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Bravo's Top Chef Season 2


KristiB50
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Colicchio bought up an interesting point when he was in the kitchen, he asked one team why would a kid want a fruit drink when they could have fudge cake? One of the team members said because they are watching their weight and they should get used to it (or something like that). Even though the kids are on diets they should have access to things that taste good.

Wasn't the one who said that diabetic himself though? Not that he's necessarily right, but that may be his lifelong approach to his dietary needs. Some people argue that having "diet" versions of fattening foods is counterproductive.

This challenge is another one that left me feeling like something must have been left out, because things don't make sense to me. Some of the teams' preparations the night before left them 50 calories or more under per serving; why couldn't they have asked if they could increase their ingredients by that amount? Seems kind of silly to have a test cookoff and then not be able to tweak recipes. I felt like Betty should have gone home from what I could see, but I am guessing the reason she didn't is that there is more to the story.

Anyway, I am getting very tired of the way this show is all about interpersonal drama and ****ups. Project Runway has gotten more and more that way too and I wonder why they feel they have to do that.

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Next week on Project Top Runway Chef -- the contestants feed a hundred diabetic, lactose-intolerant children with Tourette's and irratable bowel syndrome, from an ice-cream vending machine, with nothing but a spoon and two sticks to rub together. And (did I forgot to mention it?) -- the kitchen is being invaded by zombies!

I should be producing this stuff.

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I can't wait for the zombie challenge.

I can live without more kid targets, though. Unless they're members of a family and the whole gang has to render one judgment.

Sam is diabetic so I don't blame him for being sensitive to and/or pissed off about the alleged squirting. (And I don't mean because his levels were low. :angry: ) While no one besides Mia, in that group, said anything on camera, I'd bet that if he was the only one to see anything funny, that would have been mentioned. Loudly.

I think Betty knew what 'the recipe is locked' meant but also realized that her cookies were crap without the sugar. So, she played the :unsure: card avec tears.

I also think that this is a reality TV show and while it, and its sister designer show, may have ambitions to not be just another slutty drama queen, the proof is, as they say, in the pudding. Doesn't mean I'm not watching, just wish it didn't have to be that way.

Edited by hsm (log)
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I thought the kids comments were some of the best ever from guests on the show, these kids clearly know a lot about food.

Forget Otto people, Betty should have gone home by the David precident. He forgot to follow the rules, two dishes remember? He got sent packing, even though he won the challenge.

This season sucks so far, but I'm glad nobody else had to take the fall for the golden girl Betty. And that sure looked like more than two tablespoons to me.

That pastry girl does suck, why is she there pushing her dessert on us in every single episode, maybe it's because dessert is expendible just like her. One trick pony.

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That pastry girl does suck, why is she there pushing her dessert on us in every single episode, maybe it's because dessert is expendible just like her.  One trick pony.

I keep waiting to hear "this is not Top Pastry Chef." She must know she can't skate by making desserts the entire season. You would think she would want to practice her other cooking skills so she was better prepared for the later challenges.

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And that sure looked like more than two tablespoons to me.

It was. If you pay close attention, she says it was two tablespoons per cookie. Two tablespoons of sugar is 90 calories. With the Splenda cookies they had been only 60 calories under the limit. Sure, she cut back on the number of egg whites, but those are relatively low-cal. Unless she used at least two eggs fewer per cookie, they were over the limit.

Not to mention that she served two tablespoons of refined sugar each to a bunch of diabetic children!!!! Judging by how they looked, at least a third of those kids were at Camp GLUCOSE (hint) because they were type 1 diabetics. Presumably many of the overweight kids were type 2 diabetics, and all of them should be avoiding refined sugar for fear of developing the disease. Yes, the rules of the challenge only stipulated staying under the calorie limit, but, honestly--how stupid can you be??

And speaking of how stupid one can be: she tried to bake with Splenda???? I mean, even if we disregard the facts that:

1) She cheated.

2) She probably brought her team above the 500 calorie limit which should have disqualified them.

3) She fed refined sugar to a group of diabetic kids.

We are still left with 4) she doesn't know that sugar's chemical properties are important for baking. She should have gotten kicked off for that alone!

