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Top Chef Season 5


Reignking
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Now that they have Toby, maybe Tom could take a season off and have Gordon Ramsey take his spot. Then TC can get bought by Fox and Voila!

Top Iron Hell's Kitchen Nightmare Chef Masters Chopped!

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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Well, I was really hoping they would give Leah the boot and get rid of this relationship BS with Hosea, but I think Radhika earned it in the end. She really seemed burnt out, and I agree with Tom's assessment that it doesn't seem like her stamina is going to carry her through the rest of the show. Carla's comments were inane however, and this is one where I really couldn't tell which one of them they were going to axe until they announced it.

I think at this point I'm hoping for a showdown between Jamie, Stefan and Jeff, as the final three.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Based on this ep AND past performance, I think Carla should have gone. However, Radhika didn't exercise any control over what was supposed to be HER restaurant. The other contestants designed their own dishes, she let Jeff work in the kitchen when she knew he was the best choice for front of house, she didn't really oversee anything happening in the kitchen (although it looked like she hovered a fair bit), and in the end, she was too stressed and nervous to present a gracious and welcoming front of house.

Still can't stand Toby. But I'm entertained by the way Tom visibly braces himself whenever Toby begins to speak. Anyone else notice this?

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Its gotta be hard for some people to exercise control over people who you view (and view you) as peers. I mean, she's not REALLY empowered to tell people what to do in this situation. Jamie or Jeff could very well tell her to f-off and what could she really do?

It's different when you are in an actual position of power (like an actual owner of a restaurant) vs. a faux position of power in which the consequences that would exist in the real world don't in this one.

People call Stephan arrogant and an a-hole because he does exactly what people think Radica should have done for this challenge which is strong arm and boss everyone around.

It's probably not an easy task and for someone without a strong personality it might be near impossible.

I just hate things like this because I think the show should be more about cooking skills and ability, not so much waiting tables and hostessing. I think that Radica was definitely a notch or two above Leah and Carla, and yet those two get to stay and she goes.

Bugs me.

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Still can't stand Toby. But I'm entertained by the way Tom visibly braces himself whenever Toby begins to speak. Anyone else notice this?

Yes, Toby is not wearing well. That Elvis metaphor was painfully strained. You get the impression that Mr. Young only discovered television and pop music after he graduated from Oxford and is awkwardly trying to make up for his dorky youth.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I just hate things like this because I think the show should be more about cooking skills and ability, not so much waiting tables and hostessing. I think that Radica was definitely a notch or two above Leah and Carla, and yet those two get to stay and she goes.

I have no problem with Leah staying, because the rules are clear: in team challenges, the whole team gets the win. Also, I think she's very clearly a better chef than Carla, who is still in the game.

Radhika suffered because the judging is one challenge at a time, and not cumulative. Looking at just this challenge, there's a colorable argument that Radhika deserved to go, because she was the "owner" of the restaurant. But if you consider the whole body of work to date, Carla seems to wind up near the bottom over & over again, just managing to avoid elimination, while Radhika has generally been a star. With a bit better luck, I could have imagined her winning the season, while it is inconceivable that Carla would.

But frankly, even judging this challenge in isolation, I would have sent Carla home, because this is fundamentally a cooking show, and on the losing team Carla cooked the worst food. Radhika proved she doesn't belong in the front of house, but the name of the show is Top Chef, not Top Host.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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I just hate things like this because I think the show should be more about cooking skills and ability, not so much waiting tables and hostessing. I think that Radica was definitely a notch or two above Leah and Carla, and yet those two get to stay and she goes.

I have no problem with Leah staying, because the rules are clear: in team challenges, the whole team gets the win. Also, I think she's very clearly a better chef than Carla, who is still in the game.

