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"Top Chef" (2006-) Reality Chef-Competition Series on Bravo - Now in Season 16


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I'm just wondering how long Mark is going to continue to skate by unnoticed.
It took longer than I thought it should have, but I wasn't sorry to see Mark go this week. His technique was sloppy, his plating was sloppy, and aside from a few mildly interesting dishes, he hadn't done much of note. His curry was boring - as the judges said, he missed a great opportunity to make an exciting vegetarian dish. Heck, he could have bought a bag of frozen mixed veg to throw in with the sweet potatoes and it would have been a big improvement!

I caught up on the last two weeks last night, and think one of the Polish sausage team deserved to go more than Jen. That opinion is based on thinking that none of the assigned ingredient was used in the dish.

Stephanie has had a few close calls the last two episodes - I hope she gets it together and is around for the long haul. I'd like to see her, Dale, and Richard as the top three.

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Another win for Kwame, congrats!  With Marjorie also wowing the judges but getting nudged out.  Nice showing by our hometown chefs.  Unfortunately, the annoyiing manbun chef remains.

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I really thought Lisa, or even Stephanie were going to go home. I think Mark got a bum rap on this episode. Don't get me wrong, he was never going to make it to the finals, but I think Lisa's dish was perhaps weak, but not as good *tasting* as his. I think they nitpicked him on the 'protein' comments. Also, Stephanie's dish looked like a mess. She screeched by last episode and more or les got to have the blame passed to someone else. But this dish was all her and she did not pull it off at all. No matter what you say, I think she got a buy here due to her past successes, but she used up every ounce of it all with this episode. She's clearly got talent, but she's been flailing about these past couple.

Mark was still kinda messed up with repeated comments about his hygiene this episode and two episodes ago. That said, his earlier successes are far too far in the past and his other transgressions since have not helped him.

And I can not BELIEVE that Nikki and Spike are still in it. And Lisa. They all need to go.

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I guess my eyes deceived me, then. I could have sworn that when we froze the frames of the chefs at the WF registers, the totals were falling right around $50.

I have that shot. And you're right, the total was just over $50. But the shot of the register was a tight shot that didn't have any chefs in frame. It could have been shot at any time, it could have been B-roll they pulled from a different episode, it could have been a random shopper shopping -- we have no way of knowing. The editors put all of this stuff together so that it looks seamless, but in the span of ten seconds you could have three or four shots that were all done weeks apart from each other.

It's difficult to make out the specific ingredients listed on the register in that shot, but I got navel oranges, figs and half & half (among others). None of the dishes this week put those ingredients together, so I'm inclined to think it was from another episode, or one of the cameras getting random register shots that had nothing to do with the challenge.

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It was -- see upthread -- since confirmed by Ted Allen.

(They just didn't use very much of it.)

Ah ha - now I see all that you were saying previously... good call! and nice shout out to you by Ted. They really should have made this clearer in the episode, because it wasn't even clear that they used Polish Sausage at all!

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She's gone. Finally.

Finally!! It took way too long for them to realize that she can't make (her "specialty") pasta well.

Side note, but did the bride change into a 2nd wedding dress? I've heard of changing into a dress for the reception, just not a bigger and more elaborate wedding dress...

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Why on earth would anyone ever eat at Nikki's restaurant after her appearance on this show? She's incapable of taking the lead on anything clearly, so that speaks to the type of kitchen she runs, and for all the hullabaloo she made about specializing in Italian cuisine, she can't even do it well!

I feel bad for the cooks and chefs who get eliminated in the first half or so of Top Chef, especially the consistent underperformers, because I feel like they unnecessarily tarnish their reputations in front of a large audience because they often can't execute simple things. When it gets to the later stages with the more talented chefs being eliminated for minor things because the competition is so stiff, it becomes less of an issue.

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Side note, but did the bride change into a 2nd wedding dress?
I thought the exact same thing - it did look like a different dress - or at least a different bottom or overskirt. Very strange!
Why on earth would anyone ever eat at Nikki's restaurant after her appearance on this show?
I wondered to myself this morning if I would eat at her restaurant if the opportunity presented itself. I think I'd rather head to Harold's Perilla if looking for Top Chef dining in NYC.

The celebrity chef cook-off between Josie (Season 2) and Dale (Season 3) -Ted Allen is judging- could be interesting.

