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S18.E12: The Cheesier the Better

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19 minutes ago, carrps said:

 

Sorry, LEEDS. I had Branston pickle at a pub and didn't care for it. Normally, I love anything pickled, but the flavors of the Branston didn't appeal to me. I can't remember the exact specifics, but it was too sweet or something. Didn't hate it; just didn't like it.

 

 

That's okay, I can't stand piccalilli, which in certain circles would probably justify the removal of my birthright.

Edited by Leeds
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22 minutes ago, hendersonrocks said:

I feel like the order of likely winners based on what production has chosen to show us this season thus far is pretty clearly Gabe,

yeah, an episode or two ago I wrote here that I thought that the judges were quite enamored of Gabe and that it was his to lose.

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5 hours ago, LennieBriscoe said:

But time constraints, team work, and task completion either are important to "Top Chef," or they are not.

 

 

 

 

THIS. 

To take it across the pond, consider the Great British Bake Off. These are home bakers, not professional chefs who do this for a living and run restaurants where food consistency is critical.

GBBO does a series of three challenges, many of which require making X amount of a certain bake, or adding chocolate work as decoration, or adding some additional element to the core dish to show their skills. 

The technical challenges are recipes of the two main judges who ARE professional chefs. These challenges are judged blind, so there can be no claim of favoritism, skin color, ethnicity or any other non-baking-related factor,  impacting a judge's decision.

During COVID I binged every episode on Netflix, and I still have it on in the background if there's nothing else to watch, so I'm fairly up on the show.

From what I can recall (and I'm not going to go research every episode to prove a point here), not having the requested number of bakes or the requested added element has gotten several bakers sent home.

Its only very early on, when there's 10-13 bakers, has the lack of an element not been an eliminating factor. Even then, not finishing the dish with a required component has automatically put that baker last in that challenge. And the comment is always the same when the taste of the food is outstanding. "Yes it was excellent but he/she didn't complete the challenge." And its reiterated when they are considering who to send home. 

And these are home bakers. I realize its a different show, but cooking shows in general are based on the participants successfully completing challenges. And if the participants are professional chefs who make their living on running restaurants where food consistency is a must, not having that consistency should be an eliminating factor. 

If I go to a restaurant because I've heard how amazing a certain dish is and I get that dish but it doesn't have everything that supposedly made it so amazing, I'm going to be disappointed, feel like I didn't have a good experience, and that the chef doesn't know what they are doing. 

How many times have we heard Tom, Padma, et al say something like, "add that to your menu," or "I'll come to your restaurant every time for that dish"?  If you think there's a chance you're not going to get the dish as you originally had it because the chef didn't notice certain elements weren't on the plate, why bother??? 

These are professional chefs supposedly at the top of their game. Missing components are not the mark of a chef at the top of their game.  Consistency is, and has been mentioned, on this show all the time as what makes a winning chef. Its not like this is a new concept that is somehow being used against Dawn because she's a black woman chef. I for one would love to see her win but only if she finishes her dishes! 

Its a specious argument to say missing elements are only a factor now because Dawn is black. The issue (at least for me) is the inconsistency.

In the challenge where she left off the peanut sauce, it was left off of EVERY PLATE, so the judges still all tasted the same plate. My issue is when something gets left off some plates and not others. That's when it becomes impossible to effectively and fairly judge the dish because not every judge is tasting the same thing. 
 

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This may or may not apply to this competition, but I have observed real-life situations in which a former Olympian receives special accolades and recognition in their careers because they are former Olympians (my experiences are connected to education).  It's as if there is a specialness that Olympians have that others do not, no matter the performance in the job/career.  I see the same with former professional athletes.  So, if there is perceived bias could it be one of Olympian status unrelated to anything else?  I often bristle at how athletes (and other celebrities) are venerated while people who actually do the work that allow us to live, shop, receive services are treated as 'less than...'  Again, just a thought.

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44 minutes ago, SailorGirl said:

THIS. 

To take it across the pond, consider the Great British Bake Off. These are home bakers, not professional chefs who do this for a living and run restaurants where food consistency is critical.

GBBO does a series of three challenges, many of which require making X amount of a certain bake, or adding chocolate work as decoration, or adding some additional element to the core dish to show their skills. 

The technical challenges are recipes of the two main judges who ARE professional chefs. These challenges are judged blind, so there can be no claim of favoritism, skin color, ethnicity or any other non-baking-related factor,  impacting a judge's decision.

During COVID I binged every episode on Netflix, and I still have it on in the background if there's nothing else to watch, so I'm fairly up on the show.