Edited by Dave H (log)
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From the Camp Glucose website:

Camp Glucose California is a residential camp for boys and girls ages 8 to 18, as well as a day camp for children ages 4 to 18. Programs are tailored to meet specific age levels to ensure the best experience for the individual child.

The balance part of our program is for children living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and need help with balance and management of this disease.

The fitness part of our program is for children who are overweight, we work together with your child to develop a program that they can live with and incorporate into everyday life.

We are the only camp that is completely run by medical staff, the dedication that our staff shows towards our campers is apparent with the skills the children apply to their lives once they go home.

Each child has a full assessment with our licensed and registered dietitian, a full plan will be tailor made for each child to use during camp and when they return home. Our medical staff will develop a plan for physical activity based on the needs of your child, group and individual counseling is available if needed and a behavior modification plan for each child to use in everyday life will be made.

We do not starve children to get dramatic results, nor do we throw them head first into a strenuous workout routine. Each child will receive a well balanced diet and work their way gradually to incorporate physical activity into their lives.

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This may come off as rather callous but at no time did the judges say to limit the use of sugar, only to limit calories. While what Betty did may have been against the rules (which weren't all that clearly explained according to what we saw on show) you can't fault her ethically for using sugar if it in fact was under the 500 calorie limit.

It is not the responsibility of the chefs to know or care whether the kids were diabetic or not. The rules were 500 calories, make it taste good. This is a competition and if using sugar while staying in the rules works, I'm fine with it.

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From the Camp Glucose website:

The balance part of our program is for children living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and need help with balance and management of this disease.

I wonder if the teams knew the target audience had health concerns. It doesn't appear so the way the edited show's airing.

I'm not too hung up on "slightly" busting the rules. How else can you make Mom's meatloaf actually edible? :cool:

Nevertheless, I would definitely 86 Bouncing-B - ice-cream caddy chemical burns and all - for causing a serious health concern! No questions asked. Not for cranking on the sugar. But because the agreed recipe is grossly altered. 2 Tbsp added sugar = 3-4 egg whites if my calorie tables are accurate. And that's per cookie!

Even folks locked up in a jail know the rule: Mess with kids and you're asking for it. :hmmm:

Can we boot Butterface on principle alone? "Black currant tea crème brule with huckleberry compote" (from the site's bio) is a train-wreck.

Edited by C_Ruark (log)
"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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I am amazed that the "squeeze bottles of olive oil" accusation was left dangling by the producers. How many cameras are covering this competition and you're telling me no one got it on videotape? That's some seriously poor production planning for the show.

Of course, we're not talking about CBS here, who had cameras covering every angle of the Big Brother house.

Bravo seems more like the K-Mart of television channels. Look at "Project Runway" where the finalists are bid goodbye to work on their final collections unsupervised so it's no wonder Jeffrey was accused of cheating.

Obviously Bravo didn't invest the money needed to provide ample camera coverage in the kitchen. Whoever conceived of and built the set should be fired. Or whoever thought they had enough cameras & crew should be looking for a new job.

Shoddy, shoddy, shoddy...

And the previews for next week's show have Chef Tom stating that he now had to be present in the kitchen for all future competitions to prevent such cheating in the future.

C'mon...talk about wasting someone's time...

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I missed a big chunk of this week's episode, but I think the whole situation was handled the way it was purely for dramatic purposes. Whether you liked the outcome or not, it sparked emotions.

I think I'm the odd one on this board because I have to say I am really enjoying this show. I did not see last season unfortunately, but this is probably the first reality show I have ever enjoyed. Hopefully not all chefs behave like the contestants do, but the show is definitely solidifying my decision to be a baker and not a chef.

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This may come off as rather callous but at no time did the judges say to limit the use of sugar, only to limit calories.  While what Betty did may have been against the rules (which weren't all that clearly explained according to what we saw on show) you can't fault her ethically for using sugar if it in fact was under the 500 calorie limit.

It is not the responsibility of the chefs to know or care whether the kids were diabetic or not.  The rules were 500 calories, make it taste good.  This is a competition and if using sugar while staying in the rules works, I'm fine with it.

That's how I interpreted the challenge 500 calories - main, side and dessert. They could have served a salad w/no cal dressing, small piece of turkey cutlet and a snickers bar and come in under 500 calories.

