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S18.E11: Blind Ambitions

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25 minutes ago, carrps said:

It's never a party!

The only times I can think of in past seasons when the contestants were told there was a night off/something special for them that there wasn’t a twist and they really got to relax were the couple of times near the end that the judges cooked for them.

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1 hour ago, caitmcg said:

The only times I can think of in past seasons when the contestants were told there was a night off/something special for them that there wasn’t a twist and they really got to relax were the couple of times near the end that the judges cooked for them.

That's right. And it seems they usually do that when it's one of the Champions competitions.

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Anyone know if in Top Chef France when they do the Black Box challenge if it's an individual challenge or a team one? Seems like it could be an individual one.

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I loooooooove Brooke!!! We've seen some great chefs on this show but after watching Brooke in many many competitions I think she's got an element of genius in her when it comes to cooking. She's incredibly gifted.

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1 hour ago, Mellowyellow said:

I loooooooove Brooke!!! We've seen some great chefs on this show but after watching Brooke in many many competitions I think she's got an element of genius in her when it comes to cooking. She's incredibly gifted.

The people posting on the Guy Fieri TOC show thread all seem to hate her. 

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On 6/10/2021 at 11:11 PM, ZeeEnnui said:

 

I dislike Gabe because of his sketch background but I absolutely wanted to try his winning dish. That looked amazing. 

What about gabe’s background is sketchy?  I’m not a fan of his, but can’t say he’s done anything specific on the show to put me off. Just a personality thing. 

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25 minutes ago, awaken said:

What about gabe’s background is sketchy?  I’m not a fan of his, but can’t say he’s done anything specific on the show to put me off. Just a personality thing. 

If you Google Gabe Erales you'll find that he was fired from his last job for sexual misconduct. I guess Top Chef was filmed before he was fired, which happened earlier this year, otherwise you can bet they wouldn't have chosen him as a contestant. 

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1 hour ago, ZeeEnnui said:

If you Google Gabe Erales you'll find that he was fired from his last job for sexual misconduct. I guess Top Chef was filmed before he was fired, which happened earlier this year, otherwise you can bet they wouldn't have chosen him as a contestant. 

I’ve only been able to find that he violated unspecified policies and rules of conduct, but haven’t seen anything that says it was specifically sexual misconduct. Has there been a more recent story that gave additional details?

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At the judges table, while empathizing with Maria, Kristen said that she got booted off her season (before she rocked through Last Chance Kitchen and won the whole season, obliterating Brooke in the finale) because she struggled with self-worth. I actually decided to just recently rewatch that season (Season 10) because I think it is one of the best. But when Kristen got booted off—at least the way it was edited—it totally seemed like it was almost entirely Josie's fault in Restaurant Wars, and that because Josie had no spine whatsoever, she fully threw Kristen under the bus. But Kristen, meanwhile, seemed to have the highest level of integrity I've ever seen from any contestant on Top Chef and refused to play the same game Josie was trying to goad Kristen into, and she refused to bad mouth Josie, even though Josie was a complete shit-show. And so Kristen got booted off. I didn't get any sense that Kristen was plagued by self-worth issues. Rather, she kicked ass up and down, all over the place, and went undefeated in Last Chance Kitchen, and then wiped the floor with Brooke in the finale. All of that displayed a really confident chef to me, or so I thought. I of course understand that highly successful people are often plagued by massive internal self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness. But I didn't think that was the reason Kristen got kicked off in Season 10.

Does anyone else remember Season 10 and have any idea what Kristen was talking about this past Thursday night?

Edited by Werehauzen
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Oh, I remember it being all Josie's fault but Kristen took responsibility because I think she was executive chef.

Jamie's Eater episode review. Nothing really new, except identifying the deli where her comfort food was from. Henderson is a hike for me but now I'm thinking about making a visit.

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1 hour ago, sharifa70 said:

I’ve only been able to find that he violated unspecified policies and rules of conduct, but haven’t seen anything that says it was specifically sexual misconduct. Has there been a more recent story that gave additional details?

