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Contestants: The Arrogant, the Weepy, the Chopped

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I watched this IRT, and a little desultory googling will find the contents of Chris Burke's sock drawer spread out around the food blogs afterwards testifying to what an awesome guy and masterful chef he is.

I was honestly surprised that being a self-promoting asshole didn't get him a regular spot, as maybe Geoffrey Zakarian's replacement sous or at very least a contestant on NFNS.

Edited by Julia
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I was honestly surprised that being a self-promoting asshole didn't get him a regular spot, as ... [snip]... a contestant on NFNS.

 

Shhhh! Nonononononononono! Now I have to burn some black candles, make a circle with some salt, and call on the forces of evil to keep this person off that show.

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Shhhh! Nonononononononono! Now I have to burn some black candles, make a circle with some salt, and call on the forces of evil to keep this person off that show.

Pretty sure that would have to be smoked himalayan salt.

Aw, come on, don't you want to see the hilarity that would ensue when mentor Alton tried to explain why it's important not to be a gleeful jerk in a _bad_ way, or mentor Bobby tried to explain why it's important to pretend not to be one at all? I'm assuming not even those two assholes from network would let him anywhere near Giada.

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IF this was going to happen, wouldn't it have already? This asshat was from Season 3; well, the redemption episode was from Season 3 anyway, which means, it was roughly in 2009; I checked IMDB, and apparently each season is like, 6 episodes.

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That annoyed the crap out of me.  All his "do I use the unethically produced honey" whining in the dessert round made me want to punch him.  The show Million Dollar Critic went to his restaurant in the Philadelphia episode, and he was a total douchenozzle there too, and that's saying something when you consider he was standing next to the douchebag critic.

 

 

proserpina65, I missed that episode of "Million Dollar Critic", ended up finding it on-demand and am watching it right now.  Wow, you were right!  Mr. Wordsworth thinks it's hilarious.   Thanks for the info!

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I think the unethically produced honey thing is hilarious, because I'm not at all convinced that anyone can run a vegan restaurant serving more than moss and kelp where some of the food isn't fertilized by commercially hived bees.

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Even when the episode first aired, she seemed over-the-top.  She came back for a redemption episode in which she'd grown hair back and broadened her scope to include all cancer and not just breast cancer.

 

Oh brother. I'll have to watch for that. 

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During a hockey intermission, I watched part of a Chopped charity episode and thank goodness a chef named Nadia G was chopped first. I found her really annoying, but the judges and other chefs seemed to like her. She apparently had or has her own cooking show called Nadia G's Bitchin Kitchen. She made a ball that rolled off one of her plates, but the chef's like the meal. Of course, they always say how great a dish is when someone doesn't get something plated.

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During a hockey intermission, I watched part of a Chopped charity episode and thank goodness a chef named Nadia G was chopped first. I found her really annoying, but the judges and other chefs seemed to like her. She apparently had or has her own cooking show called Nadia G's Bitchin Kitchen. She made a ball that rolled off one of her plates, but the chef's like the meal. Of course, they always say how great a dish is when someone doesn't get something plated.

You know, she's always annoyed me when I've seen her in other Food Network shows, but I watched her travelogue food show last year and kind of fell in love with her as a comedian. I think her persona (grating, aggressive, inappropriate, boozy blue collar diva) plays really badly in a context where the rest of the contestants aren't performing (or at least, not obviously).

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Awww - we were sorry to see Nadia go first. She's a hoot. She's a stand-up comedian in another life, so she definitely has a schtick. But her cooking show is an absolute riot. Too bad it's not in production anymore. She did another traveling around show that was pretty good. Not sure if it's still in production. Her sense of humor is definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but she definitely doesn't take herself seriously and she makes me laugh. That's all I need for entertainment.

Edited by chessiegal
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I didn't realize she was trying to be a comedian. I just found her grating. She reminded me of a 15-year-old skater boi (GET OFF MY LAWN!!!) and I thought she is too old to act like that. Maybe in a different, longer, format she wouldn't have bothered me.

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Nadia drives me NUTS. Although the commercial about where she says something about cooking not being "rocket surgery" does crack me up a little bit. I can't imagine watching a whole show with her.

