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S18.E08: Restaurant Wars

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Really irritated:  I watch by streaming, buying the episodes on Apple, and they don't have the whole episode.  It ends at 47 minutes (length of a regular episode, I guess), which is just as team Penny arrives at the judges' table.  A friend who buys them on Amazon said they have the same problem.  What happens to team Penny at judges' table?  How do people respond to Sara's being PYKAGed?  (Irritated.)😖

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4 minutes ago, marybennet said:

Really irritated:  I watch by streaming, buying the episodes on Apple, and they don't have the whole episode.  It ends at 47 minutes (length of a regular episode, I guess), which is just as team Penny arrives at the judges' table.  A friend who buys them on Amazon said they have the same problem.  What happens to team Penny at judges' table?  How do people respond to Sara's being PYKAGed?  (Irritated.)😖

They're shocked. Gabe says "I thought it was going to be me."

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3 hours ago, FinnishViewer said:

Sara could still come back via LCK and win the competition.

I am thinking while watching the episode is that he (Brian Malarkey) pick Dawn to go base on the ranking on the episode avishar going home (right after Nelson/Gabriel) and that Sara is the winner of the competition based on wide range of cooking (not really, her range is about as wide/limited as all the top players of this season).  So for Dawn to have that edit, and for Sara was the one that went home.  Man, Malarkey got one two, two punches right there.  Anyway, I do think Sara can cook back in.  As for the discussion on Dawn, regardless of her, HER TEAM CANNOT WIN.  The other team was flawless.  So unless they could put up a more than flawless meal, they would lose, especially they got couple of dishes that were below average.  And so if losing is inevitable then it only come down to who go home.  We focus on Dawn a lot.  But her course is 1st and 3rd.  Meaning she is the first to serve, and her other dish isn't all that far behind.  She had way less time than other in this format.  So I don't ding her as much.  Even if the food that come after her fell out of sequence.  But if the dish was so so so so so perfectly executed and can stand on their own, then whoever that chef is.  They wouldn't go home. 

Edited by weixiaobao
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4 hours ago, dleighg said:

I don't think it affected the result in any way, but one would think that the judges would not be as eager to eat a second multi-course meal. 

I hope my post merge and not double post :/ put can't seem to put quote into an already existing post.  Anyway, past contestants did mention that for restaurant war challenge, going first is a big advantage.  The Judges are probably hungry, whereas when they going to the second service they already more than half full.  Especially in regular season with a larger amount of service.  Where they could just focus on the judges then play catch up.  Rather than fell so far behind due to services when the judges come.  People serve second usually would have a line that very backed up by the time the judges come.  *Mod if I broke the rule can you merge and or delete my post.  Sorry.

Edited by weixiaobao
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I liked seeing Amar and Dale show real enthusiasm for the food.   However, Amar licking the plate gave me flashbacks to a long ago co-worker, and that wasn't good.   

At least the guest judges cared about the food, and showed their appreciation.     

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In regular Restaurant Wars they usually split the judges up - Tom and Gail, and Padma and Guest Judge - and each pair goes to a different restaurant first, then they switch to the other.  That lowers the bias on "going first."  In this format, that's not possible.

 

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1 hour ago, meep.meep said:

Those low brow chefs have infinitely more knowledge of what it takes to actually be a chef than Padma and Gail who have never done so.  Dale Talde had multiple successful restaurants running at one point.  Ahmar has opened at least one.  Padma has written a cookbook and Gail has worked in food journalism.  I don't mind having actual chefs as part of the judging panel.

 

Yeah! That was the point of my comment, snarking the judges, not the guest judges. I think that they have a more well rounded insight into this than the "panel of esteemed judges", in that they have been in the trenches of the show, have current experience in working in the kitchens. 

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1 hour ago, meep.meep said:

Those low brow chefs have infinitely more knowledge of what it takes to actually be a chef than Padma and Gail who have never done so.  Dale Talde had multiple successful restaurants running at one point.  Ahmar has opened at least one.  Padma has written a cookbook and Gail has worked in food journalism.  I don't mind having actual chefs as part of the judging panel.

I do want to say that while Gail has never been a chef, she has actually worked in professional kitchens on the line. She worked at Le Cirque before going over to Food and Wine. That's definitely a long time ago, but Le Cirque is no third-rate hash house either. So she has some authority in working on the line, although far less than Tom, of course.