Everything I've read is pretty vague. I saw on a couple of different Reddit threads that it was sexual misconduct, but who knows. All the big stories about it don't go into a lot of detail. I guess it could be something else, but whatever it was it had to have been pretty bad. It seems that he is a big deal chef in Austin, and was a big draw for the restaurant, you don't fire your star chef for violating a few HR rules.

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3 hours ago, sharifa70 said:

I’ve only been able to find that he violated unspecified policies and rules of conduct, but haven’t seen anything that says it was specifically sexual misconduct.

That's what I've seen as well, which is why I'm not completely writing him off my "good guys" list based on the little I've seen, though just from watching the show I'd rather see Shota or Dawn win (I don't think Jamie has it in her but who knows). 

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17 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

I was surprised as well, but we had already seen several instances during the 1st 15 min period of chefs asking/telling the others what the ingredients might be.  The only time that was absolutely prohibited was between team members during the second 15 min period (when Brooke was just dying to tell Dawn that there were already carrots cooking on the stove)

I wasn't referring to Gabe telling his partner what he was making-- in that whole last 5 minute thing they were totally conferring. I meant that he shouldn't tell the OTHER teams what they'd figured out. That was a tricky component.

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4 hours ago, dleighg said:

That's what I've seen as well, which is why I'm not completely writing him off my "good guys" list based on the little I've seen, though just from watching the show I'd rather see Shota or Dawn win (I don't think Jamie has it in her but who knows). 

I agree re Gabe. In the absence of direct confirmation I think it’s important not to perpetuate rumors like that when it is entirely possible that other types of misconduct could get even a star fired.

Every week I go back and forth between Shota and Dawn. Dawn’s food seems amazing based on the feedback, and after those first couple of shaky weeks she has really blossomed. Shota, though: his focus and care for every plate of food is just amazing to me, and I wish I lived a little closer to Seattle (I’m 3 hours away in Vancouver WA). I don’t think Jamie will win, but dang, she has come through time and time again. I wouldn’t cry if she surprised us all. 

I didn’t see a single plate in the EC that I wouldn’t want to eat. Yummmm!

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I think the pandemic has made the judges soft or really affected the dynamics between the cheftestants and judges this season. Padma has been so warm and kind and...nice?! Tom's little speech to Maria about how they also learned from her was really moving. I feel like in past season's they would have just been like "buh-bye" but this seaon is very personal. I wonder if Padma having her own show has somehow changed her on screen person from sneery dominatrix (which I enjoyed!) to supportive headmistress (which I also enjoy!) - it's just different. 

This is a lovely group of chef's. I'm in the camp of people who like Maria and Jamie, and don't understand all the negativity being expressed here. They are just people trying to be themselves while being filmed. As long as they are not say holding anyone down, trying to shave their heads, I'm pretty forgiving of a verbal blunder here or there.

I wish Shota had won. 

I think Dawn will win it all.

Gabe's dish with the bright pink (cabbage?) on top did look really pretty though!

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Werehauzen said:

At the judges table, while empathizing with Maria, Kristen said that she got booted off her season (before she rocked through Last Chance Kitchen and won the whole season, obliterating Brooke in the finale) because she struggled with self-worth. I actually decided to just recently rewatch that season (Season 10) because I think it is one of the best. But when Kristen got booted off—at least the way it was edited—it totally seemed like it was almost entirely Josie's fault in Restaurant Wars, and that because Josie had no spine whatsoever, she fully threw Kristen under the bus. But Kristen, meanwhile, seemed to have the highest level of integrity I've ever seen from any contestant on Top Chef and refused to play the same game Josie was trying to goad Kristen into, and she refused to bad mouth Josie, even though Josie was a complete shit-show. And so Kristen got booted off. I didn't get any sense that Kristen was plagued by self-worth issues. Rather, she kicked ass up and down, all over the place, and went undefeated in Last Chance Kitchen, and then wiped the floor with Brooke in the finale. All of that displayed a really confident chef to me, or so I thought. I of course understand that highly successful people are often plagued by massive internal self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness. But I didn't think that was the reason Kristen got kicked off in Season 10.

