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Bravo's Top Chef Season 2


KristiB50
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Having seen a repeat of this last episode I have a question:

Why was the pomegranate juice bad?

Was it intentionally bad and put into the kitchen pantry on purpose to see if any of the contestants would catch that it was bad?

If it wasn't supposed to be bad, then where is Bravo buying their ingredients? At some third-hand leftover discount house where dented cans go to die? :hmmm:

 

“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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Having seen a repeat of this last episode I have a question:

Why was the pomegranate juice bad?

Was it intentionally bad and put into the kitchen pantry on purpose to see if any of the contestants would catch that it was bad?

If it wasn't supposed to be bad, then where is Bravo buying their ingredients? At some third-hand leftover discount house where dented cans go to die? :hmmm:

Maybe it had left been sitting out. After all, the concept of the challenge was that these were all leftover ingredients in Social's walk-in (though it became apparent that they were not really terribly left-over-y).

What I don't understand is that the pomegranate juice was not served as a solo ingredient -- it was mixed with orange juice and basil (IIRC) -- so how could that team NOT have tasted it? I can't imagine they'd have just blindly come up with ratios and hoped it worked.

So if they did taste it, did they not think it tasted off? Or were there good bottles and bad bottles, and they'd only sampled the finished product from the good?

Definitely kinda strange....

Christopher

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Was anyone else surprised that it was Carlos and not Betty this week?

I thought she was a goner for sure when she started throwing the others under the bus for not properly bruleeing her desserts.

And Tony, I was somewhat surprised at your restraint, as I was hoping for more, but I console myself with the thought that perhaps they had to edit our some of your pithier commentary.

Edited by The Apostate (log)

I'm so awesome I don't even need a sig...Oh wait...SON OF A...

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Betty so needs to go.

All in all the food was so disappointing. With only five people in the elimination challenge it was clear that the producers and Tom wanted people to stop trying to blend into the middle of the pack and encourage more creative cooking. Still, Carlos and that damn salad. Roasting squash, cutting mire poix, for four hours? Give me a break.

Marcel also disappointed me with this challenge. I was expecting more. A cranberry gelatin mold with cranbery foam? The foam had no role in the dish. As a rule, foams are for emphasizing lightness, with the thick cranberry gelee already there it seemed more style than substance. And why call it a "thermal immersion circulator?" Colloquially it's just a water bath, and for an application like that you don't NEED the it. Wrapped well in plastic, poached at 160 with a decently close eye on the thermometer would've more than sufficed. If they weren't provided with thermometers, however, then that's a slightly different story.

I liked Ilan's sunglasses.

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:biggrin: Yes, I liked his sunglasses too. I really thought the contrast the editing showed of the five having a great breakfast and just enjoying the moment was great.

The problem with this episode was the constant bickering. While it may be top chef, no one has earned it yet and to not be able to set personal differences aside to plan a menu is just ridiculous. Everyone knows the menu must be planned! It's what was wrong last week, and then followed to this week.

Come on, who hasn't thought of Thanksgiving dinner in a cutting edge way????? I can imagine most of you have at one point or another if you've made the big meal year in and year out. These people don't impress me as top anythings. Betty's comment that she makes 'comfort food' was stupid. How comforting is creme brulee? It's a fine dining dessert that has trickled down to the masses slowly and cannot be found in most chain restaurants. So I don't buy the "comfort food" excuse.

It seemed they were all so disgusted that they were cooking for the others they lost their objectivity. If you're going to be a top chef, you should be able to think outside the box. And the "cutting edge" twist should have given them a clue. There were guest chefs every week. Who is the cutting edge king? Thomas Keller, of course. If nothing else, have you not flipped through the French Laundry ncookbook and bringing that "flip through" shoul dhave spurred some creativity. Not even Marcel could come up with something creative.

The use of Bourdain blindsided them and they were all caught with their pants down. :raz: I loved it and would have loved to see the out-takes on that one.

