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Top Chef Season 5


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Yow.Za.

(Former) Dallas-ite Casey has some choice words about Carla and the editing of the finale for D Magazine's Side Dish blog:

Casey on Finale

Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course.

Wow. As many of the commenters to that noted, that was tactless and classless. Carla took the blame on the show, and instead of being grateful for that, Casey made sure to rub it in one more time. While she attempted to save face, she ended up making herself look like a totally mannerless person. In addition to that, Carla's bio on the TC website and Carla herself say that she has classical French training. SO either they're lying, or Casey is just plain wrong.

I agree with Mike completely. How utterly graceless of Casey. I saw NO attempt on Carla's part to 'throw Casey under the bus' to coin a phrase :raz: , so I'm guessing she's feeling a little guilt that she can't admit to.

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Damn. Casey is now the culinary blogging equivalent of an E! gossip ho.

Indeed. And a skanky, dumb ho at that. I mean it took her TWO DAYS to make the sauce? There was a three-hour time limit you twit.

Casey, please go back to your hometown of Skankville and the leave the rest of us the Hell alone.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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I dunno. I put myself in Casey's shoes for a minute: even if Carla didn't trash talk her, Bravo certainly portrayed her in a very negative light. Here she comes back and tries to help Carla out, and in their zeal to portray Carla in a positive light, Bravo spins it like it was all Casey's fault. So, she's pissed. Hell, I'd be pissed to. I'm not saying it was a classy thing to do, but I do think it's understandable, and I can't say for sure how I personally would act in similar circumstances.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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You think under the circumstances you would attack Carla's cooking credibility and education, (re-) blame everything on her, and generally come off as a whiny and tactless... person?

I get where you're coming from, in that I wouldn't be happy if I felt I was poorly portrayed in that situation, but I can assure I would not react like that. At least not publicly.

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Perhaps moreso than any season, this TC split the chefs into one group with more culinary creativity and talent in general, and another group that, whatever their impressions (Carla), could usually function in the weeds when the pressure was on. Slowly, most of the chefs that I thought had the occasional remotely interesting idea (Radhika, Jamie, Fabio, even Gene) couldn't execute something important in the clutch, prepared something weird or godawful, or otherwise choked. Meanwhile, someone who never stuck his neck out all contest stayed safe and won. Doesn't make for very compelling TV to watch all the interesting chefs go down in sequence....

As for Casey, I have to agree with one point: cheese course? Wha?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I dunno. I put myself in Casey's shoes for a minute: even if Carla didn't trash talk her, Bravo certainly portrayed her in a very negative light. Here she comes back and tries to help Carla out, and in their zeal to portray Carla in a positive light, Bravo spins it like it was all Casey's fault. So, she's pissed. Hell, I'd be pissed to. I'm not saying it was a classy thing to do, but I do think it's understandable, and I can't say for sure how I personally would act in similar circumstances.

I'd like to think that I'd have enough class and decency to take it out on BRAVO especially since Carla has gone out of her way to not blame this creepy woman or throw her under the bus and takes complete responsibility for her decisions. She (Carla) has even ask that people not dump on Casey.

BTW, I'm sure she hasn't had the guts to say all this to Carla's face.

She's still a skanktified ho to me.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Cheese course? Wha?

Exactly. And how, given months to prepare for the final challenge, do you not show up knowing exactly what you are going to do? OK, maybe you don't know how many courses it's going to be, but still. Hell, the same goes for Stefan's dessert: that was the best desert he could come up with given months of prep time? Seriously. Hosea really seems like he was the only one to bring his A game to the finale. Carla simply completely dropped the ball, and Stefan thought he had it locked up already.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Yow.Za.

(Former) Dallas-ite Casey has some choice words about Carla and the editing of the finale for D Magazine's Side Dish blog:

Casey on Finale

Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course.

"Officer Dimes? Officer Dimes? Um, this has nothing to do with me anymore, right? Okay? So I'm just gonna leave, and you guys just settle this by yourselves, all right?"

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Exactly. And how, given months to prepare for the final challenge, do you not show up knowing exactly what you are going to do? OK, maybe you don't know how many courses it's going to be, but still.

Word. What's also bizarre about the cheese course -- aside from the basic issues like "this is a cooking competition," not "this is a bringing-things-to-room-temperature competition" -- is that you're stuck with whatever cheese you have in the walk-in. In what universe would plating whatever you find in there (with some fig-onion jam, ras al hanout cashews, mache, whatever) constitute a course in the best meal you've ever prepared?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Yow.Za.

(Former) Dallas-ite Casey has some choice words about Carla and the editing of the finale for D Magazine's Side Dish blog:

Casey on Finale

Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course.