From what I can recall (and I'm not going to go research every episode to prove a point here), not having the requested number of bakes or the requested added element has gotten several bakers sent home.

Its only very early on, when there's 10-13 bakers, has the lack of an element not been an eliminating factor. Even then, not finishing the dish with a required component has automatically put that baker last in that challenge. And the comment is always the same when the taste of the food is outstanding. "Yes it was excellent but he/she didn't complete the challenge." And its reiterated when they are considering who to send home. 

And these are home bakers. I realize its a different show, but cooking shows in general are based on the participants successfully completing challenges. And if the participants are professional chefs who make their living on running restaurants where food consistency is a must, not having that consistency should be an eliminating factor. 

If I go to a restaurant because I've heard how amazing a certain dish is and I get that dish but it doesn't have everything that supposedly made it so amazing, I'm going to be disappointed, feel like I didn't have a good experience, and that the chef doesn't know what they are doing. 

How many times have we heard Tom, Padma, et al say something like, "add that to your menu," or "I'll come to your restaurant every time for that dish"?  If you think there's a chance you're not going to get the dish as you originally had it because the chef didn't notice certain elements weren't on the plate, why bother??? 

These are professional chefs supposedly at the top of their game. Missing components are not the mark of a chef at the top of their game.  Consistency is, and has been mentioned, on this show all the time as what makes a winning chef. Its not like this is a new concept that is somehow being used against Dawn because she's a black woman chef. I for one would love to see her win but only if she finishes her dishes! 

Its a specious argument to say missing elements are only a factor now because Dawn is black. The issue (at least for me) is the inconsistency.

In the challenge where she left off the peanut sauce, it was left off of EVERY PLATE, so the judges still all tasted the same plate. My issue is when something gets left off some plates and not others. That's when it becomes impossible to effectively and fairly judge the dish because not every judge is tasting the same thing. 
 

But in a restaurant your chef won’t be just about to add the sauce to your dish when someone says times up, you can’t add the sauce anymore. 
 

They would also be plating the dish without worrying about a countdown clock and can take some extra time to make sure everything is on the plate. 
 

I would have been perfectly fine if Dawn had gone home, the cheese was an actual part of this challenge, her missing items in the other challenges weren’t necessary parts of the dish to meet the strict requirements of the challenge (aside from the tofu one, which she was disqualified for in that round).  I get the frustration that she keeps missing things… but something about her food seems to be good to many of the judges, even if they don’t all agree… and we can’t taste the food, so we can’t know for sure if it was good or bad… but I don’t think there is some judging conspiracy to keep Dawn because of non-cooking reasons. 

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I've actually posted this on the past seasons challenge (you guys can debate there).  But there are a lot of people who forgot something on the plate and survived elimination.  It seems like the only time they got eliminated was when they completely whiffed (Angelina who didn't get anything on the plate).

In all times (one was a quickfire, so who cares) that Dawn missed something, there were way worse dishes.  I like Jamie, but her dish through conception sounded really bad.  Also mixing tahini with cheddar sounds absolutely disgusting.

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I actually like Dale's spicy judging.  He isn't afraid to be stern.  A lot is on the line and he rightfully expects all components to be on all of the plates.  I wouldn't want all of the judges to be just like Dale, but I like his no-nonsense perspective.

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7 hours ago, dleighg said:

I couldn't even imagine it. Cheese is....... gooey. Dashi is ...... clear.

Often I put a parm rind in soup to flavor the broth and it doesn't make it gooey or even murky, so I am guessing it worked something like that. Infused but not melted. Shota said it would still be clear.

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15 hours ago, Josiemae said:

Yep. Appears that the fix is, as they say, in.

Why don’t you maybe wait until the finale before declaring a fix? 

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3 hours ago, Leeds said:

 

Who's "he"?  How does anyone know the outcome before the final judging?  Or are you saying it's rigged?

Dale Talde. He TODAY knows who won the show obviously. And depending on the outcome, yes there is some heavy production influence if we are getting a Dawn win. 

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9 hours ago, LennieBriscoe said:

But time constraints, team work, and task completion either are important to "Top Chef," or they are not.

 

 

 

 

If they are that important, the chefs would be disqualified/eliminated for those things on a consistent basis. They aren't. I know they must have some rules for each challenge, but they must not be that strident. Different cooking shows have different rules, so I don't think comparing TC to GBBO or Chopped is necessarily apples to apples. 

As for the judging parameters -- I have no idea what they are and I don't think any of us do. I've watched from the first season and it seems that whoever they think had the best dish wins, whoever had the worst is eliminated, and unless you make a serious rules violation, you're safe unless your dish is horrible. 