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I missed a big chunk of this week's episode, but I think the whole situation was handled the way it was purely for dramatic purposes. Whether you liked the outcome or not, it sparked emotions.

  I think I'm the odd one on this board because I have to say I am really enjoying this show. I did not see last season unfortunately, but this is probably the first reality show I have ever enjoyed. Hopefully not all chefs behave like the contestants do, but the show is definitely solidifying my decision to be a baker and not a chef.

I gotta say, I'm enjoying it as well. I can't say whether I enjoy it more or less than last season, but we'll see about that as the show progresses.

I do have, as we all do (natch), some comments.

Betty...screwed that challenge. And frankly, the "win" should have been taken away from her team, whether she knew of the rule infraction or not. She should have been listening, as Harold D. says in his blog on Bravo's website. In an actual kitchen, had she screwed that up, she'd have been in the same kind of shit for it. I don't necessarily think she would have needed to be kicked off -- but her team should not have won. Disqualified! But I digress.

Marcel...points. Despite the fact that he and Betty don't get along, they did come together and pulled off a good meal (except for, obviously, the cookies). That's professionalism, and that should be commended.

Marisa...tool. It's funny; I actually thought I'd dislike Marcel's "character" more and more, but I'm finding my biggest cringes come from this contestant. Marisa keeps flaunting her looks, her "ability" (which has yet to really be seen)...I mean, really. Brag about how a pastry chef should know how to make panna cotta, and then you screw it up? I go to school for pastry right now, and those of us who watch the show were FLOORED by that one.

Plus, I can't get the image of her from her calendar (in heels and a bikini) out of my head. If you've seen it, it's the one where she's stirring something on the stove. And I want the image out of my head. It's not doing me any favors.

I foresee Cliff, Sam and Ilan making it to the final five, final four perhaps. I'm beginning to identify the "dead weight" here, or I like to think I am. :)

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...but I think the whole situation was handled the way it was purely for dramatic purposes. Whether you liked the outcome or not, it sparked emotions. ...

Agreed, completely.

Bravo claims they didn't catch any squeeze-bottle-action, but then again, I guess they have to claim that... I don't believe that for a second. They left it in the air -- yeah, dramatic purposes. Can't phrase that better myself.

That Marcel didn't throw Betty under the bus didn't impress me, but it didn't surprise me either. He did predict that Betty would do that to him, if he messed anything up -- and I think that's probably a reasonable prediction; she seems like a pretty weasly character. But if he'd done that himself, I'd be pretty appalled. I don't think he deserves any props just for behaving like a decent human being.

Betty's excuse was great -- theatrically speaking: "I didn't know" (ie., it wasn't MY fault), "technically, it wasn't cheating" and then cranking up the tears... That was the skilled behavior of someone who has gotten away with cheating before, but also has gotten caught cheating before -- and still managed to get away with it, because she knows what to say, and what to do. She slunk away like a scalded dog -- but she didn't go anywhere to cry, or lick her wounds -- she knew she just has to stay away for a bit, and try to accumulate some martyr points. She'll be back, all bouncy and smily and all-loving. And then, she'll tear Marcel's face off again.

That team should have been DQ'd fer sure.

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Some interesting points to be conisdered as found on the Bravo boards:

According to some quick back of the envelope style calculations, assuming Betty did take out 1 white per cookie and added two tablespoons of sugar to each the meal still would've been in under the 500 calorie limit, though just barely.

The calorie content of egg whites and tablespoons of sugar are easily calculated and thus can be easily changed without requiring the nutritionist's presense.

I don't even like Betty, but according to what I saw she didn't really do anything wrong.

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I don't even like Betty, but according to what I saw she didn't really do anything wrong.

Hang on there, lets put an end to that one...

She DID do something wrong -- hell, she ACKNOWLEDGED the fact that she did something wrong.

Her excuse was that she didn't know that the recipes were supposed to be locked down after they cleared it with the clipboard carrying, calorie-counting folks. The fact that every other participant in the show seemed to be aware that the recipes were locked down after they were counted, makes her excuse seem all the lamer, but hey, if you believe it, props to Betty. She's obviously skilled at what she does. :huh:

She did do someting wrong.

