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Tara Ariano

S13.E01: Stop The Presses

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Top chefs arrive in Los Angeles in the opener of Season 13, which will feature the foodies competing in six cities across California. Here, they try to wow food critics and reporters under the Hollywood sign.

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I didn't realize how much I missed this show until I heard the music and saw Tom and Padma. I recognized Frances from Chopped right away. So you can mention Food Network shows you've been on on Bravo, but you don't mention Top Chef on Food Network shows. I like Renee, too, so I'm glad the Blue team won. I also recognize the ponytail and beard guy.

I can't believe that guy chopping tomatoes left the labels on a tomato.

Loved that guy's slam on Isabella! Bastardization of Italian food, ha!

I wonder if CooksDelight was at this event. Padma sure slammed Grayson's meatballs. Sorry, Phillip, that big piece of foam was gross to me, reminded me of this foamy stuff I'll see in grass that is bug eggs.

I guess I'm glad Grayson was spared. I hope messy guy goes soon.

Is that Ludo from The Taste?

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Should Emeril be a judge when one of his present or former employees is a contestant? No. They have a huge group of people to choose from to judge.

Still no explanation as to why Grayson was brought back. At first, I thought maybe she was a spy or something, but then she's going on and on about competing. And then the humiliating critique. She's in the bottom right off the bat which makes bringing her back questionable, in my mind, at least. Taking a spot from someone else who might have done better. And she does not look healthy.

17 is a weird number of chefs to start with.

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Bye, gustatory esthetician. Whatever your name was.

I already know I will loathe the sassy Kansas City chef and the Food network guy with the man bun. Pretty much everyone else is a blur. Except for Garrett the slob, (or is it Wesley?) who has no chance now that he is in Padma's sights. And I am already tired of Grayson. If you don't want to play the game, don't enter the contest.

Edited by avecsans
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How was Grayson able to come back to the competition? I know they bring back people all the time so maybe I shouldn't be questioning it. Speaking of returns I was surprised to see Emeril deciding to come back to be a judge after last season. Grayson annoyed me during her season and that just might continue on. She's rather annoying and doesn't seem like she wants to grow as a chef.

 

Phillip I seen him on Grocery Games, Cutthroat, & Chopped and I liked him in all 3 so, so he'll be a favorite of mine, but if he becomes cocky, he will go on my shit list. So for the 1st episode he'll get a small pass.

 

Damn Garrett, tell us how you really feel about Mike Isabella. Talking all that shit and end up in the bottom 3 and being sent home. Go home and bake some humble pie.

 

Messy chef, IDK if he dipped his tasting spoon in water and put it back in the skillet to stir but looking at Padma's reaction, he may not have. Who knows I couldn't tell with the camera angle. Chefs have to be very careful with tasting spoons, I seen some chefs on t.v. taste the food with the spoon and put it back in the cookware without cleaning it. Disgusting.

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Excited to have the show back! Have been waiting anxiously for its return so hope it's a great season!

YUCK, cannot believe the guy who put the spoon in his mouth and back into the food!! If he does that in front of the judges, what does he do when no ones watching?! I'm afraid to know!!

Philip is annoying. Haven't seen his ep of chopped but he seems to be making the reality show rounds which bores me.

They really seem to be showcasing Frances. So either she'll be out next week or be in the finals. Oh no, she's been on chopped, too?

Yikes, Grayson's attitude at judges table! Watch it, lady, you'll get on tom's bad side which is a really bad way to start. They gave no explanation for how or why she's back- why her, of all people?

Edited by awaken
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It will take me several episodes to learn anyone's name.

 

Grayson I remember from her first appearance, and I liked her then.  Not so much her attitude at Judges' Table.  But I liked, "I'm a little older, a little fatter, and hopefully a lot better" (or something like that for the end; she said something odd, I think).  And, Grayson, it's parameters, not perimeters.  But I still like you.  I miss your curly hair, though.

 

Very disappointing to see the gender make-up of the top and bottom; hopefully that isn't a season-long theme.

 

I thought the "Sassy Chef" would be on my shit list, but I wound up liking her the rest of the time.  I like that she took charge and basically said, "Since I came in first in part one of the QF, I'm choosing my spot in part two."  Still, don't introduce yourself that way.

 

I don't remember bun guy from Chopped, which is the only one of the shows he rattled off I ever watch (and I only watch it occasionally), but so far I find him annoying. 