I also have enjoyed having TC alumni other than Richard on the judging table. They do have good insight, and they also are pretty supportive in a way that none of the Big Three judges can be due to the unique pressures of competitive cooking.

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2 hours ago, akr said:

They could have managed a more relaxed, intimate, or educational style. I don't know that this small group setting requires you to be quite so gregarious; you can just tell them what you're doing & why, answer questions, and make sire everyone has what they need.

It seemed Sara, at least, was aware that having no particular theme beyond seafood, no plan for progression, & no designated responsibility for any aspect of service, were likely to be major problems, but she wasn't able to successfully stand up to Gabe on these issues, and I don't remember that anyone else even tried.

I suppose no one wanted that role for themselves, so they didn't push it. 

Yeah, it just looked like Sara didn't trust her instinct (essentially what happened to Jamie getting eliminated).  It sucked when Sara was like, "I feel like this is a problem...but everyone seems to be calm, so I guess its just me being overly paranoid".  Ugh, it seems to be an unfortunate theme of female chefs being afraid of speaking up.  The team really should have been like Shota, assigning specific roles.

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2 hours ago, blixie said:

I absolutely loved the moment when Jamie was like "Do you cook your rice, like BOOP?" to Shota who was like I don't make that sound, I say WOOP. It was also hilarious when Kristen couldn't stop laughing at Jamies dish explanation via noises.

That was awesomely funny, but you knew exactly what she meant!

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I am trying hard to figure out how Dawn is getting the blame for individual choices?  She certainly did not prevent the others from going to talk to the judges or being more personable, did not decide on her own to not have a cohesive concept, and to my knowledge did not work on their dishes that failed.  So HOW again was she the reason they did so poorly? 

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Dawn wouldn't tell her TEAM what she was making. I think that behavior can stand on its own, regardless of outcome.

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Dawn didn't help or hurt her team really. The team failed as a whole because they couldn't work together well. Chris can't make pasta (please stop), Gabe gave them a vague theme to work with (kind of seafood??), Sarah wouldn't speak up enough when she knew their plans were bad, and Dawn focused mostly on her dishes only (which turned out good for her). But because the editors put such a focus on her, it make it seem like she was the biggest issue when she wasn't. She was just part of the whole failure. It was on all of them.

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18 hours ago, jackjill89 said:

Dawn is proving to be an incredible chef and her food looks soooo good, but boy was she frustrating this episode. It would have driven me insane that she didn't know how she was handling her dishes until last minute. That team failed on so many levels. How in the world did they think this would work with the only thread being the use of seafood? It's like when they do a team challenge on Project Runway and think if every garment has a flash of a certain color it's enough to make it cohesive collection.

I liked Sara, but that halibut looked gross. 

On the other hand, I'm not a Maria fan, but she sold me tonight. She delivered. I loved how that team worked together. Their dishes looked fantastic. 

Unfortunately -- although the judges had no way of knowing this -- Dawn's inability to conceptualize her dishes until so late in the game led directly to at least some of the team's problems. She's lucky her teammates didn't throw her under the bus. I've noticed that overall, the Cheftestants this year just seem more friendly and less competitive with each other. I have a feeling a lot of that is because they are so grateful just to be cooking and around other people who are food obsessed like they are! 

Chris is the luckiest mf'er on this season. There have been several times I thought he should go home and he somehow squeaks by. That ice cream saved him!

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Again, why is this on Dawn? The other three could have pulled together and made sure their dishes were cohesive and she would have been the odd one out, and she had nothing to do with their service or execution of what they did decide to put together. 

I know many people that cook that cannot verbalize what they are putting together.   My mom was one.  She was incredible in the kitchen, but had no idea what she was doing nor could she tell someone else.  She just went in and created.  

Sure, ,she she should have told them, but I don't think she was doing it maliciously she was probably under pressure and just didn't know.  Additionally, just because you come on Top Chef knowing there are team challenges, does not mean that everyone automatically morphs into actually being a team player. For some people that is a skill that is learned over a period of time.  Like most thing, I am sure many come in thinking they can work as a team but the reality is something different. 

Irritating whatever she did ( I usually fast forward to most of everything except judging) but the cause of the demise of the team?   Uh, not in totally or even the biggest part.  From what you are saying in the comments, they all pretty much agreed to do their own thing. 