 

Thanks for reminding me of the nasty Josie. /s  (I suppose the mention does serve to highlight the general niceness/inoffensiveness of this year's cast.)

1 hour ago, Heathrowe said:

 

Gabe's dish with the bright pink (cabbage?) on top did look really pretty though.

 

 

I thought it was pickled onion, but who knows!

 

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18 hours ago, Mellowyellow said:

I loooooooove Brooke!!! We've seen some great chefs on this show but after watching Brooke in many many competitions I think she's got an element of genius in her when it comes to cooking. She's incredibly gifted.

Indeed.  Even though she was just assisting in a QF, I was really excited to see her cook again.  She's been on Top Chef twice and Tournament of Champions twice (I don't know what else, but those are the heavy hitters in terms of competition) and of those four competitions she has won twice and come in second twice.  She has mad skills, not just in terms of cooking, but of being innovative in meeting challenge parameters while under a time constraint - she's a great chef and a great competitor, so she's fun to watch.

10 hours ago, dleighg said:

That's what I've seen as well, which is why I'm not completely writing him off my "good guys" list based on the little I've seen,

With how awful a chef has to be to get fired for misconduct (what's accepted is appalling in most industries, but this one is pretty damn bad), I'm very comfortable rooting for him to go home next, whatever he specifically did, since none of the others have done the same (being on TC, and social media being what it is, I'm sure it would have come out if anyone else had been fired for misconduct).

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I was rooting for Maria to go several episodes ago and especially hard through this episode but that PYKAG part definitely had me tearing up.  Glad that Jamie stayed though.

Boo to Padma for her weird pronunciations.  She added an extra vowel to "Scholls" and I thought she said "Shoals" when she was telling the cheftestants where they were headed for the EC.  I mean, yeah, I should have figured it out as soon as she said Tualatin Valley but it wasn't until the scenery porn that I realized "Shoals Lodge" was actually Scholls Lodge.  And that's not even it's full name - it's Scholls Valley Lodge.  I have to say, the Tualatin Valley is really one of my favorite parts of the region.  It's just so pretty, especially when the lavender fields are in bloom; but pretty much anytime of the year if I have to drive out to Hillsboro, I prefer to take the country roads through that area and enjoy the scenery.

Edited by HighQueenEB
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44 minutes ago, HighQueenEB said:

She added an extra vowel to "Scholls" and I thought she said "Shoals" when she was telling the cheftestants where they were headed for the EC. 

Wait. “Scholls” and “Shoals” are homophones to me and I’m local too. How do you pronounce them?

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3 hours ago, sharifa70 said:

Wait. “Scholls” and “Shoals” are homophones to me and I’m local too. How do you pronounce them?

They aren't quite homonyms to my ear.  "Scholls" has a shorter "o" than "Shoals" which has a distinct "oa" like in "coal".

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1 hour ago, HighQueenEB said:

They aren't quite homonyms to my ear.  "Scholls" has a shorter "o" than "Shoals" which has a distinct "oa" like in "coal".

I’ve spent the last five minutes saying the words over and over and all I’ve gotten out of it besides still-identical sounds was mild amusement, so thanks for that! Now I think I’m gonna go lie on my cot and think about the fish I caught that one time when my friend Mary and I had a merry time thinking about the boys we were going to marry when we grew up.

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1 hour ago, HighQueenEB said:

They aren't quite homonyms to my ear.  "Scholls" has a shorter "o" than "Shoals" which has a distinct "oa" like in "coal".

At least we haven't been tortured with "Will a met" yet.

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2 minutes ago, Leeds said:

At least we haven't been tortured with "Will a met" yet.

And only the one “ory-gone!”