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Oh man, I forgot about Myleek until today! Wow!!! I think I've only seen this episode once before, but once he started mouthing off to the judges I thought "here we go!!"

Geoffrey handled him very, very well at the end. I'm surprised he didn't tell him to get his snotty ass off the set. Alex just sat there not knowing what to say. And then when he left, he really left....out the stage door with camera following him.

The episode name is "A Nori Story" if anyone wants to catch it again.

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Saw an episode from early in the seasons, I think it was called "Chewing the Caufat" which, ewww...

 

But, I wanted to say was that it is always my  fervent wish that those contestants, that smirk or smile when their competition gets a bad critique be the one who actually gets Chopped.  In this episode, Nadine? lost in the final round. And I bloody well cheered. Her supposed chocolate cookie? biscotti? Totally fell apart and it was what decided the judges for Lester, who won.


Saw an episode from early in the seasons, I think it was called "Chewing the Caufat" which, ewww...

 

But, I wanted to say was that it is always my  fervent wish that those contestants, that smirk or smile when their competition gets a bad critique be the one who actually gets Chopped.  In this episode, Nadine? lost in the final round. And I bloody well cheered. Her supposed chocolate cookie? biscotti? Totally fell apart and it was what decided the judges for Lester, who won.

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But, I wanted to say was that it is always my  fervent wish that those contestants, that smirk or smile when their competition gets a bad critique be the one who actually gets Chopped.

 

That bugs me, too, when I know for certain it happened that way ... but, unless I see it happen in a wide shot, I can't say for sure it did.  When it's just a one-shot on that contestant's face, and thus could have been edited in from any of the extensive time they spent standing there in front of the judges, it could be typical reality show editing shenanigans.

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That bugs me, too, when I know for certain it happened that way ... but, unless I see it happen in a wide shot, I can't say for sure it did.  When it's just a one-shot on that contestant's face, and thus could have been edited in from any of the extensive time they spent standing there in front of the judges, it could be typical reality show editing shenanigans.

 

 

Like you, unless it's a wide shot, I always assume it's editing.

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Me, too.  I don't trust the editing of reality tv.  They want drama and if they don't get it, they try to create it.  I know someone who was on a reality show and something she read off of a list of phrases when recording audio bits was played over a scene with her in it that made it sound like she said something unflattering about another person in the scene.  

 

 

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Saw an episode from early in the seasons, I think it was called "Chewing the Caufat" which, ewww...

 

 In this episode, Nadine? lost in the final round. And I bloody well cheered. Her supposed chocolate cookie? biscotti? Totally fell apart and it was what decided the judges for Lester, who won.

 

 

That stuff was disgusting. Lester got on my nerves with his rapper/gangsta speak and mannerisms. You know, that's okay in high school. It's okay in the hood. Stupid but okay. But as an adult in a professional setting? Inappropriate and childish. The second I turned the show on he'd just said "ya know what I mean" in that stupid rapper way so I took a immediate disliking to him. It chapped my arse that he won.

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Caught an episode yesterday called "Judge Knows Best".   Two chefs served Scott raw red onions in the appetizer round.  He mentioned to one of them that he hates raw red onions.  As in really, really hates them.  The same two chefs then include raw red onions in the entree.  

 

One of the two chefs was Joshua Whigham, who got a bit of an attitude going when Scott called him out for using the red onion the second time.  (The other chef, Ayesha Nurdjaja, was at least a bit apologetic.)  And then when Scott asked him if he makes it through to the dessert round to not include raw onions, Joshua comes back with a lame joke about thinking of making an onion jam.  That joke, of course, went over like a lead balloon.

 

Why would two contestants serve an ingredient to a judge who has said point-blank that he doesn't like that ingredient? I can't even call it arrogant.  It's just kind of stupid.  

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Stupid is as stupid does. Then again, on another show (not Chopped) Scott was raving about the delicious raw red onions in his dish. Go figure.

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Then again, on another show (not Chopped) Scott was raving about the delicious raw red onions in his dish.

 

I remember seeing that but I can't recall where either.  I'm pretty sure though that, in that instance, the red onions were pickled.  I guess that makes them OK in his book.