What a contrast in outcomes between working as a team and functioning with baby duck syndrome. I knew it was going to be Nikki...but it seemed like a close call for Spike. Good to see Stephanie back on her game (even if Lisa's cake tasted better, according to Chef Tom) - that cake was pretty impressive for the amount of time she had to pull it off.

I LOVE the relay Quickfire - fun to watch good/bad/uncertain technique on display.

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Ok thanks for comfirming that weirdness to me.. the skirt was definitely different, i thought it might have been an overlay of some sort too... the bodice was totally different as well - hmm!

She probably had a train. When they bustle the train, it makes the skirt look more lumpy and/or fluffy. Just what a bride wants...a bigger rear on her wedding day.

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She's gone. Finally.

She should have been gone weeks ago. Srsly. Thank goodness she's outta there. That said, I think Spike saved himself by making is dish well, even if it forced him to shirk all of his other duties. I hope Spike goes next, and then Lisa.

I LOVE the relay Quickfire - fun to watch good/bad/uncertain technique on display.

I completely agree. Great fun.

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I LOVE the relay Quickfire - fun to watch good/bad/uncertain technique on display.

Same her. Last year's relay was easily my favorite quickfire done in any of the four seasons!

This last episode was probably my favorite of the season so far. My favorite line was when one of the judges told Spike that they liked his fish and Dale chimed in with a "You should have, it took him three and a half hours to make it!"

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My favorite line was when one of the judges told Spike that they liked his fish and Dale chimed in with a "You should have, it took him three and a half hours to make it!"
Oh I was dying when he said that. And maybe it was edited but it seemed like he fired it off really quickly. What a great dig. Beth said the same thing about the dress. She said it was definitely a completely different dress. The lady was a wedding planner so maybe she had her eyes on a couple she had seen befor and couldn't decide or got hooked up by some local dressmakers or something.
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Well, Andrew got the axe. I thought he'd make the top 4 or 5, so he got close to where I saw him going. He got bounced for not following the rules *and* not executing his dish *and* not really taking in to account the challenge it would be to migrate a 'typical' police (cadet) from normal bad for you food to nutritious and tasty food. Dang.

I still think he was robbed.

Spike's dish was boring and weird. Lisa's dish was poorly executed. They both need to go, and they will. But one of them should have gone this week. BAH!

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Well, Andrew got the axe. I thought he'd make the top 4 or 5, so he got close to where I saw him going. He got bounced for not following the rules *and* not executing his dish *and* not really taking in to account the challenge it would be to migrate a 'typical' police (cadet) from normal bad for you food to nutritious and tasty food. Dang.

I still think he was robbed.

Spike's dish was boring and weird. Lisa's dish was poorly executed. They both need to go, and they will. But one of them should have gone this week. BAH!

I, too, thought that Lisa should have gone. Plus, they are presenting her as extremely unlikable and I'd like to see her go. Spike's a tool.

In the end, I think that Andrew was chosen not because he broke the rules, but because he was offering them only three tiny effing little "sushi" rolls.

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The bottom three were so rude and argumentative at the judges' table. I know they're upset and defensive about their food and in danger of being booted. But based on watching a couple of seasons of this show, it doesn't seem like anyone's ever succeeded in arguing their way out of an elimination.

It did make for some good reality TV though.

I was so hoping they would send Spike home. He totally blew off the challenge, acting like his stupid bread, lettuce, chicken and tomato gave him immunity. Ha. Blocking people from using tomatoes? Big deal - wasn't this filmed in late fall / winter ? Seems like there would be plenty of better vegetables to choose from anyway. Lisa is just unpleasant to watch and her food / attitude sucks. I assume the two of them will be next.

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Any of those three dummies could have gotten kicked off last night and I was hoping that it was going to be Lisa. Could anyone be a bigger whiner and complainer and overall pain in the ass!? I don't watch any reality TV other than Top Chef, so I am sure that there are much worse people out there that get on these shows, but she freakin sucks

Personally, I would have loved it if they just said, "Screw it, you all suck anyway, you are all gone!"

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Any of those three dummies could have gotten kicked off last night and I was hoping that it was going to be Lisa. Could anyone be a bigger whiner and complainer and overall pain in the ass!? I don't watch any reality TV other than Top Chef, so I am sure that there are much worse people out there that get on these shows, but she freakin sucks

Personally, I would have loved it if they just said, "Screw it, you all suck anyway, you are all gone!"

