Top Chef - 7/18

I knew Lia was gone from the early editing. So last week’s winner rides the trout out of town. My taste-o-vision wasn’t working but trout on a polenta cake didn’t do anything for me.

Sure was some attractive women from the latin TV group being served :stuck_out_tongue:

How many times has Hong been included in the loser group now?

I like the way this show works - the deadwood gets cut first - no keeping someone around because you can beat them later or because they are drama queens. I think we are now down to the serious contenders. Tre is going to win it.

I love this show. These people, although quite young, have some serious cooking chops.

Nobody really sucks this year. People are getting pulled into the loser group just because they need four people so they’re finding really nitpicky criticisms, like Hung’s rice being a little dry. The personal drama seems to be all but absent. Even Joey has kind of pulled it together and hasn’t been an asshole 24/7.
I’m mildly annoyed about how afraid they all are of desserts, though. Always with the “I’m not really a pastry chef, so…” I think there’s a faint air of condescension about it, like they all think pastry is beneath them. I also think that going into the third season they should know that they’re going to have to do some desserts and they should all have researched a few things that they can bust out when the time comes (like Dave did in season 1).

Still, this season’s emphasis on cooking over drama is a welcome change after all the Marcel related angst of last season.

By the way, Hung didn’t come anywhere close to cutting Casey with that knife. He had it by his waist, not at “face level” like Colicchio claimed and he was two or three feet away from her.

I don’t think putting Hung in the bottom group was nitpicky. If you’re going to make a classic dish like arroz con pollo for the Latin episode, you have to nail it. It didn’t sound like he did from the reactions of the guests. I agree that the knife thing was an overreaction. If it was as bad as it was made out to be, Tom should have said something immediately in the kitchen, not waited till the judging.

Lia’s dish made absolutely no sense. Trout and polenta are not two foods that pop to mind when you say Latin. Also, the editing of her and Casey bonding meant one of the two was going home.

I didn’t see that. It seemed more like “we recognize that pastry is an entirely different skill set, with which none of us have much practice.” Except for that douche Joey, who was seen today to really be playing the game.

Midway through the quickfire, in a confidential interview: “At my restaurant, I deal with tarts all the time, and think I’m pretty good with desserts. I just didn’t want to show my hand last week during the fourth course mess.”

During the quickfire judging: “I made three tarts. I really don’t know much about making desserts, haven’t worked with them much, but I thought I’d give it a try.”

Unfortunately in a lot of kitchens pastry is the “bottom of the rung”. One, it’s not as EXCITING or IMMEDIATE as savory cooking (no flames! no mad knife skills!) Two, people who choose that route often don’t have the stereotypical attributes regular chefs tend to possess. To quote Tony Bourdain, “Pastry chefs are the neurosurgeons of the cooking world.” As someone who’s known and worked with a lot of pastry people, he’s got a point :wink:

In other words, pastry people aren’t seen as “exciting” as savory people. Different sets of rules. Savory claims most of the attention, so…yeah.

I was channeling the big talking stone Easter Island head from *A Night at the Museum * when Hung was fretting over his messy mousse - Too much rum, dum-dum!

He pours antifreeze into the stuff and wonders why it won’t set up in the freezer? :smack:

As for the knife bit - he was darting about with a cleaver. I don’t care if it’s waist level or at face level. You just shouldn’t be running around with sharp things!

I think the criticisms of Hung centered around the blandness of his dish and the childishness of his reaction. None of the Dame Chocolate cast or crew liked it. Plus, his “buenos tardes” gaffe made at least one of them laugh. He seemed very careless with that cleaver to me, and very careless in general as he buzzed all around the kitchen. He knew it too because he didn’t argue arrogantly, as he had done about the food.

Agreed. He was acting as if he was alone in the kitchen and was clearly not looking where he was going. I’m growing to dislike him immensely, and glad that he was in the bottom 4 (which, judging from the TV cast’s reaction, he definitely deserved).

I think it’s kinda cute that Joey & Howie are tight as they are, after the chest-beating BS that went down not so long ago. I hope we don’t see Casey on the verge of tears each ep, because this is two in a row, now.

What I like most is that there aren’t any true standouts. Hung seemed like a force early on, but he’s proving to be a lot more hat than cattle. Tre was also coming out early, but has been negligible the last few eps. Howie has won 2 eliminations, but he’s still seen as vulnerable because of the time issues. So there really aren’t any “favorites”, just some that seem more likely than others. I’m looking forward to how things play out since it seems clearer and clearer that they better bring their A-game regularly or it’ll be enough to get you thrown in the loser bunch quickly.

That’s something that amazes my wife about guys — how they can come to blows and then be best pals afterwards. I love watching the UFC bouts on wide-screen hi-def, and once in a blue moon she’ll watch them with me. When the guys hug and express respect for each other immediately after ripping at each other’s eyeballs, she just shakes her head in amazement. :smiley:

I guess I’m in the minority in liking Hung. It’s like Marcel all over again. I see an energetic, cheerful and intelligent guy who’s passionate and enthusiastic about cooking. I don’t see arrogance at all-- at least no more than anyone else. Arrogance is no weakness in a chef anyway, nor is it a rarity.

It’s one thing to be an arrogant chef, but it’s quite another to be an arrogant contestant arguing back at the people judging him. As in “Well, that’s your opinion,” to the visiting (and accomplished) chef. Arrogance in that context is indistinguishable from stupidity.

I think my dislike of Hung is more due to his usual disregard of anything other than praise from the judges as “they’re crazy” or “they don’t know what they’re talking about”. It may be fine to feel that way but for his sake in the competition he shouldn’t make it as apparent as he does. The judges have to pick up on that.

Guys are very upfront with each other. Women can dislike each other intensely but still go through with a polite, superficial facade. Guys aren’t very good at that. If they’re getting on each others nerves, they’ll come right out and say so. On the surface this can make their relationships look more volatile or acrimonious than they actually are. The good part of these kind of interactions is that they get things out of their systems right away instead of carrying them around and letting them fester. They have their nose-to-nose and then they can forget all about it. Those kind of guy fights are like a flame that burns really brightly for second and then disappears. They’re not really a hot as they look. They can forget about it and still bond the next dayy because what happened yesterday happened yesterday. they’ve already “discussed” it. No reason to hold a grudge about it. It’s over.

My wife has had trouble understanding this kind of dynamic too. I just shrug and say “it’s a guy thing.”

I think you’re exactly right, Dio. :slight_smile:

Howie - it’s been driving my Top Chef-watching pal and I crazy - who does he look like?? Some actor, I think - a dead ringer.

Or is it just that he looks like the guard from Animaniacs?

Anybody notice this?

I loved it when Tom was chatting with the cast, and he asked, “Who’s the bitch?”

Yes! It was also great when they all answered instantly, and she was sitting right beside him. :smiley:

I know exactly whom you’re thinking about, but I can’t pull enough together in my head to Google it. He plays a lot of character roles, usually as a bodyguard or chauffeur or good-hearted sympathetic thug of some sort.