Wow. As many of the commenters to that noted, that was tactless and classless. Carla took the blame on the show, and instead of being grateful for that, Casey made sure to rub it in one more time. While she attempted to save face, she ended up making herself look like a totally mannerless person. In addition to that, Carla's bio on the TC website and Carla herself say that she has classical French training. SO either they're lying, or Casey is just plain wrong.

In her interview in the Washington Post, Carla says she went to L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Md.

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Hosea's win didn't leave me as nauseous as Ilan's, but it was just a flat note on the end of an overall flat season. To his credit, he appeared to make the best meal of the three.

I don't understand this "he appeared to..." No, he actually did make the best meal of the three, hence, he won.

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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One wonders how last night might have turned out if the knife choosing had gone differently. If you assume that last night's sous were all competent at prep work, Richard's real value would have been moral support for whoever he worked with. IIRC, the times last year when Richard faltered, he faulted himself for not sticking with his strengths (which, I'd argue, are not avant-garde techniques but imagination, wit and precision) and choking in the finale.

At one point, Hosea said something like "Venison. That's my food" -- given Richard's experience, I'd be surprised if hadn't encouraged Hosea in that conviction. If Carla had ended up with Richard instead, her meal might have been quite different -- more of her, and better executed.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Yow.Za.

(Former) Dallas-ite Casey has some choice words about Carla and the editing of the finale for D Magazine's Side Dish blog:

Casey on Finale

Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course.

Wow. As many of the commenters to that noted, that was tactless and classless. Carla took the blame on the show, and instead of being grateful for that, Casey made sure to rub it in one more time. While she attempted to save face, she ended up making herself look like a totally mannerless person. In addition to that, Carla's bio on the TC website and Carla herself say that she has classical French training. SO either they're lying, or Casey is just plain wrong.

In her interview in the Washington Post, Carla says she went to L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Md.

I have been to medical school, not cooking school (Wash U Baby) but I have also taken the recreational classes from L'Academie de Cuisine (mostly in Bethesda...the professional program is in Gaithersburg).

L'Academie was founded and still run by Francois Dionot, an old school French chef.

While my opinion may be not the best informed, I think she got classic French training.

L'Acadamie has produced some of DC's finest chefs.

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Fitting cap off to a progressively underwhelming season.  There's just no compelling "story" to Hosea's win at all. He seemed to luck into it.

This is what gets me: the Bravo editors knew who won before the first episode aired: they had months to tweak the editing to ensure that the winner was a surprise, but a pleasant one. And instead, what they ended up creating was some random schmuck that no one really cared about. Stefan was the "clear favorite," Carla the "Dark Horse," and, oh yeah, there was some other guy, too. What was his name?

Of course I agree that within the context of the last episode it seems clear that Hosea deserved the win: the others simply screwed themselves with bad decisions. That doesn't explain to me how Bravo could have assembled and edited the season so poorly: I don't think anyone is "angry" about this choice, like many were when Ilan won; it's clear Hosea won fair and square here. The question is, why didn't they make him a more compelling winner?

A quick search leads me to beleive that Commander's Palace was used to film the Finale on January 15, 2009. So I don't think they knew who won before the first episode aired.

correct. people were hooty-hooing Carla in NO

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One wonders how last night might have turned out if the knife choosing had gone differently. If you assume that last night's sous were all competent at prep work, Richard's real value would have been moral support for whoever he worked with. IIRC, the times last year when Richard faltered, he faulted himself for not sticking with his strengths (which, I'd argue, are not avant-garde techniques but imagination, wit and precision) and choking in the finale. 

At one point, Hosea said something like "Venison. That's my food" -- given Richard's experience, I'd be surprised if hadn't encouraged Hosea in that conviction. If Carla had ended up with Richard instead, her meal might have been quite different -- more of her, and better executed.

I get the feeling Carla would have chosen Casey if she had drawn first. But with a different sous, I think she could have pulled off the win. No way would she sous vide anything. Seems that experimenting in the finals loses finals.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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I don't understand this "he appeared to..." No, he actually did make the best meal of the three, hence, he won.

I actually always say "appeared" as well, since we can never taste the food. (unfortunately)

The final four show, those new orleans dishes looked delicious!

I am guessing Carla will win fan favorite at the reunion show, everyone seems to love her. She bugged me so much in the beginning and then grew on me.

This season was very lackluster, I am looking forward to Masters, anyone know when that starts?

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I am guessing Carla will win fan favorite at the reunion show, everyone seems to love her.  She bugged me so much in the beginning and then grew on me. 

I suspect you are right, though I think Fabio might give her a run.

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I get the feeling Carla would have chosen Casey if she had drawn first. But with a different sous, I think she could have pulled off the win. No way would she sous vide anything. Seems that experimenting in the finals loses finals

It's an interesting question. If Richard Blais had been her sous, would he have suggested sous vide or would he have suggested that she stick to her strengths? and if he did suggest sous vide, would she have been more likely to over-rule him than Casey?

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