Dawn's cooking must be truly sublime for her to have gotten this far. 

 

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The similarities between Dawn and Nick are getting more striking by the episode:

- Consistently not listening to the judges and yet continuing to skate by for some reason

- Horrible team players 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, jackjill89 said:

If they are that important, the chefs would be disqualified/eliminated for those things on a consistent basis. They aren't. I know they must have some rules for each challenge, but they must not be that strident. Different cooking shows have different rules, so I don't think comparing TC to GBBO or Chopped is necessarily apples to apples. 

As for the judging parameters -- I have no idea what they are and I don't think any of us do. I've watched from the first season and it seems that whoever they think had the best dish wins, whoever had the worst is eliminated, and unless you make a serious rules violation, you're safe unless your dish is horrible. 

Dawn's cooking must be truly sublime for her to have gotten this far. 

 

I did say "...or they are not."

The judging parameters remain, as you note, unknown, allowing the judges some leeway. 

I'm taking bets that next episode's "unplated tortilla" does not belong to Dawn! 

 

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Gabe has mentioned his roots a lot and cooked Mexican food the entire time, so that angle has been "pushed" just as much as anyone else's background. In fact, I'm way more aware of his identity because it also comes through in his food. Despite nearly a whole season gone by, I'm still not exactly sure what Dawn's style is. She does at times include West African or soul food elements, but I can't definitively say "that's a Dawn dish" the way I probably could Gabe or Shota. In that regard, I'd find her less likely to win if some fix is in for an "ethnic" chef to win.

Actually, someone who's not totally a cishet white male is going to win, and I think that's awesome. The majority of kitchen crews are largely non-white cooks. It's time to be much more representative of that fact.

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23 hours ago, SailorGirl said:

THIS. 

To take it across the pond, consider the Great British Bake Off. These are home bakers, not professional chefs who do this for a living and run restaurants where food consistency is critical.

GBBO does a series of three challenges, many of which require making X amount of a certain bake, or adding chocolate work as decoration, or adding some additional element to the core dish to show their skills. 

The technical challenges are recipes of the two main judges who ARE professional chefs. These challenges are judged blind, so there can be no claim of favoritism, skin color, ethnicity or any other non-baking-related factor,  impacting a judge's decision.

During COVID I binged every episode on Netflix, and I still have it on in the background if there's nothing else to watch, so I'm fairly up on the show.

From what I can recall (and I'm not going to go research every episode to prove a point here), not having the requested number of bakes or the requested added element has gotten several bakers sent home.

Its only very early on, when there's 10-13 bakers, has the lack of an element not been an eliminating factor. Even then, not finishing the dish with a required component has automatically put that baker last in that challenge. And the comment is always the same when the taste of the food is outstanding. "Yes it was excellent but he/she didn't complete the challenge." And its reiterated when they are considering who to send home. 

And these are home bakers. I realize its a different show, but cooking shows in general are based on the participants successfully completing challenges. And if the participants are professional chefs who make their living on running restaurants where food consistency is a must, not having that consistency should be an eliminating factor. 

If I go to a restaurant because I've heard how amazing a certain dish is and I get that dish but it doesn't have everything that supposedly made it so amazing, I'm going to be disappointed, feel like I didn't have a good experience, and that the chef doesn't know what they are doing. 

How many times have we heard Tom, Padma, et al say something like, "add that to your menu," or "I'll come to your restaurant every time for that dish"?  If you think there's a chance you're not going to get the dish as you originally had it because the chef didn't notice certain elements weren't on the plate, why bother??? 

These are professional chefs supposedly at the top of their game. Missing components are not the mark of a chef at the top of their game.  Consistency is, and has been mentioned, on this show all the time as what makes a winning chef. Its not like this is a new concept that is somehow being used against Dawn because she's a black woman chef. I for one would love to see her win but only if she finishes her dishes! 

Its a specious argument to say missing elements are only a factor now because Dawn is black. The issue (at least for me) is the inconsistency.

In the challenge where she left off the peanut sauce, it was left off of EVERY PLATE, so the judges still all tasted the same plate. My issue is when something gets left off some plates and not others. That's when it becomes impossible to effectively and fairly judge the dish because not every judge is tasting the same thing. 
 

You cannot compare a baking show to a cooking show at all.  There is a lot more creativity that can be shown in a cooking show than a baking show. 