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Ugh. This episode was painful.

I've never understood the Cult of Brooke. And all the fake tears at Judge's Table was positively cringe-producing. 

OK ... only one more annoying-as-f*** contestant to go. Please get Jamie off my TV screen.

Edited by Josiemae
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On 6/12/2021 at 8:59 AM, Fukui San said:

Anyone know if in Top Chef France when they do the Black Box challenge if it's an individual challenge or a team one? Seems like it could be an individual one.

It's a team challenge with Michelin starred guest judges' dishes but not cooking in a relay. Members all team up to recreate the (always super complicated) dish. Their episodes are usually around the 2 hour mark so you get to see in detail how the dishes are dissected and re-created. The guest judges comment throughout the whole thing while watching and their reactions are priceless. It's a really tough palate challenge.

As for this episode/season: I haven't been wowed by much of the dishes but the diversity and camaraderie among the chefs (and guest judges) make it very comfortable to watch. It's a season I wouldn't have appreciated much before the pandemic, but this is how it is now.

I think it's a tossup between Dawn or Shota at this point.  

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I’m in the camp who disliked Maria all along and was glad she finally left.  She just seemed to have a massive chip on her shoulder and a weirdly passive aggressive attitude the whole season. As if she somehow has always had it harder than literally every human on earth. 

I’m not fond of Jamie either. The cutesy noises are grating.  I’m sure she’s a nice person but as a TV personality, I am not a fan. 

A couple people mentioned that Gabe’s misconduct charge might not be a big deal because we don’t know if it was sexual in nature. Why would that make it okay? If he was found to have, say, embezzled huge amounts of money from a restaurant he worked at, or flouted food safety protocols to an extent that people died or something (just to think of 2 random hypothetical examples of misconduct), that would still be bad and make me not exactly want to root for him to win Top Chef. YMMV of course. 

Edited by iggysaurus
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I want to echo something that was said on the Pack Your Knives podcast. I'm really glad that Shota has come on and really showcased the depth and variety of Japanese cuisine. We usually hear Japanese food and think about sushi, teppanyaki and noodles and I'm not sure he's done any of that all season while cooking Japanese food throughout. Instead it's been a lot of braises, stews, and peasant food. It makes me wish that he was an Iron Chef in a properly run Iron Chef franchise. He has a solid base in his home cuisine while able to adapt such as when he copied Maria's techniques to make spicy food. 

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I LOVE Shota! I hope he wins the whole thing. And I’d love to try his food someday. 

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21 hours ago, Fukui San said:

want to echo something that was said on the Pack Your Knives podcast. I'm really glad that Shota has come on and really showcased the depth and variety of Japanese cuisine. We usually hear Japanese food and think about sushi, teppanyaki and noodles and I'm not sure he's done any of that all season while cooking Japane

And yet the same podcast talking about Gabe and Maria doing “molé” “again and again” which in Mexican cuisine just means basically  sauce because there are about a gazillion different kinds that vary from ingredients to the way it’s prepared and yet they were so dismissive of it.

Edited by biakbiak
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7 hours ago, iggysaurus said:

A couple people mentioned that Gabe’s misconduct charge might not be a big deal because we don’t know if it was sexual in nature. Why would that make it okay? If he was found to have, say, embezzled huge amounts of money from a restaurant he worked at, or flouted food safety protocols to an extent that people died or something (just to think of 2 random hypothetical examples of misconduct), that would still be bad and make me not exactly want to root for him to win Top Chef. YMMV of course. 

I hope I didn’t give the impression that I thought any kind of fireable misconduct is no big deal; I agree that it is. My concern is that people are jumping to unverified conclusions that it is sexual misconduct and like it or not, that’s going to result in a bigger stink on him than if he had embezzled, or if he had opened the restaurant during lockdown to throw a wedding reception for 100 unmasked people or something.

It’s fair to pass on that he got fired for misconduct and it’s fair to speculate on the reasons because we’re people and that’s how people roll, but to say “he got fired for sexual misconduct” presents the speculation as fact and that’s not fair.