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While I think it's stupid to serve him raw onions after he has already complained about it (or ever, given his history of complaining every damn time he tastes them), I also think Scott should shut the hell up about what is nothing more than a personal preference.  If raw onions don't work for a particular dish - they're overwhelming or conflicting with other flavors, the texture is out of place, whatever - that's a valid criticism.  "I don't like them" is not. 

 

I cannot stand egg yolk.  If someone served me something with a Hollandaise sauce on it, I'd just defer to my fellow judges as to whether that sauce was appropriate to the dish rather than huffing that someone included in their dish what may be a perfectly valid ingredient that I happen to hate.

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While I think it's stupid to serve him raw onions after he has already complained about it (or ever, given his history of complaining every damn time he tastes them), I also think Scott should shut the hell up about what is nothing more than a personal preference.  If raw onions don't work for a particular dish - they're overwhelming or conflicting with other flavors, the texture is out of place, whatever - that's a valid criticism.  "I don't like them" is not. 

 

I cannot stand egg yolk.  If someone served me something with a Hollandaise sauce on it, I'd just defer to my fellow judges as to whether that sauce was appropriate to the dish rather than huffing that someone included in their dish what may be a perfectly valid ingredient that I happen to hate.

 

I so agree! There are some of the judges who clearly like or dislike things such as red onions, hot peppers, etc. and I can see trying to cater to that somewhat, but there are multiple judges so it'd be hard to meet all of their tastes. Plus the majority of them seem to want their food incredibly salty, so it would be hard to do that if you either aren't used to cooking that way or you happened to get one of the few who doesn't like so much salt.

 

I'm glad you mentioned the egg yolk thing!  I like egg yolks when I actually want egg - I'm all for sopping it up with toast or hash browns or whatever, but the new trend of throwing barely cooked eggs on everything from salads to sandwiches to steaks completely grosses me out. Apparently a lot of people like it though, so it would be kind of unfair if I were a judge. Like you said, I think they should be able to somehow defer to another judge who does happen to like that ingredient or style. Sometimes it's just a personal taste or texture thing.

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Scott has complained that raw red onions really overpower a dish, which is probably still a personal preference... so a contestant might still be sunk regardless.

 

I go back and forth between on the contestants' side - are you here to win, or here to create your best dish with weird ingredients in under 30 minutes? - and on the judges' side - this is not about your personal preferences, but is the dish well composed and executed?. Getting Zakarian and Arrrrrrrrrron in the same ep would be unfortunate because their tastes are opposite but most of the things the judges really harp on are relatively compatible. Make sure you get Alex her acid. Cook pasta correctly or not at all if you get Scott. Wear a hairnet and debone everything thoroughly if you get Chris. Oversalt everything regardless of who you get which I think is ridiculous but again, are you here to win or to cook what you like...

 

I would be a terrible judge as I have way too many hang-ups but I do agree with the above posters that non-red onion hating judges can probably attest to just how overpowering the red onions are. 

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The obnoxious Chris Burke's episode is on right now, episode #3. The guy is a douche.

It's fun to watch Ted over-explain everything since the show was brand new at this point. And they had 30 minutes in every round.

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I'm late to the party, but may I add Rebecca from Beehive in Boston.  She was so snotty and then won.  But when she returned for an encore they kicked her to the curb, so my schadenfreude was satisfied.

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I was talking with someone who knows a Chopped contestant. He said that she came back from taping and, while she obviously couldn't tell him how she had done, he suspected that she was the winner based on her happy mood.

 

A while passed, and she told him that she would be returning to Chopped to tape an All Star episode. But she had forgotten that her original episode hadn't aired yet. So he knew that she won the first time around.

 

To the best of my knowledge, FN is not going after her for violating her non disclosure, yet.

 

(I hope I didn't out her!)

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I am pretty new to watching this show and most of the time I am basically rooting for all the contestants and am very uncritical. However, there was this one episode this week where I couldn't believe the arrogance and obnoxiousness of this one guy. I can't remember his name, but he was so convinced that he was the best chef ever and he was so going to win. His smirky face made my teeth grind and he was very disrespectful especially to the much younger female chef - at one point he actually winked at her to diss her.  Then she beat him in the in the final dessert round and he was chopped. His disbelieving face was manna from heaven to me - what an asshole.

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Was that the guy who ended up saying, "I can't believe I lost . . . to HER."  And then he made a motion of washing his hands of the whole deal.  