Radhika suffered because the judging is one challenge at a time, and not cumulative. Looking at just this challenge, there's a colorable argument that Radhika deserved to go, because she was the "owner" of the restaurant. But if you consider the whole body of work to date, Carla seems to wind up near the bottom over & over again, just managing to avoid elimination, while Radhika has generally been a star. With a bit better luck, I could have imagined her winning the season, while it is inconceivable that Carla would.

But frankly, even judging this challenge in isolation, I would have sent Carla home, because this is fundamentally a cooking show, and on the losing team Carla cooked the worst food. Radhika proved she doesn't belong in the front of house, but the name of the show is Top Chef, not Top Host.

That is exactly the type of arguement you have to present at the judges table too. Unfortunately it is also very cut throat to do so, but it is after all a competition.

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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That is exactly the type of arguement you have to present at the judges table too. Unfortunately it is also very cut throat to do so, but it is after all a competition.

Precisely - and Radhika did nothing whatsoever to defend herself. It really just seemed, throughout the entire episode, that she was out of energy for the competition. Carla was making absolutely inane comments, I think Radhika would have been perfectly justified in "throwing her under the bus" (to use their favorite expression). But she failed to do so. I think had she defended herself, and said that she trusted Carla to do a good dessert, and that it was Carla's cooking that failed here, whereas only Radhika's ability as a hostess, she might have swayed the judges.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Favorite line -- again from Fabio -- was (something to the effect) that since he was FOH that they "could serve a monkey's ass in an empty clam shell and still win!" :raz:

Re Radicah being judged as her skills as an owner, isn't the major prize something like $100K to start their own restaurant? Still, I would have booted Carla this time.

----

ETA: Oh, yeah, the Elvis comment ticked me off. Didn't his mama ever teach him not to speak ill of the dead?

Edited by PopsicleToze (log)
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I just hate things like this because I think the show should be more about cooking skills and ability, not so much waiting tables and hostessing. I think that Radica was definitely a notch or two above Leah and Carla, and yet those two get to stay and she goes.

I have no problem with Leah staying, because the rules are clear: in team challenges, the whole team gets the win. Also, I think she's very clearly a better chef than Carla, who is still in the game.

Radhika suffered because the judging is one challenge at a time, and not cumulative. Looking at just this challenge, there's a colorable argument that Radhika deserved to go, because she was the "owner" of the restaurant. But if you consider the whole body of work to date, Carla seems to wind up near the bottom over & over again, just managing to avoid elimination, while Radhika has generally been a star. With a bit better luck, I could have imagined her winning the season, while it is inconceivable that Carla would.

But frankly, even judging this challenge in isolation, I would have sent Carla home, because this is fundamentally a cooking show, and on the losing team Carla cooked the worst food. Radhika proved she doesn't belong in the front of house, but the name of the show is Top Chef, not Top Host.

That is exactly the type of arguement you have to present at the judges table too. Unfortunately it is also very cut throat to do so, but it is after all a competition.

I'll miss Radika on the show, I thought she wasn't the most consistent chef, but she did cook some of the best food and had an interesting perspective.

That said, she deserved to go. To belabor an already overstressed phrase, it's Top Chef, not Top Cook. One thing Radika had total control over was choosing the team and the job assignments, and she screwed both those up. That she got to choose first, and that Leah took her boyfriend with her first pick essentially gave Radika the first two picks. It's kind of criminal not to win with an advantage like that. After Leah chose Hosea, Radika could have taken Stephan and stacked her team, or taken Fabio to work the front of the house - she didn't. And she could have told Jeff to work the front of the house rather than wandering around like a zombie.

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Radicah being judged as her skills as an owner, isn't the major prize something like $100K to start their own restaurant?

It's $100,000 towards whatever their culinary dreams may be. But this was still a highly unrealistic measure of what Radhika can do, because in any real-life restaurant she would be cooking food, not working the FOH. And as several folks mentioned, on the show she doesn't have the real-life option of "firing" one of the contestants.
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Radicah being judged as her skills as an owner, isn't the major prize something like $100K to start their own restaurant?