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On 6/11/2021 at 12:56 AM, ProudMary said:

I honestly don't get what's inspiring all the Jamie and Maria hate. I'm not against jumping on the villain train when it's been warranted in past seasons, but I haven't seen anything among this bunch but good people excelling under difficult circumstances all season long. (I'm aware of the Gabe situation, but even in his case, we haven't seen that on-screen.) Evidently, mileage varies. 😕

I'd be willing to speculate that at least some of the dislike is generationally based.  To this almost 63 year old both of them look like they're manipulating their public images to elicit certain responses from the audience, and at least with some of that audience they're succeeding.  With Jamie it's, "look at meeeee", "Aren't I just too cute and funny?  You just have to love me because I'm so wonderful."  With Maria it's "I'm always the underdog, the victim, the one with the worst luck, not respected, etc."  Plus as someone else said, she has a huge passive-aggressive chip on her shoulder.  Why is it OK for her to call everyone an asshole and we're all just supposed to excuse her because she's supposedly well intended when if anyone else did that they'd be nailed to the stake and called all sorts of things no matter what their intention was?

And in that vein, both of them have this air of expecting the rules to be bent for them because they're so "special".  This was brought home by Jamie's martyr act at the end, which we soon realized was only an act because she dialed it back when she realized the judges thought she was going to leave so that Maria could stay.  Once again, it was just for show, not for real.  And of course at least part of the audience bought it anyway!  But asking the judges to allow Maria to stay - oh please, this is a serious competition, and YOU don't get to set the rules or expect to have them bent for you or your friend.  Get over yourself.  It sounds to me like Jamie herself was buying into Maria's victim act and that was at least part of her motivation for pleading with the judges for her to stay.  On its surface it seems like a totally selfless thing to do, but in the end I'm not buying that, especially after it was obvious that she was not going to step down so Maria could stay.  It was a manipulation designed to take control over the situation and make herself look like a wonderful person.

Like someone else said above, Maria at least had the sense to want to leave with "grace" so at least for that she partially redeemed herself in my eyes.

So anyway, THAT's why I don't like either one of them.

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On 6/12/2021 at 2:04 AM, sharifa70 said:

I’ve only been able to find that he violated unspecified policies and rules of conduct, but haven’t seen anything that says it was specifically sexual misconduct. Has there been a more recent story that gave additional details?

All I have found are articles saying that the restaurant said that Gabe was fired for repeated violations for a behavior that was "in conflict with our values", whatever that means.  The actual nature of the offense is never specified.  I think people are assuming that it's sexual in nature based on the conflict of values statement, but for all we know it could be drugs.  I think the restaurant thought it was being nice to him not outing him on whatever it was, but in the absence of any real information public speculation could be worse than the actual offense.  Also I have to wonder if it was SO bad they wouldn't make it public.  Honestly, though, he doesn't seem like the kind of guy capable of anything that horrific, but you never know!

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1 hour ago, WearyTraveler said:

When asked "do you want to quit?" Jamie literally said "no, but I would quit for her". 

I rewatched several times to make sure. So, yes, while Jamie admitted she did not want to leave, she did say that she would, if that meant Maria could stay.

I point this out because many people here seem to be under the impression that Jamie wasn't really serious about quitting, but she really was.

Thank you for pointing this out. My reading of that scene was that it was earnest. Jamie was willing to give up her spot, but not willing to quit if it wasn't a sure thing that Maria could stay (which, understandable!). I think she was earnest and in some ways - likely unintentionally- made it harder and maybe worse for Maria. 

 

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1 hour ago, WearyTraveler said:

When asked "do you want to quit?" Jamie literally said "no, but I would quit for her". 

I rewatched several times to make sure. So, yes, while Jamie admitted she did not want to leave, she did say that she would, if that meant Maria could stay.

I point this out because many people here seem to be under the impression that Jamie wasn't really serious about quitting, but she really was.

