'Top Chef' recap: Cooking for the kids and Kass

Top-Chef-Stephen-JacqThere’s a place called Washington, D.C. where there are fat cats, along with bulls and bears, and people saying things like “senate majority” and “sexual relations.” In this land, things are blue and red, and there are a lot of white buildings, where famous stuff happened.

Oh? What’s that? You’ve heard of this place? It’s where who lives?

Well, I’m with you, but apparently the Bravo producers are not because they want you to know that their new home turf is all politics and bad puns like “bipartisandwich,” which elicited a collective groan in the Top Chef kitchen. But I’ll leave the filibusters to Padma.

The D.C.-isms continued with assistant White House chef Sam Kass, who announced the day’s quickfire challenge. Side note: Does anyone else think Kass would make a rather handsome and astute regular judge? There’s something about his shaved head and him telling Kenny that a tomato is actually a fruit… it was working for me.

Kass wisely refused to utter the word “bipartisandwich,” leaving Padma to explain that the chefs would have 30 minutes to work in teams of two to make a sandwich.

But here’s the catch: The chefs had to think of as many puns about their dish while making their dish. Well, no actually, the catch was that they had to wear red and blue aprons (get it??) that were joined at the hip.

And it did turn the kitchen into quite the cuckoo house. Without two hands for the can opener, the cheftestants hacked away at cans with knives, while Amanda clutched greens with her chin for dear life.

They all seemed to pull it together without losing any digits, but Teams Stephen/Jacqueline and Tiffany/Lynne were Kass’ bottom two. The former lacked creativity (white bread is TC blasphemy, apparently) and the latter’s saltimbocca had a funky texture. Add saltimbocca to the list of things I’ve never heard of and things people on TC use to sound really cool.

In the top were Teams Angelo/Tracy and Kenny/Ed. Angelo vs. Kenny. I’m already bored of this rivalry. I was bored of this rivalry until I saw what Angelo had in store later in the day. Anyway, though Kenny and Ed had a beautifully seared tuna, the prize went to Angelo and that girl who helped him. Tracy was psyched to work with him because 1. She knew she’d get immunity and 2. She has a crush on him. Well, by the end of the quickfire, he had his arm around her. Score! Oh wait, she’s a lesbian. D’oh.

Kass loved Angelo and Tracy’s flounder marinated in “liquid sex,” I mean fish sauce, so the two won immunity which meant they could turn off their culinary powers the rest of the day.

They had to cook for 50 middle school children, who are way better arbiters of food than Tom, Padma, Gail or even Eric are, thanks to their totally visceral reactions. (One kid wanted to throw up after eating Stephen’s sweet onion rice.) The catch was, their budget was $2.68 per child, which is the same amount the local public schools get, which is pretty sad. And for funsies, Kass deducted $4 from the $134 total to account for the labor and supply costs that are also used for the $2.68. So… ramen noodles for lunch?

“When I go out, I spend $134 on myself,” Arnold said. Something tells me part of that $134 is spent on drag queen bingo and karaoke to the Spice Girls. But anyway…

In their lunches, the cheftestants needed a main course, side dishes, and dessert with vegetables and fruit incorporated. Each person on the team of four would be responsible for one dish, but there were no knives to be drawn this round. No, they just picked each other, and I’m assuming that, looking back, Arnold would’ve sooner gone without a stylist than worked with Kelly.

You see, Colorado Kelly became controlling Kelly. “This is actually my idea,” she told the other cheftestants about her pork carnitas.  “I’m ultimately responsible for the carnitas,” she told Tom. Well, Kelly, we really ought to give you a James Beard award for your pork tacos.

And while Kelly was in Kelly world, Angelo was similarly in his own universe of hair gel, peanut butter and immunity, explaining that he turned a rock into a wheel. What? Dude should’ve been explaining to Kenny that tomatoes have seeds and therefore are a fruit instead of lauding your own praises for squeezing out a very unappetizing sweet potato puree.

When there wasn’t any agenda pushing — and don’t get me wrong, this is a good agenda to push — Angelo was concocting devilish plans to sabotage Kenny via his immunity, while disastrous decisions abounded elsewhere in the TC kitchen. Amanda chose a sherry jus for her chicken, while Jacqueline added two pounds of sugar to her pudding. A healthy lunch for children with alcohol and obesity-inducing sweets sounded about right.

Kevin seemed to be the only one to get “it” and be creative about it. His melon kebab with yogurt — in the form of fluffy whip cream — was genius.  Angelo definitely did not get it, making an overly fancy peanut butter and celery dish that proved he was born a grown man and was never a child. Kids like bright, shiny things; not words like “tuile cup.”

