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Top Chef Season 4


KristiB50
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IMO. I didn't see it as popularity. Dale was executive chef. He was responsible for everything that went out of that kitchen. He choose to let Lisa fail thinking if she serves this swill she'll get the boot. As EC he should have insisted Lisa start again or have Spike and Lisa switch positions. It was all about leadership and making the right decisions to open a successful restaurant.

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IMO.  I didn't see it as popularity.  Dale was executive chef. He was responsible for everything that went out of that kitchen.  He choose to let Lisa fail thinking if she serves this swill she'll get the boot.  As EC he should have insisted Lisa start again or have Spike and Lisa switch positions.  It was all about leadership and making the right decisions to open a successful restaurant.

i would so have loved to see lisa do the FOH!!!! i am giggling with evil glee, just picturing that. i feel certain that someone woulda had laksa intentionally spilled on them for some perceived snark to her.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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IMO.  I didn't see it as popularity.  Dale was executive chef. He was responsible for everything that went out of that kitchen.  He choose to let Lisa fail thinking if she serves this swill she'll get the boot.  As EC he should have insisted Lisa start again or have Spike and Lisa switch positions.  It was all about leadership and making the right decisions to open a successful restaurant.

I'm with you. It WAS about the food, not just personalities. Dale let his personality compromise the food. He could have been a jerk, and still, if his team had kicked culinary butt, he'd have been a safe jerk. But he not only let Lisa sink herself, he one upped her with a horrible dish as well. Running a restaurant is a team sport. If you can't be on a team, I don't see how you can be a top chef.

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I'm no huge Spike fan either, but that was particularly humerous to watch during Judge's Table.  Especially AB's reaction to it.  As other posters have said, he was so totally on to what Spike was doing.  And yet, Spike pulled it off.  Gotta give him a few points for that.

Not enough points to keep him around too much longer, but a few.

Yeah, but I gotta say, I think AB had respect for Spike's method of playing the game--he got his kitchen claim in with the braise, did well out in front, and knew that his teammates would bring each other down. AB is a smart guy, I feel like he would have respect for that.

But that is just my guess.

On another note, I think AB shouldn't replace Tom--he should replace Padma. Then he gets to tell his jokes AND be around all the time. I think he would be well balanced by Tom's thoughtfulness, but he could still have free reign to call things doll heads and baby vomit...

Gnomey

The GastroGnome

(The adventures of a Gnome who does not sit idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages)

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If Dale lost because he was executive chef, then shouldn't Antonia have won?

You can't attribute everything to the leader all of the time. Dale seems to knwo how to cook but has trouble conceptualizing dishes, which (to me) accounted for his scallop mishap.

He told Lisa over and over that her soup tasted bad. Spike also told her it was terrible. She wouldn't change it. For the past SEVERAL episodes she's made horrible dishes and somehow manages to avoid the boot. Dale won the challenge last episode and yet he was still treated horribly. I think most of his rage came from always being stuck with crappy people. I'd be constantly annoyed, too. Remember when she won over him for making a piece of bacon?

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If Dale lost because he was executive chef, then shouldn't Antonia have won?

You can't attribute everything to the leader all of the time. Dale seems to knwo how to cook but has trouble conceptualizing dishes, which (to me) accounted for his scallop mishap.

He told Lisa over and over that her soup tasted bad. Spike also told her it was terrible. She wouldn't change it. For the past SEVERAL episodes she's made horrible dishes and somehow manages to avoid the boot. Dale won the challenge last episode and yet he was still treated horribly. I think most of his rage came from always being stuck with crappy people. I'd be constantly annoyed, too.  Remember when she won over him for making a piece of bacon?

I agree with you - Dale has been robbed and, despite winning several challenges, has always been shortchanged on the goodies.

BTW, Steph won the trip to Spain for two - did anyone hear her offer to take Richard? (!!) (Just a joke.)

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IMO.  I didn't see it as popularity.  Dale was executive chef. He was responsible for everything that went out of that kitchen.  He choose to let Lisa fail thinking if she serves this swill she'll get the boot.  As EC he should have insisted Lisa start again or have Spike and Lisa switch positions.  It was all about leadership and making the right decisions to open a successful restaurant.

In my experience, trying to manage insubordinate, combative people is a no-win situation within a 5 hour window of time.

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I agree with you - Dale has been robbed

Fate was sealed on a coin toss. Dale is a good cook but doesn't play well with others and has never broken out of his comfort zone.

Neither did Hung. Or Ilan for that matter. I see why Dale got sent home, but have a problem with them sending home the executive chef from the losing team each year. Why would anyone agree to be executive chef? Why wouldn't the others just tank the contest to get him/her sent home.

Lisa should have gone. She only had to cook and she tanked both dishes she made. Dale should have stayed on the strength of his dessert and the short ribs.

On another subject - did anyone else notice how dissapointed Andrew looked when Jennifer and Nikki were picked to help out? I'm sorry he got sent home he just seemed more fun than the others.

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Scallops and butterscotch?? :unsure:  Really dude??? Blech!

I can't comment on that one because I haven't tried it but I've done Sam Mason's Halibut with Miso Butterscotch and it is good. Very good.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I would be missing Top Chef due to a food trip to Las Vegas. Now that I've been back two weeks I've had the chance to catch up on watching tapes of the past three episodes. Quite interesting-and also disappointing that we are this late in the season and the Chefs are being challenged with catering a wedding and flipping potatoes as short order cooks. That's not really my idea of the definition of a Top Chef.