All that pastry  has to be made a certain way as a starting point.  No creativity.  The same amount of flour to fat ratio is the same depending on the pastry.  It cannot be changed.  You can add zests etc to enhance flavors.  The fillings you put in allow for creativity- but at the most basic level a recipe has to be followed.  The challenge for these types of show is doing the most difficult pastries like filo- can the contestants do the most difficult recipes?

Unlike the cooking shows the GBBO allows for the contestants to try out the recipes before they come to the show for 2 of the 3 challenges.  They get to see if the recipes they are going to use will work on the show.  That doesn't happen on Top Chef.  On Top Chef they have less than 24 hours to even conceptualize their dishes never mind a trial run.

 

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7 minutes ago, Macbeth said:

You cannot compare a baking show and a cooking show at all.  There is a lot more creativity that can be shown in a cooking show than a baking show. 

All that pastry  has to be made a certain way as a starting point.  No creativity.  The same amount of flour to fat ratio is the same depending on the pastry.  It cannot be changed.  You can add zests etc to enhance flavors.  The fillings you put in allow for creativity- but at the most basic level a recipe has to be followed.  The challenge for these types of show is doing the most difficult pastries like filo- can the contestants do the most difficult recipes?

Unlike the cooking shows the GBBO allows for the contestants to try out the recipes before they come to the show for 2 of the 3 challenges.  They get to see if the recipes they are going to use will work on the show.  That doesn't happen on Top Chef.  On Top Chef they have less than 24 hours to even conceptualize their dishes never mind a trial run.

 

I said nothing about the ingredients that go into baking a cake, cookies, biscuits, etc.

I said the judges ask for X number of bakes and if they don't serve X number of bakes, however they prepared them, they don't meet the challenge and its a disqualifying factor. 

The quantity the judges are asking for is not subjective.

Twelve biscuits are twelve biscuits, be they are sweet or savory, etc.

Same for the added elements such as chocolate or sugar work. 

If they miss that element, they didn't meet the challenge. How they create the sugar or chocolate work is subjective.

What is not subjective is whether they do the sugar or chocolate work or not. 
 

Edited by SailorGirl
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2 minutes ago, SailorGirl said:

I said nothing about the ingredients that go into baking a cake, cookies, biscuits, etc.

I said the judges ask for X number of bakes and if they don't serve X number of bakes, however they prepared them, they don't meet the challenge and its a disqualifying factor. 

The quantity the judges are asking for is not subjective.

Twelve biscuits are twelve biscuits, be they are sweet or savory, etc.

Same for the added elements such as chocolate or sugar work. 

If they miss that element, they didn't meet the challenge. How they create the sugar or chocolate work is subjective.

What is not subjective is whether they do the sugar or chocolate work or not. 
 

And Dawn got 12 plates served.  There by making the grade.   One of her plates was missing a component.

Plenty of bakers get out 25 choux pastry but not all of them have the decoration that was intended.  It was all about taste.

And I have not seen a baker end up losing at the end of the day due to getting 10 donuts out instead of 12.  The criteria is always - how that baker performed overall in the 3 bakes over 2 days and it's based on taste.

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I always thought that Top Chef was not cumulative, thus allowing people to just not have the worst dish on that challenge and stay till they do. I’ve seen people skate the entire season just to make it to the finale or final 3 and some very talented chefs go home because even though they were the strongest the entire competition, they screwed up that one day and had to go. That’s how Top Chef has always been so I don’t see why it matters how many times a chef screwed up in the past, as long as they do not have the worst dish that day. I think Tom added LCK so a few of the biggest ‘mistakes’ would get another chance but it’s never been cumulative according to Tom. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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6 hours ago, Leeds said:

I've got it through Amazon but to make it cost effective I've had to buy a three-pack.  (No hardship for me but a bit of a leap of faith if you've never had it before!)  If you have access to a World Market there's presumably is the British original.  Of course the ideal way to buy it is to go to the UK - when you factor in the authentic Cadbury's and other goodies like Thornton's, Walker's crisps, Twiglets, Haywards pickled onion, Polos, Hobnobs, etc, I'm sure you can justify the cost!

Luckily I have a World Market near me, so I'll try that first.  :)  Although someday I really would love a trip to the UK!

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1 hour ago, laprin said:

If Gabe creates a good dish and goes home because of a missing tortilla, it would be wrong. I would feel he was cheated.

I can see a scenario where I don't think it'd be wrong.  If he creates a good dish but leaves off an element, it shouldn't be an automatic DQ. 

However, if all three dishes are considered equal by the judges, I think it's fair to consider any missing element or inconsistencies in plating as a reason to eliminate a chef. 