When everyone headed back to the TC headquarters, Arnold spearheaded what I wish could’ve been a real revolt against Kelly. But with Jay and Silent Bob, a.k.a. Tiffany and Lynne, that wasn’t going to happen.  Kelly, on the other hand, was “flabbergasted” by her alleged bitchiness, still believing that her oat tortillas and braised pork were the bee’s knees.

Sadly for my new Kelly dislike, she ended up winning the elimination challenge, where Kass had, as Andrew would say, a “culinary boner” for her carnitas. But Kelly’s whole team was in the judges’ good graces for creating the top menu of the day.

Seeing the bottom teams was, topically enough, like a Real Housewives reunion what with all the uncalled-for interjections and smack-talk. More please!

First, out of nowhere, Stephen, of Stephen/Amanda/Jacqueline/Tamesha, bashed Team Angelo/Tracy/Kenny/Ed for their lack of vegetables. Then Ed retorted with Amanda’s preposterous use of sherry. Then Angelo pleaded the fifth on whether he did a measly celery cup because he knew he had immunity. And finally, between the judges, Tom likened Amanda’s chicken to “a turd.” So really, this was the best part of the hour.

We could’ve pondered for ages if Angelo deliberately tried to throw Kenny under the bus, but he saved us a lot of time by telling Tracy, “I don’t like Kenny.” Well, I guess that mystery is solved.

But Angelo’s tactics didn’t work in the end, even though both Kenny and Ed were in the bottom four. Amanda and Jacqueline were also there, and even though I could’ve sworn that alcohol Amanda would get the boot, Jacqueline was sent home. I chalk it up to the double whammy of last week’s atrocious chicken liver mousse and this week’s banana pudding. I guess the proof is in the pudding. Padma, that one is mine.

Next week, the cheftestants cook a picnic, Alex is a slob and most everyone sits around smoking cigarettes. Until then!


Comments (172 total) Add your comment
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  • Madd

    I haven’t been watching this season…how is it so far?

    • Samantha

      The female who put sherry in the kid’s lunch should’ve gone home but she is getting the villain edit so of course she is going to stay …

      • darclyte

        She cooked with sherry, and Tom called it a turd. But the other gal muffed the mousse last week, and added TWO POUNDS of sugar into a dish that was supposed to be healthy. Most of the alcohol in the sherry would get cooked out leaving only the flavor, while the sugar wasn’t going anywhere. They made the right choice, but Jacqueline is boring comparatively so of course that helped seal the deal on her eviction.

      • Ian

        @Samantha In Season 1 the producers didn’t feel a need to keep the villain, Ken, in the show. He got kicked off after the first episode. Sorry, but your theory holds no water.

      • Fatima

        @Ian – Season’s 1 real villain was Stephen who they kept on WAAAAY longer than they should have. The sherry girl has something crazy coming up in the preview.

      • Ian

        @Fatima. I think the hot-headed Irishman, Ken, was more of a villain than Stephen. At least Stephen never talked back and showed disrespect to a world-classed chef like Hubert Keller. But, I agree that Stephen was a jerk. So was Tiffani, who was the runner-up. The thing is both Stephen and Tiffani could cook though which is probably why they went as far as they did. The saving grace was that a good guy, Harold, won that season.

      • henrietta

        @Ian – the piece you’re forgetting is that the chicken sherry gal is at least middling attractive. Ken wasn’t. I’ve come to learn that the magic formula is being bitchy and female and attractive. It must be all three to ensure longevity…and this woman is not quite bright enough to be an unmitigated bitch, and barely squeaks by on the attractive scale, IMO. She did sort of pull off a hugely condescending sneer during her peanut butter tirade, and next week it appears she’s a hazing victim. Between cigarette breaks. The collective cigarette smoking is very weird this season.

      • Andi

        @darclyte if you have ever watch Food Detectives it is determined that most of the alcohol DOES NOT cook off so this was an inappropriate dish to serve children.

    • as

      I watched for the first time..not good…….chefs dull and there to meet some diversity goal. Shame shame previous seasons casting.

      • leslie

        There to meet some diversity goal? You mean that’s why there are so many women? Or so many lesbians/homosexuals? Whatever you mean, I’m sure that being boring isn’t due to the contestants being a diverse bunch.

      • Ana170

        I think As(s) means that there’s a larger than normal number of minorities. Not that that’s any less insulting.