If I had to go cutting edge I possibly would have tried a Turkey stuffed pumpkin ravioli, with a light truffle cream sauce, plated with a sage infused polenta. A cranberry sorbet, not cutting edge but close.

What ideas ran through your minds? This might be fun, let's see how we would please anthony's palate.

Edited by tmgrobyn (log)
"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
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Are you calling Betty "Bouncy Betty" or "Bouncing Betty"? The former seems to imply a bouncy, perky, high-spirted person, which seems entirely inaccurate -- I admit you can't judge these things accurately through a TV screen, but I'm not seeing that. I'm seeing more of a deranged Norman Bates sociopath mimicking socially friendly behavior, smiling wildly at odd moments, and declearing that she loves everyone -- because she knows she needs that "credit" since she inevitably will go mental and tear someone's face off. Hence, the landmine reference seemed more suitable a label.

Correct me if I'm wrong -- I might very well be, cause I didn't catch all of the episode. But during the judging, Betty was asked to nominate someone to be sent home, and she seemed to refuse, or at least resist being the first one to offer an opinion -- like she was just way too nice a person do something that unkind. But then when Carlos said a bad word about her, she came back like some aggrevated, coked-up baseball umpire and started yelling "HE'S OUTTA HERE!"

Between the three, you got boring Carlos, the Psycho Hose Beast, and that unshaven idiot goofball that surely must have blown someone to get a job at TGIF -- sorry, no Nobel prize fer joo if you managed to pull off the intellectual feat of figuring out who got sent home...

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Betty~

cutsie and now, wotta bitch ! Getting worse, too. Crappy food.........even if you "do comfort food", what was the challenge!?!

Carlos~

boring, disappointing, time to go.

Marcel~

WTF? He should have OWNED this challenge (according to him!)

Mike~

I am so tired of LOOKING at Mike............why is he still there? Why was he EVER there?

Elia~

annoys the crap out of me. I hate her glasses, and I hate whining. Mushroom soup? Love it, but not exactly 'cutting edge'? Wasn't that the challenge?

Tony~

what can I say? Would have loved to see a little more slapping around (coulda used it!) but :wub:

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Are you calling Betty "Bouncy Betty" or "Bouncing Betty"? The former seems to imply a bouncy, perky, high-spirted person, which seems entirely inaccurate -- I admit you can't judge these things accurately through a TV screen, but I'm not seeing that. I'm seeing more of a deranged Norman Bates sociopath mimicking socially friendly behavior, smiling wildly at odd moments, and declearing that she loves everyone -- because she knows she needs that "credit" since she inevitably will go mental and tear someone's face off. Hence, the landmine reference seemed more suitable a label.

Correct me if I'm wrong -- I might very well be, cause I didn't catch all of the episode. But during the judging, Betty was asked to nominate someone to be sent home, and she seemed to refuse, or at least resist being the first one to offer an opinion -- like she was just way too nice a person do something that unkind. But then when Carlos said a bad word about her, she came back like some aggrevated, coked-up baseball umpire and started yelling "HE'S OUTTA HERE!"

Between the three, you got boring Carlos, the Psycho Hose Beast, and that unshaven idiot goofball that surely must have blown someone to get a job at TGIF -- sorry, no Nobel prize fer joo if you managed to pull off the intellectual feat of figuring out who got sent home...

No dookie ! She went postal.......... :unsure:

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Am I the only one who doesn't get the Marcel hate?

He seems decent. He does help the others, and if Frank would pick up after himself instead of leaving his toiletries out like a slob Marcel wouldn't have had to move them.

Marcel seems calm and Betty throws the tantrums.

One week Betty goes off on him for no valid reason, then she hugs him, now she's screaming at him again. I'm really not digging Betty.

None of the food looked cutting edge to me.

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Am I the only one who doesn't get the Marcel hate?

I liked him a lot better this week. At least he tried to back up some of that talk about molecular blah blah and do something different.

I thought the way Frank went off on him was horrible. He had immunity, and this poor guy was sweating it out. And he's actually threatening him with violence? If you did that on MTV's Real World, you'd be kicked off.