Andrew was entertainingly bizarre, but I thought he needed to have his lithium level checked--he probably wasn't on a therapeutic dose.

The producers really teased the viewers with the suggestion of sabotage. A number of the competitors discounted it but there were quite a few shots of Spike looking devilish. I was glad to see him in the bottom three, since his dish was lame. But there have been instances of similar sabotage in past years. Any guesses who the culprit was? I see Spike, Andrew and Dale as having the potential to be saboteurs.

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My guess is that there wasn't any sabotage at all. There are seven chefs running around the kitchen like idiots with tons of pots and pans all over the place. It is possible that someone turned up the flame on Lisa's brown rice, but I highly doubt that it was on purpose. I think that it is more likely that she just made a flub on her own and, in typical pain in the ass fashion, she had to blame everyone and their mother for it.

Lisa is now on the list of people that I would want to punch in the face if I saw them. I, of course, wouldn't do it because I am a pansy, but she is on that list.

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Personally, I would have loved it if they just said, "Screw it, you all suck anyway, you are all gone!"

My thought exactly :-)

And put me in the camp that thinks the stove issue was probably either an accident, or that Lisa screwed it up herself. But if somebody did sabotage her, it would only strike me as being in character for Spike. Dale's displayed plenty of contempt for her, but having contempt for her and being willing to sabotage her are two very, very different things. And I'm surprised that Andrew could be considered a suspect. He's a nutjob, but he seemed like an honorable (if somewhat egotistical) fellow, even before his reaction to Lisa throwing him under the bus. Spike, on the other hand, has already outed himself as somebody willing to screw over the others -- ingredient selection this week, reporting pantries "cleaned out" during the block party... and I think there was another instance as well that I can't recall at the moment.

But most likely, just an accident.

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Well, Andrew got the axe.

That's what happens when you get a culinary boner on TV. ;)

Personally, I would have loved it if they just said, "Screw it, you all suck anyway, you are all gone!"

I agree, I was sitting there yelling at the TV saying "send them all home!" None of their dishes looked good. And what size balls does Spike have to sit in front of the camera and say he picked lettuce, tomato, bread and chicken to screw everyone else then blatantly deny it when asked about it at the judges table. C'mon.....

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I used to be an avid top chef watcher but the last few seasons I've just filled in when I can. Being that I haven't watched in a while -- during todays elimination it shocked me to see how resistant all chefs were of the criticism and shameless might i add.

Did I miss something?...it just seemed like prior chefs of previous seasons have been much more respectful and understanding to the criticisms of then panel. I was a little disturbed..tom put spike in his place but i felt that all three needed more of a reality check...at least andrews got his. I like it when the panel (Tom) cracks the whip ;) ...he needs to do it more on panel with this pompous season (or at least from what I've picked up from the bottom three in todays episode).

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I think there are some chefs every season that constantly tend to be more aggressive with negative critiques from the judges, but this year is definitely full of them. However, I think you did happen to stumble upon a bit of an abnormality. All three of the bottom chefs not only bit back at the comments, but they bit hard. I, personally, found it a bit hilarious.

A friend of mine did have a great observation though: it has been stated that this challenge occurred the day right after the wedding challenge (a Richard comment near the beginning of the episode), it is quite possible that they were still just very much on edge due to the mass exhaustion/lack of sleep.

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A friend of mine did have a great observation though: it has been stated that this challenge occurred the day right after the wedding challenge (a Richard comment near the beginning of the episode), it is quite possible that they were still just very much on edge due to the mass exhaustion/lack of sleep.

I wondered about this too. So do all the challenges take place one day after the previous one? I also read somewhere that the judging process can take hours and they have to sit around in that room the whole time. So I sort of assumed they would get a day to rest in between. Or at least after the ones where they stay up really late (the wedding wars, the catering trucks for the clubbers last season). If it really takes place in such quick succession, I don't know how any of them can even function by the end.

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One quick note on the sabotage, with multiple cameras constantly rolling if someone had messed with the stove it would have been on film somewhere. If it had been on film I feel like the producers most definitely would have used it. That would have been dramatic gold for them. So I am inclined to believe that she just screwed up.

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One quick note on the sabotage, with multiple cameras constantly rolling if someone had messed with the stove it would have been on film somewhere.