      • as

        Meeting racial quotas for the ‘bi-partisan DC’edition of TC is a flop…
        ‘proof is in the pudding’

      • Jay

        @as – has it ever occurred to you that there simply were more qualified minority competitors this year? Check out the websites of the places the “diversity quota” contestants come from, you d*bag. They aren’t burger flippers, they are excellent chefs who happen to be minorities.

      • as

        Jay,
        I said something provocative and you hurled a gender-based slur. Sad.
        It looks like a politically correct cast IMO. The food was uninspired.

  • Rebecca

    It’s been ok so far but it’s already clearly obvious that Angelo and Kenny will be in the finals. Really dirty of Angelo to sabotage his team (I believe he did it) but I knew Jacqueline would go home.

    • the real wendy

      I’ll say it again! Kenny = sexy / Angelo = jerk. Kenny can chop my onions any day!

    • Roma

      It isn’t “nice” for Angelo to sabotage Kenny, but, this is a competition. Angelo had an advantage and he used it to his advantage. He isn’t going to get extra points for being a sweetheart, and there is a prize at the end that he wants. Why shouldn’t he sabotage Kenny if he gets a chance? If they don’t want someone to do this, don’t have immunity as a prize in the Quickfire challenges. This is particularly important when you consider that the judges have said, repeatedly, they don’t look at a chef’s overall work, they look at just the dish they are presented with.

      • Zora

        True it’s a competition but why not win on your own food? Angelo has won every competition so far. He’s clearly much better than that peanut butter and celery crap. Why not live and die on your own merits? Just my opinion.

      • Kevin

        The contestants should view the show as an opportunity to further develop their careers, so it behooves them to play nice. If you follow the contestant’s post-Top Chef careers you’ll notice that the most likeable winners (Harold and Stephanie) draw the biggest crowds to their restaurants while people like Ilan and Hung not so much.

      • Ana170

        If Angelo keeps going this way he’s only going to end up hurting himself. Most TC alums say that the show has been a major boost to their careers. Except for, as Kevin says, the ones who aren’t well liked. Also, up until now, this show has managed to avoid this kind of behavior from the contestants. Angelo’s been watching too much Survivor.

      • JerseyFresh

        It’s funny how they sometimes mention that they’re only judging the dish of the moment, but clearly they’re influenced by previous weeks. I really expected Amanda to go home, not just for the failed chicken, but since took control as the leader. I can only think that the judges were still holding Jacqueline’s failed pate against her.

      • Ian

        @Kevin. What makes you think Hung is not a likeable person? I think he’s far more likeable than Tiffani (Season 1), Ilan & Marcel (Season 2), and most of the cast on Season 4.

      • RK

        Hung was certainly cast as the “villain” that year.

      • henrietta

        Right. It IS a competition. But I still feel that there’s something to be said for class—which Angelo showed us last night that he lacks, in spades. I’d be willing to bet all I have that he threw the competition (of course he did!); I tried to think of another chef from previous seasons who’d have done the same thing and, without putting too fine a point on it, I came up with Tiffani and – well, that’s it. I’m sure there are more, but off the top of my head, she’s the only one who struck me as being similarly lacking in confidence, ferociously ambitious, and well…sort of low-rent. I’d have thought Angelo would be consumed with not ever allowing the viewers to see that he was capable of producing anything less than stellar. I also thought of my fave chefs from TC Masters (J. Waxman, H. Keller, etc.) – would they have done anything remotely like this? Nay. And they simply ooze class, competition or no. I’m just saying.

      • peggym

        I have reservations at Kevin’s Atlanta restaurant, partly because his food looked good and partly becaue he was so likeable. I don’t think I’d shell out the money for Angelo.

      • Riss

        Roma – I’m not sure if you watched “Top Chef Masters” this season, but there was an instance where Marcus came in over budget at the store and Rick and Jonathan pitched in their leftover funds to help him out. Rick said that he didn’t want to win because the other guy didn’t have an ingredient, he wanted to win based on the quality of his food. I think this is the sort of attitude that a top chef should have. If you have the talent and the passion then you don’t need to do any scheming and backstabbing.

  • Wordchick

    Now that rasta-boy is gone and I don’t have to avert my eyes to watch the show, I’m loving this season. Angelo vs. Kenny–this one’s going to be good.

  • Heil to the Chef

    I personally loved hearing one of the female chef’s threaten to Rochambeau another contestant for the use of an item in the pantry. Anytime a woman quotes Eric Cartman, I am a happy guy.