 

I may be confusing him with the "personal chef" who has been on lots of private jets and thought he was God's gift to the world.  But I don't think he made it to the dessert round on his episode.

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I am pretty new to watching this show and most of the time I am basically rooting for all the contestants and am very uncritical. However, there was this one episode this week where I couldn't believe the arrogance and obnoxiousness of this one guy. I can't remember his name, but he was so convinced that he was the best chef ever and he was so going to win. His smirky face made my teeth grind and he was very disrespectful especially to the much younger female chef - at one point he actually winked at her to diss her. Then she beat him in the in the final dessert round and he was chopped. His disbelieving face was manna from heaven to me - what an asshole.

It might've been 1 of the "Chris's". There were at least 2 chefs named Chris on the show, in previous seasons to this, who thought they were "all that & a bag of chips" & that they were above the chef/judges critiques, to the point of talking back to/interrupting them in the middle of speaking--I think especially Scott Conant.

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Was that the guy who ended up saying, "I can't believe I lost . . . to HER."  And then he made a motion of washing his hands of the whole deal.  

 

I may be confusing him with the "personal chef" who has been on lots of private jets and thought he was God's gift to the world.  But I don't think he made it to the dessert round on his episode.

Yes, I think he said that.  But if I remember right, he wasn't a personal chef.

 

 

It might've been 1 of the "Chris's". There were at least 2 chefs named Chris on the show, in previous seasons to this, who thought they were "all that & a bag of chips" & that they were above the chef/judges critiques, to the point of talking back to/interrupting them in the middle of speaking--I think especially Scott Conant.

I just don't remember his name. But I don't think his name was Scott Conant.  Oh, do you mean "Scott Conant" is one of the judges? I don't really know the judges yet either.  

 

This particular jerk wasn't so much disrespectful or back talking to the judges as he was towards his fellow contestants. And so full of himself that I instantly went I don't want him to win this.

Edited by magdalene

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Yes, I think he said that. But if I remember right, he wasn't a personal chef.

I just don't remember his name. But I don't think his name was Scott Conant. Oh, do you mean "Scott Conant" is one of the judges? I don't really know the judges yet either.

This particular jerk wasn't so much disrespectful or back talking to the judges as he was towards his fellow contestants. And so full of himself that I instantly went I don't want him to win this.

Scott Conant is 1 of the (frequent) judges, yes. I didn't see the ep you did, but it still sounds to me like it might've been 1 of the real doozies they've had on named Chris--& they've had a couple of different Chrises on the show like that (& at least 1 was on more than once, thanks to being invited to participate in special competition type episodes like "redemption" or "championship" episodes). Of course there are zillions of other douche-y chefs, by different first names, your description fits as well.

On the other hand, when it comes to chefs on the "fabulous" end of the scale, if you stick with the show you should look out for eps involving chefs named Lance Nitahara & Madison Cowan. They were on at least 1 ep together, I'm pretty sure, & each has also been on other eps individually. You couldn't find 2 more respectful chefs--to each other, their fellow competitors, & their episodes' judges--if you tried. Madison has also served as a judge on other eps of Chopped. You might look the Lance & Madison Chopped competition eps up on YouTube. Even if you can't find the entire eps there, short clips will probably show you everything you need to know about these guys. They're really pretty legendary, in a good way, when it comes to Chopped.

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The episode was "Ready, Set, Escargot!" and the chefs in the dessert round were Frank Whittaker and Missy Corey.  Frank is the executive sous chef at David Burke's Fishtail in NYC and Missy works in a restaurant located in Maine and owned by Rob Evans, a previous Chopped winner.  Frank came back on a redemption episode, was eliminated after the appetizer, and he almost blew a blood vessel in that episode.  Frank didn't understand the cardinal rule: it doesn't matter what your credential are, the basket is the ultimate leveler.  And it was very satisfying seeing Frank eliminated in both episodes.

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I totally agree on Madison and Lance being two of the best chefs ever on Chopped. Lance lost to Madison in their episode. Lance then came back in a redemption show. He was in the dessert round with the lady of whom I can't recall her name. She had a wonderful french accent. She injured herself really bad in the entree round when she slipped and had boiling water burn her leg. She got right up and kept going. She wanted to win so she could use the money to be with her grandmother who was close to dying. Both Lance and her put on a great display of cooking skills. Lance won. He then gave his winnings to her so she could afford the tickets to travel to her grandmother.

