Grayson. My theory is that they wanted to get rid of Heather before restaurant wars because it seems like a no-brainer that her team would end up in the bottom. I'm very glad they did not keep her around for drama's sake.

#80

snake juice

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 4:39 PM

But she made her family situation our business when she went on a reality TV show.



This a slippery slope argument in that 1) she still has the right to privacy, regardless, and 2) she signed up for a cooking competition, not Keepin' Up With the Kardashians.

#81

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 4:44 PM

Keep Emeril, remove Hugh, please.
I'm really pleased to see that there are more than just the one token Asian minority represented this season. Also, Ed is so witty and makes the otherwise somewhat bland episodes entertaining when he speaks.


I totally agree, anonymiss. I didn't miss Hugh's attempts to inject a humorous (well, at least humorous to him) sound byte to be replayed in every "On the last episode..." I'm not much of a Tony Bourdain fan, but I feel like he has earned the right to grasp for ridiculous sound bytes when judging. Hugh, not so much. I'm still trying to figure out why and how he is there as a rotating judge. Emeril was professional and his critiques helpful, far more "Essence of Emeril" than "Emeril Live". Obviously, this is a YMMV thing. Hugh's blog has positive comments galore, so good for him.

And I too love Ed's talking head segments if I try not to focus on his unfortunate jaw problem. He's kind of like the Greek chorus for the show. They start off with a compliment, then zing! Last week: "Heather and Beverly seem to be having some friction. <big pause> But to be honest, Heather is just being a complete bitch." This week: "I love Ty-lor and he's a great chef...but man, you suck right now." This was after Ty gave him the sriacha.

I think that was the most gratifying elimination in nine seasons, and Tom's pressure cooker comment restored him to my good graces. Thank you, Tom (even though I despise the fact that Heather won a car)!

I did feel badly for one person: Heather's mom. When Heather was doing her bitch and moan talking head about leaving, she said she hated that she was being eliminated for her mom's dish. My thought was that Heather's mom, if she has any ounce of integrity, would be more embarrassed by Heather's behavior on the show than the fact that she was eliminated for a poor version of Mom's mystery meat beef stroganoff.

As other posters have stated far more eloquently than I, the damage done to Heather's "goodwill" in her business far surpasses the value of the car she won. I can't imagine that it would have helped business any, but who knows?

Edited by TWoP Nikita, Dec 22, 2011 @ 9:42 PM.
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#82

IttyBittyFlavur

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 5:14 PM

did I hear her say that when she used it for the duck in the last challenge it didn't work out?


The duck legs went into the pressure cooker; the duck breast was cooked on the stove.

#83

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 5:24 PM

I'm very glad they did not keep her around for drama's sake.

Me too - after the Nyesha/Dakota elimination, I was certain they were going to keep Heather in as long as possible just to ramp up the drama. However, I also thought that Grayson deserved to go home this episode - even though Heather may have served "Bigfoot" for dinner, Grayson's entire meal concept (or lack thereof) was extremely WTF? IMO. It's Top Chef, not Mama's Homecooked Meals.

Edited by jalfredprufrock, Dec 22, 2011 @ 5:24 PM.


#84

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 5:31 PM

I couldn't believe how bad Heather looked when she sat down next to the chef they call "Malibu" and did the fake seduction. Why would a woman with that large of a belly roll and narrower shoulders, wear a clingy skimpy t-shirt? I have no problem with chubby chefs, but dang girl, learn how to dress yourself.

Maybe she has worn that before, but the way the scene was shot, it was kind of horrifying. I've missed some episodes, but I was under the impression that "Malibu" (don't know his name) was gay. I didn't pay any attention to him after Heather's spare tire took center stage, but it seemed his mind exited to a happy place when Heather wedged herself next to him.

#85

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 5:39 PM

Yes, Grayson, there are times when a big honking steak is welcome and if I'm ordering it in a restaurant, I'm sure to get my money's worth (and a happy doggy at home). But in a "fine dining" competition where cute little plates are de rigeur, it's like a sumo wrestler in a room full of supermodels. Those judges are eating seven or eight plates of food and don't need to see a brontosaurus being wasted. Cook the big honkin' thing, but slice it for them nicely. Cuz you mostly are fun to watch, girl!