The fact that she tried to use an articifial sweetener in a baking process (as others have already pointed out) a sign of lack of knowledge. She probably spoke to someone about her cookie problems, and learned this. That's why she switched to sugar the next day.

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Fair enough, in retrospect she admitted she did something wrong. But based on what I saw initially (as in before the challenge begain) I don't think they explicitly said the recipes were locked down. After it came out and the rules were made more clear, yes, she did break them.

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i think the rules, deliberately or not, were vague. i think that's why betty wasn't outta there...after some review, it appeared that they had not been specific enough in the wording. otherwise, buh-bye betty, no question. they can certainly use judicious editing to make it appear that everyone else (after the fact) was on board with the rules, but if they'd been clear, i'm pretty sure betty would be history.

"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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Betty...screwed that challenge.  And frankly, the "win" should have been taken away from her team, whether she knew of the rule infraction or not.  She should have been listening, as Harold D. says in his blog on Bravo's website.  In an actual kitchen, had she screwed that up, she'd have been in the same kind of shit for it.  I don't necessarily think she would have needed to be kicked off -- but her team should not have won.  Disqualified!  But I digress.

Marcel...points.  Despite the fact that he and Betty don't get along, they did come together and pulled off a good meal (except for, obviously, the cookies).  That's professionalism, and that should be commended.

Marisa...tool.  It's funny; I actually thought I'd dislike Marcel's "character" more and more, but I'm finding my biggest cringes come from this contestant.  Marisa keeps flaunting her looks, her "ability" (which has yet to really be seen)...I mean, really.  Brag about how a pastry chef should know how to make panna cotta, and then you screw it up?  I go to school for pastry right now, and those of us who watch the show were FLOORED by that one.

Plus, I can't get the image of her from her calendar (in heels and a bikini) out of my head.  If you've seen it, it's the one where she's stirring something on the stove.  And I want the image out of my head.  It's not doing me any favors.

I foresee Cliff, Sam and Ilan making it to the final five, final four perhaps.  I'm beginning to identify the "dead weight" here, or I like to think I am.  :)

I agree with all of brooklyncooks comments...including the predicted final four and especially the part about the image of Marisa and her calendar!

My take on Betty is: I'm sure she thought it was within the rules to tweak her recipe as long as she stayed under 500 calories. The problem with that logic is - how did she know that the rest of her team wasn't doing the exact same thing? If everyone thought they had an extra 60 calories to work with, and tweaked accordingly, what do you know? You're now at 620 calories! Unless the rest of her team did know...............

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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//Some SPOILER info included//

Saw episode 5 "leftovers"; guest judge was Chef Michelle Berstein.

QF-challenge - Offal - Somehow I picture Fergus H rubbing his head at the duality of the offal challenge. First, the display of skill. Second, the short time-span. What was it? 2 hours? (I got the time wrong before). Most went for sweetbreads. Others went after trotters. (Added) Wasn't a fan of the oxtail/soup preparation as described.

Chef B got the winner right; it was just outside-the-box to be interesting, but not too far to be disconnected (that came later in the show). Fritter v beignet? Eh... not a big deal. It looked great. Side note: Chef B's analysis was thorough and well-presented.

Elimination challenge - 6 courses for 60 from Social resto's kitchen using leftovers- Yikes. Social surely had a lot of nice leftovers! Cheftestants paired off and it was immediately clear which chefs have a knack for both conceiving and executing a dish and which can only do one or the other.

The winning team was an interesting one. They served a rice dish to a large group. Gutsy move. The method was intriguing for sure, and the finished product indeed looked good plated.

Who gets booted? Well, you'll have to watch (or read elsewhere) to find out. I will say that IMHO, with personalities aside, the elimination was with total merit and decisive. The failing course was no-where near to being a "just getting by" dish.

BTW, Tune in next week! AB is on the show!

Edited by C_Ruark (log)
"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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//Some SPOILER info included//

QF-challenge - Offal - Somehow I picture Fergus H rubbing his head at the duality of the offal challenge. First, the display of skill. Second, the short time-span. What was it? 30 min? Too short for the ingredients. Most went for sweetbreads. Others went after trotters.

They had two hours, if I recall correctly.

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