When it comes to the rules of Top Chef, there are elements to each challenge that a chef needs to aim to complete.  A failure to do so is considered a knock on a dish. But it's only one factor in the judging.  It's not THE factor in judging. 

Top Chef has actually been pretty consistent with their POV.  It's week to week.  The previous week doesn't matter when it comes to the next week.  It's also about what the judges consider to be the "best" or "better" food. They will always keep the food they like the best or intrigued them the most. The other factors probably don't play a major role unless they're trying to figure out the winner or trying to break a tie on who to send home.

So if Gabe, Shota and Dawn's dishes next week are equally as good but one of them misses an element, it'll matter.  That's the way all cooking shows work.  Making mistakes early on is less catastrophic because there's more competition around who will likely do something not as appetizing.  The fewer contestants who are around to put out bad food, the more damaging a mistake will be.  Luckily for Dawn, Jamie opted to put cheese with fish and the mistake didn't cost her. 

And that's similar to how a lot of the other competitions mentioned work.  The only cooking show I've seen with rigid rules about who wins and who loses is Crime Scene Kitchen.  If you're the only team to figure out what was being made, you win even if your bake is terrible.  If you're the only team to not figure it out, you lose even if whatever you made is the best thing the judges tasted that day.

So it doesn't matter that Dawn has done it four times and not been eliminated because of it.  The three previous times might have irritated some people at the table but it's week to week and it's not a factor in judging.

I also disagree about Dawn not being a team player.  Jamie helped her last week but Dawn helped other chefs plate last week.

Edited by Irlandesa
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9 hours ago, Leeds said:

I've got it through Amazon but to make it cost effective I've had to buy a three-pack.  (No hardship for me but a bit of a leap of faith if you've never had it before!)  If you have access to a World Market there's presumably is the British original.  Of course the ideal way to buy it is to go to the UK - when you factor in the authentic Cadbury's and other goodies like Thornton's, Walker's crisps, Twiglets, Haywards pickled onion, Polos, Hobnobs, etc, I'm sure you can justify the cost!

Why is it that even though I always check my posts before sending, if someone quotes one, that's when I see the typo/error?

Edited by Leeds · Reason: Sod's law.
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On 6/17/2021 at 9:36 PM, PackYourKnives said:

Look: just based on the preview, if Gabe goes home for "missing a tortilla" in the next episode and Dawn didn't go home this week we're verging into very iffy territory regarding the show's constant favoritism of Dawn. This is getting absolutely ridiculous how many times she has missed things and is STILL on the show somehow. 

 

At this point this is Shota's to lose and it's not very close. As Nina said, the technique difference between himself and the chefs is truly at a different level. 

Dawn HAS to win...fits the narrative

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Jamie sealed her own fate by volunteering to go home in place of Maria last week.  As soon as she fell in the bottom two, I knew she was gone. No way they'd keep someone who offered to quit. 

Dale seems incredibly bitter. I mean, I get at this point that the judges all have their favorites, but like others have mentioned, his criticisms seem a bit over the top & personal. IMO, he lacks the accomplishments & personality to be that forthright with his opinion.  Commenting on social media comments mean that we're not likely to see him again.

 

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Have there ever been someone in the history of Top Chef who have been booted purely for failing to plate a component on an otherwise good dish? Especially when there was an actually bad dish?

If not, then all this talk about how Dawn should have been sent home for screwing up the one plate seems overwrought.

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Please move on from the debate about if leaving a component off a plate is acceptable. Remember to be civil when you disagree on other aspects of this episode, and do focus on this episode, not past seasons or other cooking shows.

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2 hours ago, CayennePepper said:

Lol at the blatant lies in this thread. This week was the first time Dawn made reference to her experiences as an African American female chef in the industry. I would know because I found it odd they didn't play up that angle more. They have done it in the past with season 15 runner-up, Adrienne, and it seems like an obvious route to go, and producers love an obvious, easy-to-follow plotline. They decided to go primarily with the Olympian storyline with Dawn. 

I have literally heard more about Shota being Japanese and people not understanding Japanese cuisine (probably like every episode which is ironic since his fans are the main ones yelling in here), Gabe wanting to be the first Mexican Top Chef, Maria being Mexican, Jamie being Vietnamese, Byron being a DACA recipient from Costa Rica etc. None of these bother me because it is who they are as people and as chefs (and I'm culturally sensitive), but to straight up lie and claim that Dawn has been harping on being African American...is a choice. And even if she did mention it multiple times, so what, that's her story and experiences. I can't say I'm surprised she's being singled out though.