It's $100,000 towards whatever their culinary dreams may be. But this was still a highly unrealistic measure of what Radhika can do, because in any real-life restaurant she would be cooking food, not working the FOH. And as several folks mentioned, on the show she doesn't have the real-life option of "firing" one of the contestants.

But as chef/owner, she is responsible for the foh - and she chose to physically take on that role as well, while wimping out on doing any cooking at all.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Anybody really think Hosea will be in the finals?

I think Stefan, Jamie and Hosea are the three best chefs remaining. Obviously there is an element of luck, and the best person does not always win, but I would not be shocked to see him in the finals. Carla, Leah and Fabio seem the least likely to be there, and I would put Jeff somewhere in the middle.
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Anybody really think Hosea will be in the finals?

I think Stefan, Jamie and Hosea are the three best chefs remaining. Obviously there is an element of luck, and the best person does not always win, but I would not be shocked to see him in the finals. Carla, Leah and Fabio seem the least likely to be there, and I would put Jeff somewhere in the middle.

Radika copped out of her job. She deserved to go.

I think either Carls or Leah are next' leah mostly because she seems to be phining it it.

I'd rather see Fabio over Jamie. He made a major differnce last night in the win.

Jeff is just so bland.

Jamie is just too full of her self and seems to cook the same thing over and over again.

I hope she leaves soon.

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I'd rather see Fabio over Jamie. He made a major differnce last night in the win.

Jamie is just too full of her self and seems to cook the same thing over and over again.

Fabio did make a major difference, but it wasn't in the kitchen. His cooking, though very good at times, has been uneven. Jamie played the scallop card one time too many, but aside from that, I don't have a problem with what she has cooked.
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Jamie's whole seasonal, local crap is annoying - what good chef isn't doing that. I think she's cooked scallops every show.

I take back what I originally said about Stefan (that he would go) - he certainly appears to be the best cook and not too terrible a teammate either...he's got a caterer's mindset - you just have to make it work with whatever tools you have at your disposal.

Anyone notice Scott Conant as next week's guest judge - he "sounded" angry with Fabio on the upcoming attractions clip.

Toby is an annoying twat (and I mean that in a good way). I wonder when his book of cliches gets used up.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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mine too. I don't think he's such an a-hole. He good, confident and experienced. Picture a veteran ball player in with a bunch of rising minor leaguers. That's pretty much what we have here. The veteran knows whats needed and is doubtless amused by the nonsense of the rookies.

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Jamie's whole seasonal, local crap is annoying - what good chef isn't doing that.  I think she's cooked scallops every show.

I take back what I originally said about Stefan (that he would go) - he certainly appears to be the best cook and not too terrible a teammate either...he's got a caterer's mindset - you just have to make it work with whatever tools you have at your disposal.

Anyone notice Scott Conant as next week's guest judge - he "sounded" angry with Fabio on the upcoming attractions clip.

Toby is an annoying twat (and I mean that in a good way).  I wonder when his book of cliches gets used up.

What I don't get is how Jamie is preparing Chilean Sea Bass and calling it sustainable and local?

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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What I don't get is how Jamie is preparing Chilean Sea Bass and calling it sustainable and local?

i thought the exact same thing. . . .

as for carla, i thought the whole "served with love" explanation endearing. . .it doesn't excuse poorly made food, but it does explain a lot about carla; and while that is also not a defense, i didn't care for the way the judges went after her on that point. she's just a wacky, out-there individual.

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What I don't get is how Jamie is preparing Chilean Sea Bass and calling it sustainable and local?

i thought the exact same thing. . . .

as for carla, i thought the whole "served with love" explanation endearing. . .it doesn't excuse poorly made food, but it does explain a lot about carla; and while that is also not a defense, i didn't care for the way the judges went after her on that point. she's just a wacky, out-there individual.

I liked Tom's snappy comeback to Carla on her "sending out love" argument, something to the effect of "just send out good food, keep the love in the kitchen ."

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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