 

Madison then competed on Iron Chef America. He had Lance as his sous chef. Madison WON!!

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Whoa, I missed that Madison was on ICA. Excuse me while I go look that up...

 

The douche competitors on this show are so frequent that they all blend together unless they're really egregious like Penny (right?) on the All-Stars or that one who interrupted Alex (oh no she didn't) with "Can I speak?". I think that one was named Lauren.

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I totally agree on Madison and Lance being two of the best chefs ever on Chopped. Lance lost to Madison in their episode. Lance then came back in a redemption show. He was in the dessert round with the lady of whom I can't recall her name. She had a wonderful french accent. She injured herself really bad in the entree round when she slipped and had boiling water burn her leg. She got right up and kept going. She wanted to win so she could use the money to be with her grandmother who was close to dying. Both Lance and her put on a great display of cooking skills. Lance won. He then gave his winnings to her so she could afford the tickets to travel to her grandmother.

Madison then competed on Iron Chef America. He had Lance as his sous chef. Madison WON!!

The French-accented female chef was a woman named Siggy. I remember her well. In my opinion, she may have only been on the redemption episode with Lance because the appetizer basket in her original ep included (dead, of course) rattlesnake as an ingredient & she spent so much time freakIng out over the rattlesnake being in the basket (not really wanting to touch it, even dead, & making "freaked out" noises--not screams, but she made it clear she hated that damn snake & was still scared of it, even dead) that she was only able to complete 1 plate for judging. If she'd been calmer about the rattlesnake & been able to complete all 3 judges plates, perhaps she might've had a shot at winning her original ep.

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The French-accented female chef was a woman named Siggy.

 

Siggy was in that redemption episode, but the French chef from nitrofishblue's post (who made it to the dessert round despite burning her legs but ultimately lost to Lance) was Yoanne.

Edited by Bastet
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I thought Siggy was being ridiculous too. She was all, "THEY GAVE ME A SNAKE!"... well, you weren't in the pilot episode, you know what the show is about, expect weird things. She should have just been glad she didn't get something like pig rectum. I also thought the judges were being unnecessarily accommodating to her. (Sympathy is not a natural feeling in the DVD household, if that's not obvious)

 

I have an irrational love for Lance for many reasons, one of them being that the place where he is/was executive chef, I camped at a couple times as a kid with my family. 

 

I think I found that ep of ICA on YouTube and somehow forgot that Geoffrey Zakarian and Alex Guareschelli are both Iron Chefs now. It's like I didn't even watch their seasons of Next Iron Chef...

Edited by JessDVD

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Siggy was in that redemption episode, but the French chef from nitrofishblue's post (who made it to the dessert round despite burning her legs but ultimately lost to Lance) was Yoanne.

You're right. Thanks for the correction. And Siggy still overreacted about that dead rattlesnake.

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I got to meet Kent Rollins and his beautiful wife, Shannon, while they were in my area for "Saddle Up!". I can't begin to tell you what nice people they are.... he's every bit as genuine as what you have seen on this show and others. When I arrived in Pigeon Forge, I found them at the LeConte Center where most of the events were taking place. There, in all it's glory, was his famous chuckwagon, hauled all the way from Oklahoma to Tennessee. A couple of big grills were being fired up to cook steaks for dinner that night. Big bear hugs from both of them, they made me feel like family. Met some of their friends who were helping them with the cooking. Next morning, Kent gave a demostration of how to make his famous sourdough biscuits. My dog, Scooby-Doo, was enjoying not just his own biscuit but anyone else's crumbs that managed to hit the floor. Then Kent, Shannon and I and a couple of their friends from Texas had a hearty breakfast.

Kent told me it was an honor to have met me and Scooby-Doo, but the honor and pleasure was all mine. I think he was just as taken with my little dog as I am, Scooby's a charmer! :)

image.jpg1_zpsxui0kqre.jpg

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That's great!  It's good to hear that he's as he came across on TV.  People often aren't and that would have been a huge disappointment.  I'm sure you'll treasure that picture.  What exactly is Saddle Up?

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