Not necessarily. Everyone is back and forth at the stove, it would only take a second to accomplish with a small movement of the hand, shielded from view by the saboteur's own body. I remember in the first season, someone was lowering the oven temperature that others had set, so it is clearly a tactic with a precedent.

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....A friend of mine did have a great observation though: it has been stated that this challenge occurred the day right after the wedding challenge (a Richard comment near the beginning of the episode), it is quite possible that they were still just very much on edge due to the mass exhaustion/lack of sleep.

I thought about this, too. But some people handle it better than others. And we all must remember....it's all in the editing, natch. :lol:

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This was hinted at during one of the Smithsonian events, but one of our local chefs is going to be judging on Top Chef tonight.
According to the Post's Style section, it's Jose Andres.

It is Jose Andres. Last week they showed a preview for tonight's show and he was in it.

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How is that stupid foul mouthed !@#%#$($*%& Lisa still in it?!??!? Good lord. And Spike has lasted 3-4 weeks longer than he should have on pure strategy. I would have liked to see Dale in the final but he did screw up...by choosing to be head chef (and ok that scallop dish sounded pretty bad). Bt still are you serious!? When are these guys going to learn, there are two things every contestant should know by now, have a pastry dish ready and don't FREAKING VOLUNTEER TO BE HEAD CHEF IN RESTAURANT WARS!! In the last two seasons my favorite contestants are batting 0-2 against restaurant wars. First Tre and now Dale, if my favorite volunteers for head chef next season I am turning off the TV.

Also one thing about the restaurant wars (and also just team challenges) that always bugs me is how they rip on the head chef for not having control or if there are teamwork problems by saying something like "part of being a good head chef is having control blah blah" but there is such a different dynamic here. In this show someone could tell the "head chef" to go fuck themselves when they make suggestions or ask for something. But in a real life kitchen you would probably be fired on the spot and there is a good chance you would soil your reputation around town. I just fail to see what kind of options the head chef has to get things done when positive reinforcement, politeness etc. are too far gone to be considered an option, as in Dale and Lisa's case.

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How is that stupid foul mouthed !@#%#$($*%& Lisa still in it?!??!? Good lord....
The Toronto troll and Spike should emulate one of the City’s eponymous troubadours and learn their craft with their mouths wired shut.

Of course the hallmark of a good television producer (whose show airs opposite the X-Files) is to nurture salacious underdog drama during a contest that offers more to traffic wreck spectators -who now can’t wait to see what happens next week- than culinary posterity. While Dale’s Top Shit-show was visual ipecac, he showed more skills in 3 elimination wins than his sciatic co-anchors whose acerbic presence and sheepish accountability is enough to curdle astroglide and who collectively have won 1 challenge... ranked low 9 times... and make me want to watch more. Canning contestants for single challenge jeers rather than cumulative cheers (ie: Tre) undermines an arbitrary competition which can not be measured like a sporting event, however a show which heralds timid cooks solely on talents rather than congeniality or concentrated evil would not fare well among Nielsen families.

This game show is expertly choreographed and edited with reactive personalities cleverly funneled for Dionysian drama (Marcel vs Idiot). To think otherwise would ruin mythical folklore figures and magic shows. Producers and viewers can make it easily. Yup. I know that they both agree, the best thing to happen to Frick & Frike is best thing that happened to Bravo TV. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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While it was a tough choice to pick the loser between Dale and Lisa, I think they were right to kick Dale, he really blew it as the "Executive Chef" and the way he acted actually made Lisa look OK in comparison. And Spike actually cleaned up pretty well when they got rid of the hat and put him in a suit. I think AB got it right, by some combination of luck, Spike managed to stay out of the middle of the train wreck that was Dale and Lisa in the kitchen.

I certainly hope that Lisa is the one to go next week.

As an aside, I think that the producers should have it in the contract, you get caught sabotaging another chef's work and you get thrown off the show.

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What a f*&*#ing joke.

Dale blew it, sort of. His primary dish looked unappetizing. I'll give you that. But don't call the guy out for not running his kitchen correctly when you have that whack-job Lisa sabotaging everything. Dale a whiner? Puh-leeze!!! Lisa has got to be the biggest whiner of all time. Yes yes, I know it's all in the editing, but her monologues are her chance to spin things her way and she comes off as a complete beee-yotch. Lisa's poorly executed dishes should have gotten her the boot, totally and completely.