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Am I the only one who doesn't get the Marcel hate?

I really didn't like that kid in the beginning, but I guess that's how Bravo intended to present him -- as a pretentious, pompous kid. And on that alone, I don't reckon he'll win. (How the hell does he do his hair, in a wind-tunnel?)

Now, I like him a little more. But that's just 'cause he's being confronted by horrible, irrational assholes. Betty is one, but now there's Frank -- and his outburst has been featured a few times already, in promos.

As far as Frank threatening him over his toothbrush being on the floor -- the camera showed Marcel placing it into his toiletry bag (and then once again, in a flash-back, during the confrontation), so someone else must have done that -- production staff or contestants.

Threatening people with violence -- that's just not on. That's not cricket. For fuck's sakes.

Hows the rule of law go? You attempt or pretend to strike someone and that's assault -- it's got to do with intimidation, I think. You actually hit them (or merely touch them) and it's battery.

Frank threatened to beat Marcel so bad his mother wouldn't recognize him -- if he moved his toothbrush again. Whaaaaa? I'm sorry, but what kinda idiot makes threats of grevious bodily harm on a TV show?

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If they had just sent the entire final five home it wouldn't have been a bad thing. Their dishes were just incredibly blah. Even Marcel's was just fancy presentation, the techniques had nothing to do with the flavor profile. (If anything it made it worse.) Although at least he tried to do something different. I agree Carlos should've gone home (he epitomized Tom Colicchio's worst nightmare of contestants just trying to coast by), but he was just the worst of the worst.

I agree that I think Marcel's bad rap is overdone. He isn't half as insufferable as Stephen was at his worst last season, but the editors are trying way too hard to make him the new Stephen. He's too wimpy at heart I think to really make his comments truly sting. Betty and Frank are the ones who look pathologically hypersensitive for reacting ballistically to someone who is just a kid next to them.

I wish they had Tony Bourdain every week, his comments are like crack hits to my jaded ears. Hilarious. His dynamic with Michael was great.

Sam, Ilan and Cliff are cruising to the final 3. I'm crushing on Ilan.

Edited by jeanki (log)
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I don't get the Marcel hate either. Sure his hair makes you think he's Wolverine's bastard son but he seems to be an okay guy. Frank and Betty were waaaaayyyyy out of line in this episode.

The dishes were definitely disappointing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who went to bed last night thinking "What would I have done?"

Since "cutting edge" is definitely not my middle name, I figured the best I could do would be to use the familiar ingredients in different courses than the usual. Things I came up with while waiting to fall asleep:

* an appetizer of turkey-stuffed and/or squash ravioli (I see someone else had that idea too)

* a vegetable terrine made with Brussels sprouts or something like that (not sure if Brussels sprouts are traditional American TG fare but they are in my family)

* a turkey terrine

* potato madelines

* sweet potato madelines with creme anglaise (or, as we like to call it, Bird's :laugh: ) for dessert

These guys are just so flipping disappointing...

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I'm crushing on Ilan.

As my girlfriend said last night, "I'd do Ilan, but I'm not sure he swings my way."

Since "cutting edge" is definitely not my middle name, I figured the best I could do would be to use the familiar ingredients in different courses than the usual. Things I came up with while waiting to fall asleep:

* an appetizer of turkey-stuffed and/or squash ravioli (I see someone else had that idea too)

* a vegetable terrine made with Brussels sprouts or something like that (not sure if Brussels sprouts are traditional American TG fare but they are in my family)

* a turkey terrine

* potato madelines

* sweet potato madelines with creme anglaise (or, as we like to call it, Bird's  :laugh: ) for dessert

These guys are just so flipping disappointing...

While it's relatively easy to come up with cool ideas, executing them for the first time, without outside help or research, for a group of highly discerning judges can be intimidating. I know I wouldn't be able to come up with a recipe for sweet potato madelines off the top of my head, and terrines are so prone to failure if you're not confident in your technique. Still, I agree the food was disappointing.