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I actually don't think she was doing it maliciously either, catrice! I like Dawn, and I'm actually rooting for her to win. But I do think that the team was dinged for the menu progression and the way the courses flowed or didn't, and I think Dawn's process hampered them a little bit. I don't know, maybe it wouldn't have made a difference, but Sarah did say that Dawn's first dish wasn't exactly what she thought it would be. And I do believe that in other years, with other chefs, they would have called that out at Judges Table. 

They all had a part to play in the lack of teamwork and communication and yeah, just deciding that "seafood" was the plan and then everyone setting out to do their own thing was a bad strategy.

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She's lucky her teammates didn't throw her under the bus. 

Right I don't think Dawn is the most at fault within their lack of team structure and direction (I blame Gabe the most, he absolute took the lead and did a shitty job, and after hearing his history, I am even more annoyed he wasn't booted), but the one point of agreement was progression of the meal and communication, Dawn refused to tell them even what the fuck she was making beyond crab something, ham something, that directly impacted their menu as a TEAM. Tom singled out bad *planning* as the issue, and not telling your team because your process is *not planning* is not super cool. I do think she felt bad about it, and I do think Sarah almost tried to throw her under (aka I didn't know what my teammate was making, so I made it based my dish on an assumption about her dish based on vague allusions) but decided not to be that kind of cheftestant, because she knew in the end she didn't push back on any of it. 

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Yes, and in case my previous post is misunderstood or considered too harsh (Ty), I like Dawn. Quite a bit.

 

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5 hours ago, Nordly Beaumont said:

That one pot meal had motion - it was beautiful.

I said out loud “is it moving?” when they zoomed in on it.

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why is this on Dawn? 

Dawn was on a team that lost, she is member of team that lost and it's on her for her refusal to communicate or step up to FOTH,  as it is on Chris, for shitty pasta, Gabe for a terrible amuse bouche and a shitty concept and a non plan plan, and Sarah for not cooking a terrible halibut dish and not speaking up when she thought things were headed south from the start. Everybody made at least one good well received dish, very little of the loss was about bad cooking, it was about bad *team work*.

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Part of me thinks the team lost when they chose seafood as the theme, meaning that in seven courses they wouldn't be able to serve one of Sarah's yogurt sauces. I'm mostly kidding, although I did notice Padma call out Sarah for using two similar non-dairy sauces.

Even though the winning team was a no-brainer, I was still a bit uncertain through much of the service, since the episode opened with Byron calling home.

Edited by dmeets
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I enjoyed this take on Restaurant Wars. I also enjoyed Top Chef Canada's version this year...they did Take Out Wars. So their dishes had to be tasty and travel well.

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6 minutes ago, Msample said:

Actually the phone call from home is not the predictor of doom people think it is

certainly this year it has meant pretty much nothing. I half wonder whether those calls are filmed "whenever" and just stuck in when they feel like highlighting a particular chef for whatever reason.

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All members of team Penny knew what Dawn's ingredients were going to be; they just didn't know exactly how she was going to prepare them. Dawn herself, wasn't sure how she was going to prepare them. She wasn't holding information back from her teammates; she had preparation indecision. There's no way she should be on the chopping block for that, although Sara insinuated just that at JT, which didn't sit well with me, especially since she considered herself to have been "put in charge" of the team. (Aside: I can't recall if she said that on the main show or if it was in a TH on LCK, which I watched almost immediately after.)

Chefs don't get PYKAGed when they put forth a great dish, or TWO great dishes in Dawn's case here. The only exception I can think of is Stephanie Cmar, when Nick Elmi tanked, but had immunity.

Sara put forth one good dish and one poor dish. Gabe put forth one good dish and one poor dish, which he made sure to tell the judges wasn't on the menu, as if he should get some kind of a pass on that one. It's already been established during RW that if you serve something to the judges, expect it to be judged. (i.e., ManBun's yucky drink the judges were served while waiting for a table many seasons ago.) Chris put forth one outstanding dish and one dish where one major component was sub-standard. (They liked the broth though.) Dawn put forth two flawless dishes. We can't taste the food, but it seems as if the judges made the correct choice.

Something that's been bugging me: Kokoson was supposed to be an amalgamation of the Japanese word for heart and the Spanish word for heart. Corazon is the Spanish word for heart. (There's an accent over the second o, but my phone's being uncooperative.) Why was the restaurant not named Kokozon?