I agree.  When Tom asked if she wanted to quit, she paused for quite a moment before saying "no."  She didn't want to quit, but was willing to sacrifice her chance to stay if Maria could take her place and she wanted the panel to know that.  I think it was a combination of emotional exhaustion and some kind of "survivor's guilt" associated with being previously eliminated that prompted the offer.  To me, it came across as a genuine moment, as was Maria's response.  

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It felt authentic to me which is why I felt emotional during that time.  I do get the sense that, perhaps related to pandemic conditions and pitch perfect personalities, the bonding was next level in this season.  I think Jaime realized that neither she or Maria were likely going to beat Shota, Dawn or possibly Gabe in the end.  She already got her second chance. I could see her thinking sacrificing herself for Maria's confidence was the most valuable thing she'd accomplish in the competition.

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:32 PM, Rai said:

I realize no matter what, people like having a villain to root against,

I used to think that but I found British reality show, Great British Bake Off, Great Pottery Throw Down and  The Great British Sewing Bee. These shows are very popular and they are known for their niceness and helping each other. I now prefer these shows.  

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On 6/11/2021 at 12:07 AM, CrazyInAlabama said:

That's the difference between Padma, and the cheftestants.     As Padma said when Jamie tried to quit, and let Maria continue, and Padma referred to Top Chef as a game.    To Maria and Jamie, and the other cheftestants,  it's their professional life, and not a game. 

I suspect that when Padma said "game," she might have been thinking "competition."   I somehow doubt that she meant to 'trivialize' the cheftestants - and she seems to show genuine respect for the grueling efforts they all put in .

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1 hour ago, xfuse said:

I used to think that but I found British reality show, Great British Bake Off, Great Pottery Throw Down and  The Great British Sewing Bee. These shows are very popular and they are known for their niceness and helping each other. I now prefer these shows.  

I watch Bake Off and love it. It is so interesting that here in the USA everything is so competitive and comes with a giant cash prize.  But then again, I'm often bewildered why Bake Off doesn't reward their contestants with a little something (or pay for A/C.) The shows must be bringing in scads of money.

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Count me as another "older" poster who sees insecurity rather than manipulation. 

7 minutes ago, carrps said:

I'm in the same generational cohort, and I agree with your view. For what it's worth...

Me too. A bit younger than the original poster, but I think 58 is in the same ballpark. 

Edited by akr
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21 hours ago, Leeds said:

At least we haven't been tortured with "Will a met" yet.

It's Will-amnit Damnit!  Is what my sister always says to me when I mispronounce it.  I'm getting better, but only because every time I see Willamette anything I hear "it's Will-amnit Damnit!"  in my mind. 

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20 minutes ago, JenMcSnark said:

It's Will-amnit Damnit!  Is what my sister always says to me when I mispronounce it.  I'm getting better, but only because every time I see Willamette anything I hear "it's Will-amnit Damnit!"  in my mind. 

Whatever works! Keep practicing and you might even graduate to “Glisan” (Gleeson) and “Couch” (rhymes with pooch)! 

Also: now I want to try panuchos, which I had never heard of before this episode. When things start opening up a little more I have some food-related exploration to do in Portland!

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53 minutes ago, sharifa70 said:

Also: now I want to try panuchos, which I had never heard of before this episode. When things start opening up a little more I have some food-related exploration to do in Portland!

Panuchos are amazing! I would love to have tried Gabe’s version. When it’s safe to travel internationally, head to Mérida, Mexico, so you can try them there too. 

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On 6/11/2021 at 12:56 AM, ProudMary said:

I honestly don't get what's inspiring all the Jamie and Maria hate. I'm not against jumping on the villain train when it's been warranted in past seasons, but I haven't seen anything among this bunch but good people excelling under difficult circumstances all season long.

I have never once seen them a evil or villains. But that whole scene I just found enormously tiresome.  