    • ATLgroove

      “Who got high and came up with this idea,” was my second favorite line of the night.

      • Julia’s child

        Oh yeah, that had me laughing, too. So funny.

    • Jessie

      I’m not sure what you mean by “threaten” to Rochambeau. She was saying she wanted to Rochambeau to determine who got to be the left hand on her team. It’s another term for “Rock, Paper, Scissors”…

  • M~

    It’s becoming more and more ridiculous! The creators need to go back to the drawing board! Deciding to braise chicken in sherry for a group of middle school kids was the most asinine thing I think I have ever seen on this show! The use of alcohol for kids in any way shape or form is REALLY bad judgment! They’ve run out of ideas! Go back to the beginning and rerun the original challenges – back when the show was interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • as

      So true. How was there any debate?

      • RBlues

        Not only was sherry inappropriate for a school lunch, add the issue of the very limited budget and it makes no sense at all.

    • Buffy Freak

      Yes it was a bad chice. But when you cook with sherry, the alcohol burns off so technically the kids were not consuming alcohol.

      • jcarla

        Depending how long and how high the tempature, MOST of the alcohol. Alton Brown, that upto HALF stays in the food. So sherry in kids’ food: still not a good idea.

      • Elle

        As jcarla already mentioned, It is nearly imposible to cook out all the alcohol. It won’t get anyone drunk, but there is still a small amount of alcohol.

      • Dan

        @jcarla: I bet the teachers were appreciative of the effect that the sherry had!

    • Ana170

      How is that the creators’ fault? The challenge was sound. There was one individual chef that made the decision to use sherry. Also you have to cook something for about 3 hours to burn off most of the alcohol.

      • henrietta

        Not to mention her reason for such a bonehad move! The quote “Well, I like to eat chicken cooked in sherry, and I also like mushrooms…” – criminey! Gail’s quickfire (sorry) riposte was hilarious, and spot-on. Why not add a little penne w/vodka to the toddlers’ buffet?

    • Ian

      @M. I agree. They did a very similar challenge like this that involved schoolkids in Season 1. I wonder if they’re going to have the cheftestants buy ingredients at a gas station next.

    • Fatima

      What does a contestant deciding to use sherry in a dish have anything to do with Top Chef producer’s decisions and challenges. It was a great, timely and well-planned challenge if you ask me.

    • Icon

      And use Sherry in a REALLY short budget is also super smart.

  • wendy23

    I hate when they show the “villians” so much like Angelo. I am sure he will be around till the end to ” make good TV” when he is a bore. Like those terribly boring V brothers. Bring back Kevin and Carla STAT

    • Ian

      The “boring V brothers” were the best thing about Season 6. Not only did they raise the bar for cooking skills in the season, but the sibling rivalry added a human dimension.

      • wendy23

        Have to agree to disagree. yeah they can cook but they must have said “Sibling Rivalry” as much as they said Gladware.

    • Riss

      The V brothers were definitely the best thing about season 6. They were amazingly talented chefs.

  • JenR

    I kept hoping Kenny would cite the 1893 Supreme Court case in which they decided that for culinary purposes, tomatoes are a vegetable. They are used in cooking like a vegetable is, not like a fruit is. Nobody says, “Let’s have tomatoes for dessert!”

    • darclyte

      Ken/Angelo’s team also had Sweet Potato puree. How is a Sweet Potato NOT a vegetable? Ken was never at risk because they liked his dish, they were just upset that he didn’t “fight harder” for a better overall meal.

      • Mavis

        Sweet Potatoes are a vegetable, but they are one of the so called “bad” vegetables. They have alot of starch and sugars in them. So while still generally healthy, there are other vegetables that are much more healthy for you.

      • darclyte

        Sorry Mavis, but you’re wrong. Sweet Potatoes are actually a great healthy choice. From various health sites: “A nutritional All-Star — one of the best vegetables you can eat. They’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Bake and then mix in some unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness.” and “As a main dish or prepared as a dessert, the sweet potato is a nutritious and economical food. One baked sweet potato (3 1/2 ounce serving) provides over 8,800 IU of vitamin A or about twice the recommended daily allowance, yet it contains only 141 calories making it valuable for the weight watcher. This nutritious vegetable provides 42 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, 6 percent of the RDA for calcium, 10 percent of the RDA for iron, and 8 percent of the RDA for thiamine for healthy adults. It is low in sodium and is a good source of fiber and other important vitamins and minerals. A complex carbohydrate food source, it provides beta carotene which may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain cancers.” More info can be found on the World’s Healthiest Foods website.