It's extremely pathetic, and quite frankly racist, if Dawn mentioning her experience as an African American female chef makes you this uncomfortable and angry. Can't say I'm surprised that people are creating a false narrative to push whatever agenda they've created in their head. 

Agreed! Dawn's storyline has been "I am a former Olympian and now I'm a chef". She hasn't really referenced her ethnicity and she doesn't seem to *only* cook food from a certain region. The judges also *really* seem to love her food and last episode was the first time (in my memory) they dinged her on components that weren't successful.

I've been really excited for a Dawn or Shota win because even though they've both had some missteps they both seem to be cooking delicious innovative and compelling food. I'm not sure of a Gabe win because (honestly) he isn't super memorable in my mind, so I keep forgetting he is in the competition. 

IIRC Tom used to ding chefs at the judges table for leaving off a component or changing their dish between chatting to him in the kitchen and plating. I'm really happy this no longer happens and instead judges just critique the final product. 

Shallow note: I've also been loving Tom's style this season. And Kwame's outfits are always chefs kiss! 

Edited to add: I also LOVE when Dawn wears her hair out. Her hair is super beautiful. 

Edited by watchingtvaddict
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Is there still someone coming back from LCK again? I don't pay enough attention to how that works, since I hate it. 

That is another reason that I am fine with Jamie going home this week... it sounds like her dish wasn't good, but also I dislike the whole concept of LCK, even though they have to compete to make it back, it just bothers me. Same thing with the Tim Gunn save thing they added to Project Runway making something he "Had" to do each season, not just a very special circumstance. 

Even though we've had winners that have come from LCK, it still has a little asterisk for me, not because they aren't great chefs, but they were still eliminated....   But I also don't hold being a top chef winner as something super esteemed compared to just being a great chef.

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Maybe someone is confusing some of what Kiki said and attributing it to Dawn? 

I actually did not see the entire episode, but I have to say that I have loved how much the contestants have enjoyed one another and seemed to learn from each other in the kitchen. 

All of the chefs seem to be really talented but the reality is that there are many chefs just as talented or more that don't go on a reality show and many people may have a different opinion than the people who are deemed to be judges.  It is the same on all competitive shows.....I know 10 people who sing just as well as most anyone that won American Idol, they just never pursued the career.  

Again, being the winner is not always the best thing.  

 

Edited by catrice2
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27 minutes ago, roctavia said:

Is there still someone coming back from LCK again? I don't pay enough attention to how that works, since I hate it. 

That is another reason that I am fine with Jamie going home this week... it sounds like her dish wasn't good, but also I dislike the whole concept of LCK, even though they have to compete to make it back, it just bothers me. Same thing with the Tim Gunn save thing they added to Project Runway making something he "Had" to do each season, not just a very special circumstance. 

Even though we've had winners that have come from LCK, it still has a little asterisk for me, not because they aren't great chefs, but they were still eliminated....   But I also don't hold being a top chef winner as something super esteemed compared to just being a great chef.

No. LCK is over, and the last person there didn’t win the right to return. I won’t go into the mechanics here, since it has its own thread.

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On 6/18/2021 at 2:03 PM, dleighg said:

And Tillamook-- given that they are a MASSIVE operation (tons per day as we were told)-- I don't think it's a super high end ingredient, right?

I love me some good cheddar cheese and, being a native Oregonian who grew up on the West Coast, Tillamook has been considered a good, quality cheese for as long as I can remember - and is more expensive than the other cheeses you find in the cheese section of the grocery store.  Having said that, it isn't something that features in the artisan cheeses of the deli sections - that's where you can find the Wisconsin, Vermont, and English cheddars.  Is Tillamook on par with those?  I think their reserve and extra sharp white cheddar are definitely comparable and I wouldn't hesitate putting it in my five-cheese macaroni and cheese.  

And now, I have a hankering to include a block of sharp or extra sharp Tillamook cheddar in my next grocery purchase just to snack on.  

BTW, Tillamook Creamery Association doesn't just produce cheese - they make excellent ice cream too, lol.  

20 hours ago, Yeah No said:

I went there exactly 20 years ago this summer, less than a month before Sept. 11th.  I was really excited and happy to see what they've done with the visitor's center.  Makes me want to go back....

Yeah, but as romantic cheese experiences go on this side of the pond Tillamook has got to be one of the best.  For some reason my visit there has always stood out in my mind as one of my favorite experiences in the PNW, and I've had some great experiences there!  I do wonder, though, if in normal, non-pandemic times the public is still allowed to tour the inside of the factory on the catwalks and get up close and personal with the cheesemakers stirring the vats....