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10 hours ago, Yeah No said:

I'd be willing to speculate that at least some of the dislike is generationally based.  To this almost 63 year old both of them look like they're manipulating their public images to elicit certain responses from the audience, and at least with some of that audience they're succeeding.  With Jamie it's, "look at meeeee", "Aren't I just too cute and funny?  You just have to love me because I'm so wonderful."  With Maria it's "I'm always the underdog, the victim, the one with the worst luck, not respected, etc."  Plus as someone else said, she has a huge passive-aggressive chip on her shoulder.  Why is it OK for her to call everyone an asshole and we're all just supposed to excuse her because she's supposedly well intended when if anyone else did that they'd be nailed to the stake and called all sorts of things no matter what their intention was?

And in that vein, both of them have this air of expecting the rules to be bent for them because they're so "special".  This was brought home by Jamie's martyr act at the end, which we soon realized was only an act because she dialed it back when she realized the judges thought she was going to leave so that Maria could stay.  Once again, it was just for show, not for real.  And of course at least part of the audience bought it anyway!  But asking the judges to allow Maria to stay - oh please, this is a serious competition, and YOU don't get to set the rules or expect to have them bent for you or your friend.  Get over yourself.  It sounds to me like Jamie herself was buying into Maria's victim act and that was at least part of her motivation for pleading with the judges for her to stay.  On its surface it seems like a totally selfless thing to do, but in the end I'm not buying that, especially after it was obvious that she was not going to step down so Maria could stay.  It was a manipulation designed to take control over the situation and make herself look like a wonderful person.

Like someone else said above, Maria at least had the sense to want to leave with "grace" so at least for that she partially redeemed herself in my eyes.

So anyway, THAT's why I don't like either one of them.

I don't know that it has anything to do with age/generation, but I dislike Jamie.  I find her annoying and attention-seeking.  The sound effects are not needed.  On the other hand, I mostly liked Maria and wanted to see her go farther.

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5 hours ago, TzuShih said:

I suspect that when Padma said "game," she might have been thinking "competition."   I somehow doubt that she meant to 'trivialize' the cheftestants - and she seems to show genuine respect for the grueling efforts they all put in .

What she said was, “That’s the way the game is played,” so I took that as simply meaning, those are the terms of the competition. So not devaluing what the chefs do or what winning might mean for their livelihoods, just a reminder that this is what they signed up for when they decided to come on the show. It is a game at bottom, all competitive reality shows are. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t take talent or a shit ton of work.

5 hours ago, SemiCharmedLife said:

I watch Bake Off and love it. It is so interesting that here in the USA everything is so competitive and comes with a giant cash prize.  But then again, I'm often bewildered why Bake Off doesn't reward their contestants with a little something (or pay for A/C.) The shows must be bringing in scads of money.

It’s my impression that the British ilk of competitive reality shows don’t offer cash payouts, generally speaking. There are winners and non-winners who’ve parlayed their appearances into cookbooks and cooking shows that have done well (e.g. Chetna, Nadiya, Justina). I have Chetna's first cookbook, the baking book the Cardamom Trail, and it’s excellent.

As an aside, there were a couple of seasons of Great American Baking Show made, and it’s GBBO transported to the US, complete with the tent and Paul Hollywood, and the same ethos of niceness and camaraderie (and no big payout). They’re on Hulu 

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1 hour ago, caitmcg said:

What she said was, “That’s the way the game is played,” so I took that as simply meaning, those are the terms of the competition.

Exactly she wasn’t talking about anything more than the game, I refuse to acknowledge it as a pejorative, of “Top Chef” that nearly every contestant and regular judge acknowledges there is a specific strategy to this competition. Not for nothing but I doubt Dawn who has appeared in the Olympic Games would immediately think game equals trivial.

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Regarding Kristin mentioning lack of confidence in her season, I think maybe she meant Restaurant Wars when she was executive chef. I think she felt uncomfortable having authority over her peers and because of that she let Josie get away with crap food.

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