Team Penny was wrong in not interacting with the judges except when serving their dishes. They made a nice start with the hot towels and then, nothing. When they were all working on their dishes was one thing, but when Sara and Dawn were just standing there while Chris and Gabe were working on dishes and their conversation was about them not interacting with the judges, I wanted to smack them upside the head! OK, perhaps you're not good with small talk, but just walk over and ask if they need more water or something while they're waiting for the next course, for goodness sakes!

Kokoson's Hot Pot communal dish looked positively amazing and every team member contributed to it. I'll bet they could have won on that dish alone!

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13 minutes ago, ProudMary said:

Something that's been bugging me: Kokoson was supposed to be an amalgamation of the Japanese word for heart and the Spanish word for heart. Corazon is the Spanish word for heart. (There's an accent over the second o, but my phone's being uncooperative.) Why was the restaurant not named Kokozon?

I forgot to mention that, but I thought the same thing last night once I saw it written:  It should have been Kokozón to better incorporate corazón with kokoro.

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30 minutes ago, ProudMary said:

All members of team Penny knew what Dawn's ingredients were going to be; they just didn't know exactly how she was going to prepare them. Dawn herself, wasn't sure how she was going to prepare them. She wasn't holding information back from her teammates; she had preparation indecision.

THANK YOU! I thought I was remembering that wrong.

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Yeah, but knowng the ingredients doesn't give you insight into the prepared dish. Like having two broth courses in a row happened because they didn't know she was doing a broth. Not enough to eliminate Dawn, but it is one of the major issues.

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what Dawn's ingredients were 

They knew that she MIGHT use two proteins, crab in one, ham in the other, she wouldn't even commit to the scallops. Knowing HOW she was going to prepare her ingredients was the entire point. I'll recall the last time I read menu that says "Crab Something - whatever we decide in the moment" That hardly is enough information to progress a meal competently as a team. No one suggested she did it maliciously, and literally NO one said she should have been sent home for it. Christ. 

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14 minutes ago, blixie said:

They knew that she MIGHT use two proteins, crab in one, ham in the other, she wouldn't even commit to the scallops. Knowing HOW she was going to prepare her ingredients was the entire point.

didn't the judges express wonder at why they got a warm dish (Dawn's) followed by another cold dish (Sara's)? Sara said at judging table that she thought that Dawn's dish would be cold (an amuse plus two dishes -- all cold-- makes more sense than a warm one in the middle.) And Dawn's corn cake or whatever it was was MUCH too much like (and better than) the tostada that Gabe made. If he had known that she was basically making a corn cake, I'm sure he would have ditched his amuse, which wasn't even on the menu (and was apparently terrible-- I could see that the fish was MUCH too thick and would have been hard to bite)

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5 minutes ago, seltzer3 said:

In rewatching, the problem with the losing team was that with Dawn's indecisiveness, no one gave any real feedback.  When Dawn said she said she didn't know the night before.  Everyone was all "oh its okay :D".  Gabe even said "as long as it represents you, its fine".  Which is totally not helpful whatsoever.

But that was the whole problem with "Penny" from jump.  Literally no one communicated anything!  If Gabe throws out "let's do seafood" and you don't agree with it - say something.  If the plan for FOH is no plan and you don't think that's a good idea - say something.  I've noticed that on teams a lot of these cheftestants this season don't understand the concept of brainstorming.   You have to throw out ideas to get somewhere that doesn't mean no one else can say something else but if they don't then you get the no plan is our plan.    You could see the difference in the two teams in the planning and on Kokoson while Shota was kind of driving it since he's done this before everyone was talking and giving input while on Penny it was like crickets.  It was sadly incredibly obvious from just that planning session who was going to win.  Then Kokoson's  food looked amazing! If that was a real restaurant I'd be trying to go right now.  I probably would've given the win to Shota as I think it was really his knowledge of the chefs table and that type of menu they did that led to the win.  I was really surprised at how well Maria did as FOH. Good for her. 

I liked this Restaurant Wars more than the typical with the untrained servers and other non-cooking things pulling so much focus along with the "5 seconds of fame diners" but in general I hate Restaurant Wars and don't understand why the chefestants also seem so excited about it.  It seems like with every RW you can almost guarantee:  1) the team that appears to have the best chefs will lose 2) a strong chef will go home 3) whoever does FOH will either win or get eliminated. 