      • RK

        Well, you are both right. Sweet potatoes are a starch, and not considered a “veggie” — such as broccoli or lettuce.

      • Randy in MS

        Wow! A response from a member of the Sweet Potato Association of AMerica (SPAAM)!

      • apc

        Regardless of how healthy sweet potatoes are, school food services consider them starches (as in bread, pasta, etc.), and not vegetables.

      • cab91

        I think the issue was the amount of butter he put in the sweet potatoes. I still think the Amanda should have been sent home, she killed the budget for everyone else to create turd!

    • RK

      Wait, I just learned in this column that if you have seeds, you are a fruit. Tell that to the cucumber I just ate.

      • darclyte

        Yeah, or bell peppers…etc…

      • David

        Whats funny is that, even though both are treated as vegetables in cooking, botanically they are both fruit…

      • Ann

        Botanically, nothing is a “vegetable”. They are just a group of fruits and roots that we have given that particular designation because we tend to eat them in savory dishes instead of sweet ones (fruit) or as spices (roots). So the tomato is a fruit/tomato is a vegetable debate is pointless. But I think we can all agree that ketchup is not a vegetable.

      • Carla in Houston

        Yep, check Wikipedia. Cucumbers and bell peppers are actually fruit, in the botanical sense. So are squash, zucchini,avocados, and some olives. Crazy, right?

      • lagitha

        Aarrgghh!! I get so frustrated when people don’t understand the definitions of fruit and vegetable, and that they are not mutually exclusive. A vegetable is defined as “any plant whose fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves, or flower parts are used as food, as the tomato, bean, beet, potato, onion, asparagus, spinach, or cauliflower”; a fruit is simply the part of a plant that holds the seeds. No one ever debates whether celery is a stem or a vegetable, nor whether a carrot is either a root or a vegetable, so why the constant bickering about whether a tomato is either a fruit or a vegetable. It’s BOTH.

      • darclyte

        Tomatoes are treated as a vegetable in most food preparations, not as a fruit. And yes, fruits technically are part of a vegetable. So whether or not something is classified as a fruit or vegetable, it’s really how it’s used. If someone had prepared a meal that had chicken as the main course, diced tomatoes as the veggie, apple “sticks” as the fruit, and yogurt as the dessert, nobody would have complained about it not having a veggie component.

    • henrietta

      @jenr – Brilliant! I’d completely forgotten about that!!

  • Donna

    Amanda (the woman who used the sherry) should have been booted. I also was secretly wishing Kelly tacos would fail, because she is now completely unlikable. Too bad the woman who had to help raise her little sister ultimately had to pack up her knives and go. Good review.

    • RK

      She had gotten so much screen time in the two episodes that you knew she was either going to be around for a long or short time.

  • red

    I don’t know whether I should feel disappointed or entertained.
    I mean, this group of chefs seems poised to deliver the most interesting interpersonal dynamics the show has ever seen. BUT…the cooking level seems very low so far and it seems the producers are willing to sacrifice that in exchange for cheap drama(as entertaining as it may be). Top Chef was a show primarily about fine food and real chefs, with true talent. But it’s devolving to almost Hell’s Kitchen levels. Don’t get me wrong – like I said, that’s entertaining in its own right. But, I watch Top Chef for the culinary experience and Hell’s Kitchen for the hilarious insults and “drama” between contestants.

    • H

      You’re absolutely right. TC is fun because it’s a bunch of super-skilled and creative individuals given ridiculous challenges and, occasionally, their personalities lead to amusing clashes. But it’s ultimately all about the cooking. The fact that Top Chef Masters is still fresh in my mind (drama, humor and seriously kick-ass cooking) just underscores the weakness of this season so far for me.

      • Lyn

        @H, that’s an excellent point. For example, it’s hard to get all exercised about the arrogant and eeeevil Angelo (as they obviously want us to do) when we’re still thinking about the big personalities and big talents of the Masters group.

    • Zora

      I’ve been watching for a long time and every season there has been drama. Remember everybody’s favorite guy to hate – Marcell from season 2 and the fact that Cliff was sent home for trying to shave his head? Or the guy from season one who told Tiffany “I’m not your bit*h” or whatever? This show is a mix of drama and culinary arts. It’s been that from day one.

      • Bobby’s Robot

        “I’m not your b1tch, B1tch!!”

      • red

        Oh, I remember that, sure. But this season seems to be going straight for that, right from the go. And the worst part is that it’s something manufactured by the producers, by keeping certain chefs around and providing a certain edit.