Coming from a trip where I tasted their food and visited with some of the "Top Chefs" in America today, I can say by comparison that most of the cheftestants, (not all), that remain on Top Chef have a very long way to go to even be close to cooking, (and conducting themselves), at the level of what some of us consider to be a top restaurant kitchen.

So if you are in the mood for a diversion from Top Chef and would like to take a look at my trip to Las Vegas, go over to the Restaurants, Cuisine and Travel Forum, then go to the Southwest and Western States sub-forum. Go to my post titled "Vegas Uncork'd." The most recent posts review meals I had at L'Atelier at the MGM and Bradley Ogden at Caesar's. Hopefully, whoever wins Top Chef, they'll someday be cooking at this level of restaurant.

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To quote a former contestant, Dale is a "douchebag and a tool" and totally deserved to go home.  ?? :unsure:  Really dude??? Blech!

Where was this quote from? Sounds like a fun site.

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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I would be missing Top Chef due to a food trip to Las Vegas.  Now that I've been back two weeks I've had the chance to catch up on watching tapes of the past three episodes. Quite interesting-and also disappointing that we are this late in the season and the Chefs are being challenged with catering a wedding and flipping potatoes as short order cooks.  That's not really my idea of the definition of a Top Chef.

...

The would-be "Top Chefs" stepping into a real kitchen and turning out a real meal is a highlight of this season. Even though it was still a set up situation, this is closer to reality than most reality cooking shows get. A bit like when Bourdain returned to the line at Les Halles.

A chef that doesn't possess/retain the skills and cool to step in and turnout a breakfast rush is not ready to assume more lofty responsibilities.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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To quote a former contestant, Dale is a "douchebag and a tool" and totally deserved to go home.  ?? :unsure:  Really dude??? Blech!

Where was this quote from? Sounds like a fun site.

that was season one, i believe. said in reference to stephen, by the young culinary student/model, right before he told her she would "fail. horribly." on the season wrap-up show, they showed the unedited diatribe, and it rolled for about 12 minutes. it's gotta be on youtube, but i don't know how to youtube...worth finding, if you like that kind of thing---there were some good jibes flung about.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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To quote a former contestant, Dale is a "douchebag and a tool" and totally deserved to go home.  ?? :unsure:  Really dude??? Blech!

Where was this quote from? Sounds like a fun site.

here you go. It begins about 30 seconds in. The actual argument lasted like 30 or 40 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvIc7C1egAM...ACEFCE&index=12

I'm a huge nerd.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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Scallops and butterscotch?? :unsure:  Really dude??? Blech!

AMEN!! My palette is not as well trained as some here on Egullet, but even I went "gross" to that!

I think the right person went home this week. I was getting tired of Dale's poor "sportmanship" when ever he lost. And as an earlier poster said, he never left his comfort zone.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I suppose the idea of the butterscotch and scallops gets under my skin because it reminds me of all the much too sweet and gloppy (at least to my taste) sauces on the food at Buddakan. Not at all surprised he went that way. Again, not out of the comfort zone even a little bit.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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To quote a former contestant, Dale is a "douchebag and a tool" and totally deserved to go home.  ?? :unsure:  Really dude??? Blech!

Where was this quote from? Sounds like a fun site.

here you go. It begins about 30 seconds in. The actual argument lasted like 30 or 40 minutes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvIc7C1egAM...ACEFCE&index=12

I'm a huge nerd.

Clah-ssic!
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Ditto that. Dark caramel syrup is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine, and it's not inconceivable that one could pair a bitter caramel with scallops. Butterscotch, mebbe not. But still...

I'm not saying butterscotch and scallops cannot be made to work together, but I doubt it. However, we cannot compare it to the Vietnamese caramel used in cooking. The caramel (of which I always have a homemade jar to use in recipes) is burnt sugar and water, that's it. Butterscotch is not caramelized, it contains butter, scotch whiskey and brown sugar. Very, very different flavor profile. In the quantities he seemed to apply to the poor scallops I also went 'belch'.

I actually was hoping I-cannot-cook-but-can-bitch Lisa to go home, but oh well. My hope is for a Richard Vs. Stephanie finale.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Soooo glad Dale's gone! Yay Karma! That Scowly McGrumperston, Lisa, is next.

Stephanie for the win!

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Scowly McGrumperston, Lisa, is next.

Spike needs to go. Of course, here in DC, I'm just jumping up and down to get a seat at the Good Stuff Eatery. Puh-lease...

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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Ditto that. Dark caramel syrup is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine, and it's not inconceivable that one could pair a bitter caramel with scallops. Butterscotch, mebbe not. But still...

I'm not saying butterscotch and scallops cannot be made to work together, but I doubt it. However, we cannot compare it to the Vietnamese caramel used in cooking. The caramel (of which I always have a homemade jar to use in recipes) is burnt sugar and water, that's it. Butterscotch is not caramelized, it contains butter, scotch whiskey and brown sugar. Very, very different flavor profile. In the quantities he seemed to apply to the poor scallops I also went 'belch'.

I actually was hoping I-cannot-cook-but-can-bitch Lisa to go home, but oh well. My hope is for a Richard Vs. Stephanie finale.

Well, taking a look at the recipe here, it appears that he does caramelize the sugar, and there is no brown sugar called for. So nomenclature aside, I can't see a reason that this absolutely would not work: he may just not have executed it well. I've made (just the other night, in fact) a similar dish, though without the scotch and with fish sauce instead of miso (big difference, I know, but conceptually...).

Edited to add: if he didn't caramelize the sugar to a dark enough stage it would have been too sweet: could his mistake have been that?

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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