#86

rab01

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 5:47 PM

jalfredprufrock -- According to Tom's blog, Grayson's dish was boring and imperfect but Heather's dish was actively terrible. He seemed to feel that Heather's dish showed not just poor execution but bad concept. He took great umbrage that anyone would try to do a braise with a rib-eye steak and you know the cardinal rule of Top Chef is to not mess up your proteins around Tom.

#87

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 5:49 PM

I found Beverly annoying and passive agressive and selfish but I didn't dislike her any more than some other contestants until I found out she had a baby, not just a kid, but a baby. Do I condemn her more because she's a woman doing it? Yeah, probably. I'll admit that. I'm a woman, I know what it takes to have a baby. I will say that I am kind of amazed that she can physically handle the challenges of being on this show. Kudos to her for that.

But dammit, if she wanted her 'privacy' she shouldn't have shown the damn pictures of her kid. Pictures that were shown in a bid for sympathy. [snip] I really, really, really wish I DIDN'T know that Beverly has a baby cause the person I'm worried about the most right now, as far as Top Chef is concerned, is that baby. I'm not kidding when I say this, she could have left him with me and I would have been the most devoted surrogate aunt in the world. Yeah, I've got a thing for babies. And I'm not saying that Dad isn't being the devoted emotional support that the baby needs. But I know that for the duration of the show, that emotional support is not coming from Beverly. At 4 months, one month away is a quarter of your life. You lose ground as a parent when you're away like that. Ground that can be hard to make up. And as far as going on TV is concerned, I don't make a distinction between Top Chef and the Kardashians. It's all voyeurism for us and using fame to get ahead for them. Top Chef requires cooking talent, Keeping up with the Kardashians requires a talent for making people want to watch you do whatever it is the Kardashians do. If it were a cooking show, we wouldn't be seeing pictures of Beverly's baby or Sarah's grandparents or Ty-Lor's nanny in the first place. It's not a cooking show. It's a reality show, with cooking.

I admire single moms who do it without help. I admire working moms who try to do the best they can for their children. (I'm a working mom myself.) I do not admire moms who leave their babies to go compete on a reality show. Sorry. She could have waited a year. I'm sure they cast these things with enough advance notice that you could respectfully bow out in exchange for future consideration because you have a baby.

Edited by TWoP Nikita, Dec 22, 2011 @ 10:02 PM.
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#88

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 6:22 PM

Although I find Bev's tears annoying as hell, I don't see her as passive aggressive and selfish.
I despise assholes who verbally assault people and think they're being direct.
And I admire Bev for refusing to play Heather's game and get into a conversation with her on that level.
I don't think her refusal to engage with Heather, refusal to have a conversation with her to tell her that she's a major bitch, shows a lack of "humbleness." She has a right to say no, by turning her head and keeping her eyes on her work.

I'm not even going to get into the mothering issue, because honestly I don't think it's any of my business, and I don't care.

Edited by sloper96, Dec 22, 2011 @ 6:25 PM.


#89

ginandtonic7

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 6:31 PM

Beverly didn't leave her baby in foster care -she left him in the care of his father. Your whole post is insulting to her husband. Apparently he isn't "good" enough to raise their child and she should have left him with a complete stranger?

Beverly isn't the first contestant to have an infant. I find the whole idea the she is harming her child, by leaving him in the dare of his Dad for a few weeks, ridiculous.

I'm glad she is doing well and that they got rid of the bully. We've already been through one season where the bullies were allowed to continue (and win) - I would have hated to see that again.

Would have been happy with any of the top dishes winning -they all looked yummy!

#90

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 6:56 PM

He took great umbrage that anyone would try to do a braise with a rib-eye steak and you know the cardinal rule of Top Chef is to not mess up your proteins around Tom.

Listening to the extended judges' table video, I think Heather didn't initially intend to braise her rib-eye. She apparently walked away while searing it (!), overcooked it, and then tried to salvage it by braising it, which of course was never going to work.