Spike executed the tactics of his overarching strategy well this episode and it means he has a really good chance now to make it to the Final Four as I think Lisa will crack and fall apart next episode (unless Spike has a complete meltdown).

No matter what happens next week, I hope that the three on the other team make it through -- they better. And I don't care who makes it through between Spike and Lisa. Neither will win it all. Even if they BOTH make it to the final (shudder!), neither will win it all.

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I'm not totally sorry to see Dale go, as his attitude was only a smidge better than Lisa's, overall. But Lisa has been in the bottom so many times, for really bad food, while Dale has shown that he can cook some really good dishes (even if he is a tool). I thought that maybe their overall strengths as, y'know, a Top Chef, could have been taken into consideration. But I'm sure the producers were thinking, hey, throwing out one of the favorites makes for some good reality TV.

I wasn't totally surprised to see them repeat desserts, since as they keep saying, they're not pastry chefs. But I thought maybe someone could have found a way to make banana scallop dish not look like poop, literally.

Wait, does this mean that either Lisa or Spike will have to be in the final four? I think so. That is just wrong.

(I have to say, Stephanie and Spike looked really cute all dressed up. Spike would be an attractive man, if he just shut up and got a new personality. And lost the hats.)

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I wasn't totally surprised to see them repeat desserts, since as they keep saying, they're not pastry chefs. But I thought maybe someone could have found a way to make banana scallop dish not look like poop, literally.

I am actually surprised that most of these guys do not have a larger arsenal of dessert choices. I mean, they know they are going to have to do pastry at some point, why not just try out a few recipes beforehand and write them down. I know it is not "Top Pastry Chef" (now that would be a show I would watch religiously), but I think repeating the same dessert is kind of weak. It seems like Stephanie is the only one that has grasp on the pastry. I honestly would expect more out of Richard in that regard.

Also, it is unfortunate that Dale got the boot. Yes, he is pretty much an ass and a one trick pony (only doing Asian cuisine), but I think he has more talent in the kitchen than Lisa. He also doesn't make as many weird facial expressions as Lisa does (she really is becoming hard to look at..). I was thinking it was going to be Richard, Stephanie, Antonia, and Dale in the final. Now I think it will be Spike taking Dale's place.

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Yes, he is pretty much an ass and a one trick pony (only doing Asian cuisine)

As opposed to somebody who does Italian, French, Spanish and German, thereby only doing "European" cuisine?

As Bourdain said, "Asia's a big place."

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As opposed to somebody who does Italian, French, Spanish and German, thereby only doing "European" cuisine?

As Bourdain said, "Asia's a big place."

I don't think he's a one-trick pony, but his Asia chops are not be as broad as the continent if he doesn't know how to make the heavenly nectar that is laksa.

But really, I have more problems with a woman who can't seem to cook rice. I've got to think SOMEONE is sabotaging her burners--even if it is just the producers, for comic effect.

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...a woman who can't seem to cook rice.
Steaming rice in a yard sale grade warped aluminum pan with Glad™ plastic wrap might work for Rick Deckard, but until then the rest of the developing universe uses lids with either brown paper bags or damp towels.

Sprick and Lisa leapfrog at Mia House. Kind of spoiler alert but not really.

Will the laminated Donrockwell.com/index.php?s membership card get a discount on an “Ebay dinner for 6 with Spike!” ?

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As opposed to somebody who does Italian, French, Spanish and German, thereby only doing "European" cuisine?

As Bourdain said, "Asia's a big place."

Good point. It just seems like he only makes food in the style of his restaurant "Buddakan". Very similar to season 2 when Ilan only made Spanish food in the style of his restaurant (although he ended up winning). I guess the impression I get of Dale is that he doesn't have a huge repetorie (sp?) of sishes outside of what he does at Buddakan. I think last year, Hung did a pretty good job of mixing it up (cuisine-wise), even though he leaned toward Asian.

I don't know, I guess "one-trick pony" was the wrong word choice. We just doesn't seem very "well rounded".

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On another note, I think Tom Colicchio better be sure to not be absent anymore. Bourdain is going to swipe that job from him!

"Baby vomit with wood chips", I believe could be the funniest line from that show in a long time.

Seriously - Bourdain was FAR more entertaining in that role than Colicchio ever was. Anytime, TC tries to say something snarky, it just sounds canned.

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