That said, I actually remember eating Tillamook cheese as far back as the 1970s when my mother and I would buy it at the A&P in NYC.  It's not that common here in the Northeast, although I do get it at Target in case anyone wants to know where to find it.

I have family who live in Tillamook and it was a highlight of my childhood (late '70s/early '80s) to go over there and visit the cheese factory but I haven't been there since at least the early '90s, so I can't say whether or not the tour still includes the catwalks and the vats.  

I remember going to the grocery store in Virginia during the early '90s while I was in college and being sad that they didn't carry Tillamook cheese because it really was the best, IMO.  

With regards to the episode and Dawn - I haven't felt like her edit has had an overwhelmingly "African-American female chef" angle.  If anything, I'd say that there's been at least as much emphasis on her being an Olympian, and there have been lots of talking heads from her where she talks about her family.  That said, I do agree there appears to be an ongoing issue with her time management and I haven't gotten much of a "team player" vibe from her - she didn't work all that well when she was teamed with Gabriel (even if he was attempting to mansplain her into seasoning her meat differently) and she certainly didn't seem to be much a team player during Restaurant Wars.  But, this isn't a "team" competition, though there are some QFs and ECs that have a team component, so as long as she keeps cooking well enough and the judges like her food then I'm not too bothered by her not being the ultimate team player.  She doesn't need to be a team player to win.

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1 hour ago, caitmcg said:

No. LCK is over, and the last person there didn’t win the right to return. I won’t go into the mechanics here, since it has its own thread.

Thank you. I tried to figure it out from the thread, but not watching it makes it still a little confusing :)  But that's all I need to know.

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5 hours ago, CayennePepper said:

It's extremely pathetic, and quite frankly racist, if Dawn mentioning her experience as an African American female chef makes you this uncomfortable and angry. Can't say I'm surprised that people are creating a false narrative to push whatever agenda they've created in their head. 

I agree with you completely, but I have actually come to the conclusion that the show deliberately edits things in such a way as to encourage people to see favoritism or prejudice based on race.  Look at the juxtaposition in this episode of Dawn talking about being an AA chef and breaking down barriers, etc. and the editing done surrounding the judging of her dish that made it look like TPTB were favoring her because she is AA.  I really think the show deliberately fucks with the audience's minds to see racial unfairness in the judging and in other aspects.  Like earlier this season and the way they edited Gabriel to look like a douche and Maria's comments about him and toward him.  And even a few seasons back with the 3 white guys that called themselves the "3 bears".  I have never seen a cooking show inspire so much division and resentment all based on race, and I'm beginning to think that's no accident and that the show actually does its best to inspire the "false narratives" that result, all in the name of reality show drama.  And to be honest I'm beginning to hate that.  They know that these are hot button topics right now in our society and they are feeding into that for their own purposes.

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When it all comes down to it, doesn't Tom have the last word?

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6 minutes ago, HyeChaps said:

When it all comes down to it, doesn't Tom have the last word?

TBH I feel like the bigger judging panel (and editing) has diluted Tom's (onscreen) voice. But, I wouldn't be shocked if Tom still has the final say... I rewatched the judging from this episode and Tom's opinion is barely heard (IMO). 

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20 minutes ago, watchingtvaddict said:

TBH I feel like the bigger judging panel (and editing) has diluted Tom's (onscreen) voice. But, I wouldn't be shocked if Tom still has the final say... I rewatched the judging from this episode and Tom's opinion is barely heard (IMO). 

IMO he still has the final say.  It's his show.  Always been.

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I like the bigger judging panel but feel the reason for it had more to do with the pandemic than for any other reason.  Tom still has the final word and will always have.  I love the fact that he seemed far more relaxed this season with this group too.  

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I don't like the bigger judging panel, it is a distraction. I think it happened this season for two reasons. One the pandemic and two the segue into the TC Amateurs show (that show is a nope for me). Plus, even though they are there, they are presented as second tier judges.

I also think that all the product placement is bringing down the show. Instead of having straight up chef technical challenges, they are having challenges designed around the sponsor of the week. I understand that is the money for the show but it has become intrusive. Is this year's winner going to be a great chef or a great promoter of products? 

Tom totally has the final say. They have a chance to persuade him if they disagree with him. I think they do debate and he is open to having his mind changed. If they aren't successful in changing it then oh, well. 

 

 

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Dawn's lucky the server gave Brooke the incomplete dish.  If it had been Tom she would be PYKAG.  I'm still firmly in the camp that Tom's opinion matters above all others.