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5 hours ago, catrice2 said:

I am trying hard to figure out how Dawn is getting the blame for individual choices?  She certainly did not prevent the others from going to talk to the judges or being more personable, did not decide on her own to not have a cohesive concept, and to my knowledge did not work on their dishes that failed.  So HOW again was she the reason they did so poorly? 

Kokoson team, 5 of dishes are collaborated works.  I think there is a reason why Gabe's team is the way it is.  They stray awayed from collaborating.  They strayed away from having a front of a house/executive chef.  Just so that no one supposed to fall on someone else's sword.  And that everyone supposed to own their own dishes whether it is success or failure.  7 dishes aren't divided by 4, hence Gabe had to do an extra dish to make the work load even and everyone is separate from each other in term of their food.  I think they trying to beat the meta game, and all a while digging their own hole. 

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8 hours ago, Nordly Beaumont said:

 

The Penny team did fine when they did interact with the judges, they just needed to make an effort to do more of it.

 

Exactly. It seemed to be a planning issue not being “quiet” or “shy” in that most of the dishes had more to do when the guests arrived then the other team so there wasn’t a person pinpointed to be the main person to interact with the guests like the other team did with appointing Maria. We even saw them dismiss assigning a person to that in the planning stages. 

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2 hours ago, carrps said:

Also? If you can't work on a team, don't go on Top Chef. They've got team challenges up the wazoo. Always have had.

Read my reply to catrice, I do attribute this to Gabe that design the team to be almost independent of each others outside of plating really.  He tried to make the team element of it into non existence.  For what it worth Sara is the the most team player of the group.  She, even with her insecurity of the front of the house, trying to push to got some of that stuffs (drink and what not) done 1 hour before service.  Since everyone making 2 dishes independent of each others.  Anyone taking their time decorating etc is wasting their own cooking time.  Unlike the other team, the Penny team do their decoration first.  And in that time, I see mostly Sara and Dawn were doing it.  Which IS TERRIBLE.  Since Dawn served first (and Gabe didn't really need to his extra dish, probably would have been better if he didn't) and Dawn didn't finished conceptualizing her dish.  She should spent more time cooking.  But being a TEAM PLAYER, she and Sara were putting up the decoration until the other two guys come and help.  On the other side, Maria was doing it by herself for a bit.  But since everyone has a hand in each other dish, they are really more responsible for each others.  Let me said this, EVEN IF Dawn told them exactly what she gonna make.  They will still lose.  The way they set up their team and the loosely connected theme.  At their best performance they cannot beat such a flawless performance from the other side.  THEY WILL STILL LOSE ANYWAY.  So the whole Dawn thing is a red herring.  So then, the question is how much is she responsible for Sara going home.  Is Dawn's decision either taking time out of Sara's cooking time or make Sara's dish taste worst.  I said no.  If anything, Gabe and Chris not helping with the decoration earlier would impact Sara more.  AS for being a team player, after Dawn put out her first and third dish, she is done for the day.  All the stuffs that she did after that, was for the TEAM. 

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16 minutes ago, weixiaobao said:

Let me said this, EVEN IF Dawn told them exactly what she gonna make.  They will still lose. 

Oh, I agree with this totally. But everybody on the team was a bad team player. Actually, the more I think about it, I think Gabe made more "micro" mistakes that added up to the overall failure than anybody. That one amuse caused a cavalcade of complications for one thing. Stupid tostada. Reminded me that when I went to the chef's table at Napa Rose restaurant ages ago, we were given this teeny tiny taco as an amuse. It was so great! One bite, and it had everything a normal sized taco would have. That's an amuse.

Edited by carrps · Reason: bite not nit!
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1 hour ago, carrps said:

hat one amuse caused a cavalcade of complications for one thing.

Not to mention it wasn’t good. Also, he weirdly stated that he had to make it that size even though he made the tortillas himself! 

Edited by biakbiak
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7 hours ago, CrazyInAlabama said:

I liked seeing Amar and Dale show real enthusiasm for the food.   However, Amar licking the plate gave me flashbacks to a long ago co-worker, and that wasn't good.   

At least the guest judges cared about the food, and showed their appreciation.     

That sticks in my head...it's disgusting!

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1 hour ago, I Want My MBTV said:

I probably would've given the win to Shota as I think it was really his knowledge of the chefs table and that type of menu they did that led to the win.  I was really surprised at how well Maria did as FOH.