        With Marcel, at least he was a great chef in his own right and it’s not like anyone encouraged the others to hold him down and all that shit. As the show progresses, more and more of the contestants actively try to act a certain way in order to promote an image, and the producers choose to go with it, rather than focus on the food.

      • Marsha

        We can say that it is all about the food, but really, don’t we watch for the drama? It’s reality tv, after all. I, for one, am just going to sit back and watch. If I want good food, I’ll go out to eat. The producers are in charge of the edits, but the chefs are in charge of what they say and do. Bon appetit!

      • Ian

        @red. So far, I think the right chefs got eliminated. Last week John deserved to go home because he used a store-bought pastry shell, and this week Jacqueline deserved to go home for using so much sugar in a kid’s lunch. I agree the casting director(s) choose “colorful” chefs for the sake of the show, but that doesn’t mean they always stay unless they have talent. And I agree with that poster who said since season 1, there has always been drama in TC.

    • David

      The cooking level seemingly being lower could be a product of the challenges, or the ridiclous interpersonal drama going on… I’ve seen Kelly on iron chef before, and she is supposed to be a real rising star. Angelo and kenny have actually made really good food too… I still have hope that the drama tones down and the food improves still. And I think Top chef did make an effort to get similar talent as season 6.

    • Coco

      I am glad that I am not the only person who has questioned weather the skill level was down this season.

    • henrietta

      I agree—the skill level seems to have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. I’d not say they’re as scary as the set over on America’s Next Food Network Star, but I can see a few of them would have been a better fit on that mess (amanda, the sweet potato/pepper guy, dominique, maybe the poor schlub who described his dish as having 135 grams of fat in it, before he realized his boner and blurted, “No, I meant calories!” egad.

      • henrietta

        jeez – I meant jacqueline, not dominique. *tilt*

  • April

    @red

    I’m with you. I even upgraded my cable package just for Top Chef and I found myself unimpressed. I think I’ll just catch the illegal downloads on the net. This season isn’t worth it.

    • tnsmoke

      you can watch episodes legally on Bravo’s website.

  • tony bogustello

    You said that Angelo was lauding himself for making an “unappetizing sweet potato puree”. That was actually the other guy w/ Kenny (Ed I think) that made the sweet potato puree, which was too spicy.

    • Ambee

      Yes, that confused me when I read it. I thought Ed made the puree, as well.

      • henrietta

        I think you’re right…but what was that mess that Angelo was trying to force through a pastry bag? Or a whipped cream can, or something? I’ve completely forgotten. Maybe it was a peanut-butter something…which he’d clearly have tried just a bit harder to remedy, if he’d not thrown the challenge out the window…

      • Elle

        It was the peanut butter that Angelo handing out.

      • warped

        Angelo, made a peanut butter foam.

  • RK

    Never make dessert if you want to win. It’s that easy.

    • darclyte

      Unfortunately, each team HAD to make a dessert. Of course, the person who got the boot was one of them, but the winning team was able to make a very successful & healthy dessert, so NOBODY had an excuse.

  • Wendy

    I think the talent pool varies from year to year. Last year was very, very good. This year, maybe not so much. I think Tom C has said as much.

    Also, “bulls and bears” are Wall Street, not DC. That would be “hawks and doves.”

    • Lola

      or elephants and donkeys.

      • chachi

        Or Peaches and Herb

      • Zora

        lol!

  • jj

    So far I’m not liking this season. Everyone is so full of themselves – what ever happened to being humble? There isn’t one chef there who seems talented and decent. Hopefully one will emerge later on.

    • schmed

      Exactly. In past seasons, there;s been one or two abrasive-yet-talented chef, but this season there are about half a dozen, and I;m not sure they’re so talented! Where are the low-key quirky madly talented contestants this season (as someone said upstream, Kevin or Carla or Stephanie)? Perhaps they will emerge, but I’m not seeing it yet.

      • M

        I love TC, but this season I’m finding the cast to be full of intolerably arrogant contestants. At least in past seasons, there were those redeeming contestants- Kevin, Stephanie…

  • old john

    Still waiting for someone to impress me.

    And I agree with the others, sherry in a dish for school lunch should have earned her the boot. It is way too expensive for a school lunch.

    • warped

      So totally agree. The decision to use sherry was unwise from a cost standpoint (it took up too much of a miniscule budget) AND from a cooking standpoint (alcohol for kids! Yes it cooks off but too many people hear sherry and automatically think you’re trying to get kids drunk – plus how many kids will actually appreciate the use of sherry).

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