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56 minutes ago, stewedsquash said:

I also think that all the product placement is bringing down the show. Instead of having straight up chef technical challenges, they are having challenges designed around the sponsor of the week. I understand that is the money for the show but it has become intrusive. Is this year's winner going to be a great chef or a great promoter of products? 

It doesn’t seem any different to me this year, it’s almost always pretty intrusive, more so in the QF than the EC, but since season 2-3, there’s always been a ton of it. 

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18 hours ago, Ellee said:

Can’t we let it go at that?  Can’t we leave the cheftestants win or lose on their own with their food?  Can’t we wish them all better things ahead?

Absolutely! I hope that the remaining chefs agree not to help anyone else with any component of their dishes in the finale. Win or lose based on what YOU can do with YOUR time allotted.

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14 hours ago, HighQueenEB said:

BTW, Tillamook Creamery Association doesn't just produce cheese - they make excellent ice cream too, lol.  

I wasn't impressed. I asked my sister to get me some strawberry ice cream, and my favorite supermarket brand for strawberry is Haagen Dazs. The market didn't have the HD, so she got me the Tillamook, and it wasn't great. O.k, but disappointing. Not very creamy. Not very strawberry-y, not very rich. I think I ended up dumping at least a third of the carton.

But we like their butter! That's our preferred brand.

 

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33 minutes ago, carrps said:

I wasn't impressed. I asked my sister to get me some strawberry ice cream, and my favorite supermarket brand for strawberry is Haagen Dazs. The market didn't have the HD, so she got me the Tillamook, and it wasn't great. O.k, but disappointing. Not very creamy. Not very strawberry-y, not very rich. I think I ended up dumping at least a third of the carton.

But we like their butter! That's our preferred brand.

 

I agree! I am not a fan of their ice cream either. It is available at the next big town over from me at Publix and Harris Teeter. Recently my local grocer started offering their cheeses. They are not really that much more expensive than the store brand but I haven't gotten around to trying them yet. 

I came across this when I was searching for what the heck the parmigiano five ways actually was, since they didn't show it too much on the episode. It is a little short video featuring Bottura, kind of cute and it shows exactly how he plates it and why he made it. I wish they could have had him on as the guest judge. Maybe next year!

eta I think Shota came the closest to what Bottura was putting out. Gabe second, Jamie third, Dawn last. I was more interested in trying Jamie's than Dawn's. The Philly cheesesteak  was a good concept, I guess, but it looked nasty on the plate. I think Dawn and Jamie went too far in having their protein be forward. Gabe was dinged for his apple being forward but I think that was just a nitpick, to get him in the bottom three instead of second of the top two. Shota seemed to just have his dish all cheese foward and not a predominate other flavor and I think that is why he won.

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I adore Dawn and Shota - hoping they're the final two.

I've watched every Top Chef/Top Chef All-Stars/Top Chef Master episode at least 4 times and remember back in the day that contestants would get reprimanded by the judges if they cooked 'their' cuisine every single challenge - now it's celebrated. I don't care one way or another but thought this particular challenge was interesting since Shota absolutely rocked a Japanese dish - with cheddar cheese. Genius.

Am thinking Shota is getting the Paul Qui season 9 winner's edit - after the Texas season was over and aired, Tom admitted that they had to 'dumb down' just how good he was so the season wouldn't be a bust. 

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4 hours ago, Tess23 said:

I adore Dawn and Shota - hoping they're the final two.

I've watched every Top Chef/Top Chef All-Stars/Top Chef Master episode at least 4 times and remember back in the day that contestants would get reprimanded by the judges if they cooked 'their' cuisine every single challenge - now it's celebrated. I don't care one way or another but thought this particular challenge was interesting since Shota absolutely rocked a Japanese dish - with cheddar cheese. Genius.

Am thinking Shota is getting the Paul Qui season 9 winner's edit - after the Texas season was over and aired, Tom admitted that they had to 'dumb down' just how good he was so the season wouldn't be a bust. 

I'd love it if Shota was getting the Paul Qui edit! He's my favorite this season, hands down. He is an excellent chef and seems like a really good guy. 

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I love the final 3. I thought Jamie's dish looked better than Dawn's but I did not eat it. ;0 Just a really great, interesting, nice bunch of chefs this season and frankly, relaxing tv is what I need right now. 

Regarding fish and cheese...I am one of the people who was stranded in Newfoundland after 9/11 and they took very good care of us there-the Red Cross fed us Cod Au Gratin at least once per day and man-that was a delicious brick. So it can be done!

Shota is my favorite, but I think Dawn will win.

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