This^^^.  Shota came up with the concept and the progression, made good food and acted as the executive chef in a low key way by monitoring everything and making sure everyone was on track.  And he was sociable and good-humored when dealing with the judges.  I suppose the judges couldn't see what he did as well as they saw Maria acting as FOH plus she made (I think) the lovely dessert.  IMO Shota was more deserving of the win.  I will admit that I'm biased because Maria is the one chef out of the whole group whom I've disliked since the first episode.   I think she did what she did well but I think she was less deserving of the win.

I was sorry to see Sara go but I can't argue with the decision.  Her dishes didn't even look good.

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2 hours ago, seltzer3 said:

Also Gabe suggested to the team of having a "non-intrusive" service.  Which hilariously morphed into let's just completely ignore the judges and not talk to them.

Also Shota told (or insinuated) that Maria was going to have to be quiet.  He's probably glad now that she wasn't. 

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3 minutes ago, Quilt Fairy said:

Also Shota told (or insinuated) that Maria was going to have to be quiet.  He's probably glad now that she wasn't. 

He was talking about all of them and it was referring to when they were cooking not when they were interacting with the guests. You want the kitchen to be quiet so the guests can continue to have a conversation. 

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Upon rewatch (exciting Friday night, rough work week  - tomorrow night is a good dinner out with the bestie, just like last Saturday was a good dinner out with him and my baby mama, who is in NYC visiting our grown kids this weekend so she better be having better food than we can have in Cle'eland), the first thing I noticed was that Kristen gave the chefs advice to over-communicate, since it was her downfall in her Restaurant Wars.

I also noticed that Dawn was the one to initiate the idea for Restaurant Penny to talk to the judges rather than Sara. And I loved that Gregory said Maria's name correctly when he announced her as the winner.

* my baby mama is my other bestie

Also, I think maybe Shota should have been recognized as the one who came up with the concept that allowed the whole team to shine.

Edited by The Solution · Reason: One more thought
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Kokoson was hands-down the least stressful experience I have ever had watching Restaurant Wars. Not just least stressful, but simply a pleasure to watch from planning to service. I was a little scared because the drama-free edit often ends up being the losing team, so this turned out to be just a delight for me.

If this was any indicator of how Shota is as a boss, I would work for him in a heartbeat. Good for Maria, too. 

I felt bad for Penny having to follow that, but it was a little too painfully obvious that they didn’t have a Plan. I did agree with Sarah’s elimination even though I’ve enjoyed her.

Have we ever had such a nice-seeming group of cheftestants? Sure, Gabriel annoyed me but I wasn’t hate-watching until his elimination or anything. It really has been nice to watch for the food rather than the drama.

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1 hour ago, mlp said:

This^^^.  Shota came up with the concept and the progression, made good food and acted as the executive chef in a low key way by monitoring everything and making sure everyone was on track.  And he was sociable and good-humored when dealing with the judges.  I suppose the judges couldn't see what he did as well as they saw Maria acting as FOH plus she made (I think) the lovely dessert.  IMO Shota was more deserving of the win.  I will admit that I'm biased because Maria is the one chef out of the whole group whom I've disliked since the first episode.   I think she did what she did well but I think she was less deserving of the win.

I was sorry to see Sara go but I can't argue with the decision.  Her dishes didn't even look good.

Jamie and Byron made the dessert.  Maria made the sandwich.  I will say the fusion Sando sandwich is hands down the most genius thing on the menu.  Especially using braised tongue to mimic a Wagyu beef.  That dessert is pretty cool too to make a fusion tres leches as well.

Edited by seltzer3
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Dawn was incredibly selfish, and I believe, even though her dishes were good, that she was the reason her team failed. They couldn't have a proper planning because she couldn't care less about the team, the progression of the meal, or anything else. Total prima donna.

 

Edited by Norma Desmond
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9 hours ago, Msample said:

Actually the phone call from home is not the predictor of doom people think it is:

 

https://topchefstats.com

Yeah, TC (and Project Runway) in their earliest seasons produced by Magical Elves, did use the phone call as a doom signal more, but the changed things up pretty fast, because it became predictable.

8 hours ago, Bastet said:

I forgot to mention that, but I thought the same thing last night once I saw it written:  It should have been Kokozón to better incorporate corazón with kokoro.

I was surprised they didn’t do that, and that Maria, the native Spanish speaker who brought up corazón when Shota first suggested kokoso, didn’t also suggest combining the pronunciations, rather than just -ro to -son.