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Example variant dish:

Debone Turkey thighs, brown, and braise with canned cranberry sauce, half the cranberry sauce amount of cheap red wine, and a chipotle pepper or two. When the turkey is cooked, remove the braising liquid and reduce to half its volume, and use it as the sauce (remove the chipotle peppers).

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I found the show so disappointing just because there were so many cool things they could have made and didn't even come close. My brother is making pumpkin gnocchi and okinawa sweet potato (purple) gnocchi with a sauce made from turkey broth, bits of turkey meat, sage, and something sweet (berries maybe? I don't remember what he said). To me, that fits the challenge perfectly.

My own idea is dessert: sweet potato s'mores, as a take on the classic whipped sweet potato w/marshmallows. This popped into my head this afternoon. Now I might just have to make it, especially since I just had the most awful catered Thanksgiving dinner due to a family obligation I couldn't get out of.

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I don't understand the hate for Marcel either. Yes, he's arrogant but so are a lot of other people in the business. You have to be more than just confident to make it big. I admire him for just standing there and letting Betty throw her temper tantrums.

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Damn. Does anyone here watch Robot Chicken? I caught an episode of theirs that featured Mario Brothers in Vice City, and now I'm having visions of Frank going, "Ah, vaffancolo! You toucha my toothbrush!? Bastardo! I keeeel you! You toucha my toothbrush again, I beeeat you, I beat you so baaad -- your mamma, she no longer even reeeeecognize you, you -- you, insignificante! Aaah, mamma mia, my toothbrush, why they do diz, uh? Argh!"

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These guys are just so flipping disappointing...

I was just looking at Harolds' and Lee Anne's blog on the bravo site. Their comments are interesting to me because they've been there. One thing Harold points out is that you get very tired and fed up by that stage of the filming. I've always figured you have to have incredible stamina to cook in a restaurant anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem, but maybe it's a factor.

Something happens to these shows after the first season, also. I'm looking at Michael and thinking he's decided to be the new Dave. Maybe Bad Betty is even thinking the same. "I'll keep declaring that I'm mediocre and they'll set the bar lower for me." I have a feeling the producers are trying to fiddle around with stuff so that cooks like those two will not skate to the finals any more-- that's why the mass immunity, for example.

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Am I the only one who doesn't get the Marcel hate?

He seems decent. He does help the others, and if Frank would pick up after himself instead of leaving his toiletries out like a slob Marcel wouldn't have had to move them.

Marcel seems calm and Betty throws the tantrums.

One week Betty goes off on him for no valid reason, then she hugs him, now she's screaming at him again. I'm really not digging Betty.

None of the food looked cutting edge to me.

I'm right there with you. I mean, Frank left his toothbrush in the fricking kitchen, for god's sake. Aren't these people supposed to be kitchen people? According to the footage they included in the show, not only were there toiletries in the kitchen (I'm assuming there's a bathroom where they could be stored), there were underwear on the floor and cigarette butts in the sink. I agree with Michael's comment--if I knew I was eating food from that trash dump, I would have thrown up!

Betty's "smile" (I think "grimace" is a better word) gives me the creeps.

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
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I think it says alot when the petty drama is more significant than the actual cooking. These are forgettables, just average characters in the cooking world.

Agreed. Am eagerly awaiting the cutting out of the dead wood, and hopefully some great food towards the end of the series.

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What ideas ran through your minds? This might be fun, let's see how we would please anthony's palate.

I always think of what I would cook, even though I know I would never hold my own in something like this.

If I was doing this, I'd take some of my Thanksgiving guilty pleasures from childhood and played with them. Like somehow take turkey skin and fry it into a cone. Stuff it with a cornbread oyster dressing and a dollop of fresh cranberry sauce on top (or if I ever knew how to make that fake caviar from El Bulli--do that with cranberries). Serve it like a sushi hand roll/ice cream cone.

Man, I wonder what that would taste like.

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

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