Top Chef 8/8

Can’t say I’m surprised at Sara N. leaving. I saw it coming a couple of episodes ago. Not because she fought with Howie the last time around but…I don’t know, I just can’t put my finger on it other than she never looked happy to be there.

I’m beginning to think TC and HK borrow from each other. Didn’t HK last year have a challenge involving two transport kitchens? Not that having a challenge like this is bad because chefs should have experience cooking in all kinds of different venues, but it seemed such a blatant rip-off. Ditto the “remake a comfort classic” on HK a couple of weeks ago.

Now about Howie. He’s a bulldog but there’s something about him I find compelling. I don’t know if it’s charisma or what, but emotionally he’s so all over the place that I can’t help but bit my lip when he does/says something stupid without realizing it. I honestly don’t think he’s a bad guy offscreen. I do think the stress of being on TC is getting to him, though.

Anyone notice how quiet Hung was this episode? It’s almost as though he’s deliberately taking the backseat and letting Howie be the bad guy.

Congratulations Tre! I really hope you make it to the finals!

It’s a bummer to think you’re going out for a fun night on the town and then end up having to work your ass off in high heels. But if Sara really wanted to win bad enough, she could have risen above it.

Oysters as an after-bar snack? No thanks. The quesadillas and bacon-wrapped shrimp looked delicious, though.

I don’t think Howie’s a bad guy either. He seemed genuinely sorry that he had hurt Sara’s feelings without realizing it. He has a lot of potential as a chef, and I see him sticking aorund until the end, if for nothing else but the drama.

I totally knew CJ was going to win the whole “what chef would you like to share a midnight snack with.” Heh.

I guess I was a little surprised that a raw bar and ceviche tacos were so popular with the late night bar crowd. Personally, I always went for a cheeseburger and cheddar fries when I was out boozing.

I want to know what happened to that ice cream in the quick fire. Every close up they showed looked like what I used to call “ice cream soup” when I was 5. Completely melted & yukky looking.

Or onion rings. I probably would’ve grabbed the sliders first, then Hung’s onion ring/chicken wing combo, and finished off with Casey’s quesedilla.

I think ceviche/raw bar thing is more geographical/cultural than anything else. Like you’ve been dancing at a hot-and-sweaty club in a city that has a hot-and-sweaty climate. The last thing you want to eat is something hot because the drinking’s made you even more hot and sweaty. Raw bar! Ice! Ceviche!

Then again I’ve never been a raw bar/ceviche fan either. But that’s just me shrug

One thing we know…Ted Allen loves him some bacon.

Speaking as someone who grew up in Chicago, those were not sliders! They were small cheeseburgers.

Sliders are wicked little greasebombs and don’t have fresh lettuce and tomato. You have to be at least half-drunk to eat more than two genuine White Castle sliders, so the alcohol in your stomach can help dissolve the grease.

As for a night on the town turning into a challenge in the parking lot of what’s apparently Miami’s hottest club, well, that was just mean. Especially since they were dressed to the sevens. (Not the nines. Which one of them was it that said not to worry about looking fabulous since there was no way they’d be kept out?)

However, the contestants should have been able to rise to the occasion. I think it was Colicky who said something to the effect of “By now you should be used to the idea of working at the party rather than being at the party.”

Tall words for someone whose restaurant can’t even handle sandwiches very well.

Oh the ice cream… Hung needs to be sentenced to working for tips at Cold Stone for a week as penance for putting <urk> cauliflower and whatever the hell it was in ice cream. The caramelized berries and balsamic vinegar did sound interesting - I might not want a whole bowl of it, but I’d definitely try it. I was actually surprised Dale won with such a safe thing like peach cobbler.

We need to send him some bacon salt! :smiley:

Anybody else notice that Howie makes pork every week? I keep waiting for somebody catch on and call him on it. There is other protein. I’m starting to dislike him more and more every week, and not just because pork is all he cooks.

Joey mentioned it several weeks ago.

I thought the whole thing of giving them a night off and then springing the elimination challenge on them was just mean-spirited and pointless. It added nothing to the show, told us nothing about their abilities as chefs, and was just stupid. I was really annoyed with Padma’s self-satisfied smirk as she stood there crushing their hopes of a night out.

How many times does Howie have to be an asshole on a group challenge before he gets the boot? I mean, his obstinacy and unwillingness to work with others might be forgivable if the choices he forced upon them were not so lame, and if he produced outstanding quality food of his own, but he insists on doing things his way and things still turn out crappy. None of them had anything complimentary to say about his pork sandwich; at least a couple of the judges said they really liked Sara’s burgers.

At least they spared us shots of Howie dripping sweat into his food in this episode.

Yeah, Howie has proven very adept when working alone, but a disaster when thrown in a group. Since a lot of the remaining challenges are group-oriented, this only spells trouble.

Right. He just will not listen. When Hung was telling him last week about keeping the sauce separate from the pasta, I really believe Howie when he said he didn’t hear Hung say that. I’m afraid that I’d have slapped the crap out of him long before now.

That wasn’t Howie ignoring Hung, it was Joey.

It took me a long time to tell Howie and Joey apart.

On Ted Allen’s blog, he wrote that he realized it was insensitive of him to respond to Sara N’s point about having to cook in heels and a low-cut blouse with “You couldn’t cook because you didn’t like your outfit?” This was definitely a challenge that gave the guys an advantage.

No they didn’t. It happened at least twice.

He is really an awful teammate, and which ever team he’s on will lose. He has beyond failed the leadership part of the contest. He cannot win. Plus, even on his own, he’s not that good (he should have been eliminated in week 1 for not finishing the task.)

For a moment there I thought both Sara N. and Howie were both going to be eliminated.

But yeah, Howie’s inability to work well with others is going to be his downfall. His love of pork doesn’t even come close.

I think this weeks elimination was a sobering and cynical message. You want to make it in the food business… you muat bw asertive and ready for anything… Unfair, Yes. Stupid, Yes. Misogynistic, maybe.

It’s the eat or be eaten gastronomy. Nothing new, Can’t take the heat…

The reality is the customer. Interesting what happens when the customers and service are at steak. She was lacking on the burgers, no doubt.

Shrimp and grits I’d never want after a night out. Might haave been good but it’s not after hours food. I think the fix was in with Govind.