7 hours ago, dleighg said:

And Dawn's corn cake or whatever it was was MUCH too much like (and better than) the tostada that Gabe made. If he had known that she was basically making a corn cake, I'm sure he would have ditched his amuse, which wasn't even on the menu (and was apparently terrible-- I could see that the fish was MUCH too thick and would have been hard to bite)

She said that she would make it when she first said she’d use crab, in the planning stage, so Gabe did know that and still chose to produce overly large, tough tortillas. She just didn’t yet know what else what the rest of the dish would entail.

4 hours ago, seltzer3 said:

Jamie and Byron made the dessert.  Maria made the sandwich.  I will say the fusion Sando sandwich is hands down the most genius thing on the menu.  Especially using braised tongue to mimic a Wagyu beef.  That dessert is pretty cool too to make a fusion tres leches as well.

Maria made the sandwich, and also the mole that was part of one of the other chef’s dishes, as Jamie also made the broth served with another chef’s protein as well as the dessert. And all four of them contributed to the hot pot.

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9 hours ago, Bastet said:

I forgot to mention that, but I thought the same thing last night once I saw it written:  It should have been Kokozón to better incorporate corazón with kokoro.

GMTA!

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14 hours ago, Nancybeth said:

Unfortunately -- although the judges had no way of knowing this -- Dawn's inability to conceptualize her dishes until so late in the game led directly to at least some of the team's problems. She's lucky her teammates didn't throw her under the bus. I've noticed that overall, the Cheftestants this year just seem more friendly and less competitive with each other. I have a feeling a lot of that is because they are so grateful just to be cooking and around other people who are food obsessed like they are! 

Chris is the luckiest mf'er on this season. There have been several times I thought he should go home and he somehow squeaks by. That ice cream saved him!

Every season, I feel like there is one chef who skates by because the judges like him/ are rooting for him. This season it’s totally Chris. 

14 hours ago, Nancybeth said:

I actually don't think she was doing it maliciously either, catrice! I like Dawn, and I'm actually rooting for her to win. But I do think that the team was dinged for the menu progression and the way the courses flowed or didn't, and I think Dawn's process hampered them a little bit. I don't know, maybe it wouldn't have made a difference, but Sarah did say that Dawn's first dish wasn't exactly what she thought it would be. And I do believe that in other years, with other chefs, they would have called that out at Judges Table. 

They all had a part to play in the lack of teamwork and communication and yeah, just deciding that "seafood" was the plan and then everyone setting out to do their own thing was a bad strategy.

The problem is- judges usually just see the end product and never the process (unless Tom does a walk through and then calls a chef out for changing their plan). If I was ever on Top Chef in a team challenge I would be completely selfish and just concentrate on my own course. The judges never ding someone for creating great food while the rest of the team falters. . . 

14 hours ago, Empress1 said:

I said out loud “is it moving?” when they zoomed in on it.

They’re called Bonito flakes and are fairly common in Japanese cooking. I’ve seen them in many Izakayas. 

8 hours ago, sharifa70 said:

Kokoson was hands-down the least stressful experience I have ever had watching Restaurant Wars. Not just least stressful, but simply a pleasure to watch from planning to service. I was a little scared because the drama-free edit often ends up being the losing team, so this turned out to be just a delight for me.

If this was any indicator of how Shota is as a boss, I would work for him in a heartbeat. Good for Maria, too. 

I felt bad for Penny having to follow that, but it was a little too painfully obvious that they didn’t have a Plan. I did agree with Sarah’s elimination even though I’ve enjoyed her.

Have we ever had such a nice-seeming group of cheftestants? Sure, Gabriel annoyed me but I wasn’t hate-watching until his elimination or anything. It really has been nice to watch for the food rather than the drama.

Kokoson was so positive and happy. I had a feeling they were going to win because they just seemed to gel at the start and were so receptive to bouncing ideas off each other. Penny seemed so quiet and non-communicative. I had a feeling either Sarah or Chris would go... just from the talking heads. . . They were all so muted and didn’t seem very confident when narrating the episode. 

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So I have a question.  Could someone explain the progression of a 7 course tasting menu?  Never quite understood that.  When Parma was dinging Penny for the order I was lost.  About all I can figure is an appetizer like dish first, something small and light?  And a dessert at the end. Other than that, I’m lost.

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