 

I love the mise en place challenge, so that was a nice way to begin.  I'd have chosen chicken, as would Tom, and I don't think it's a coincidence so many of the chefs who did finished in the top nine.

 

More thoughts when I watch the late airing; I can barely remember what happened except I think the right person went home.

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Was Grayson one of the mean girls in the Texas season? I remember a bunch of female chefs ganging up and picking on Beverly, but I can't remember if she was one of them. I do remember that Texas and Los Angeles were two of my least favorite seasons, so I can't say I am happy to see them back again.

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Soo happy this show is back! I just love all the judges & I could listen to them talk about food all day, although it is too early to tell how I feel with so many cheftestants.

First of all, I thought Padma looked gorgeous! She takes me back to the supermodels of the '90s. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

The mise-en-place challenge is a perennial favorite. Perhaps the one guy could have left an oven mitt on the station to hint for the other guy to look in the oven? (I'm about 100 pages into Marcus Samuelsson's memoir "Yes, Chef" so I'm feeling their pain about learning these basic skills. Slightly off topic for this episode, but MS has been on the show in the past.)

I appreciate the polite demeanors of the judges, however perhaps Padma was too polite with Pig Pen Chef about merely rinsing his tasting spoon. Bleech!!!

Poor Grayson! The only thing worse than being eliminated first...is being up for elimination immediately upon your second go-round. I like her, but I don't think she's long for this show.

Man-Bun CA Chef was annoying everybody with his knowledge of local critics. Very short-sighted. If they were smart they would have been busy taking notes.

Burnt Garlic Chef forgot Top Chef 101: always save the best bits for the judges.

Edited by NowVoyager
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Okay, now that I’ve paid more attention …

 

I got a chuckle out of Padma standing on the gel mat while Tom stood on the floor; I’d need a hell of a lot more help than that in those heels.

 

Also from “who doesn’t snore?” in selecting a roommate, as snoring makes me something just short of homicidal.

 

I still don’t know many names …

 

In terms of comportment based on this small sample, I like the sous chef who rocks bitter melon, which I love (Frances?), the sassy chef (Renee?), the guy who dissed the sassy chef but then gave her props when she was the first one done in the QF (ooh, this came to me – Amar), the “cooking saved me” Brooklyn (I think) chef, the chef who worked with Emeril for ten years, the chef who shut down “oh, I’d have won if I hadn’t squirted orange juice in my eye” and explained that prosciutto isn’t vegan although her sauce was, and the gracious James Beard Award loser. 

 

There’s no one I developed a visceral dislike of, but as I said, Mr. Man Bun annoys me, as does the eliminated philosopher (and I often enjoy people like him).  The messy chef, too.  I don’t care at all if friends or family taste the food, then stick that spoon back in the food before serving me.  And I’m not too riled up about its inevitable occurrence from time to time in restaurants, either, as I have a robust immune system.  But when people – and cameras – are right in front of you and you still do something like that?  That tells me it’s part of your routine, not the occasional slip.

 

There wasn’t much food I would have passed on.  For the QF, the green team’s chicken looked wonderfully moist.  The blue team’s dish looked even better, so I wasn’t surprised by that win.

 

For the elimination challenge, definitely not much food I’d have skipped.  Grayson’s meatballs wouldn’t have excited me, as I’m not much of a tomato sauce (especially Jersey pizzeria tomato sauce) or beef fan.  I think I’d have been all over Amar’s meatball.  I don’t much care for polenta, so Sassy Chef’s dish might not have been my favorite, but there wasn’t much and I love pork loin.  The salmon and apple tartare looked really good, as did the carrot soup with Middle Eastern flavors. 

 

God, I hate foam!  I thought that trend died its deserved death several years ago.  With the whole “you eat with your eyes first” credo, creating the impression you have hocked a loogie on my plate just boggles my mind.

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I thought that it was an interesting group. I really liked for now Frances and the redhead, they seem competent.

 

On a shallow note, since the women with long hair have the sense to pull their hair back why don't the men with big beards wear a beard net. A beard hair in my food is just as yuckky as any other hair.

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I'm not sure I got the best look at everyone's choices, but it seemed like all or most of the people who chose to break down the chickens made it to the final 9 while none of the asparagus peelers or artichoke turners did.

Edited by lordonia
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I still remember the way Huang broke down his chickens, I don't think any of these new contestants could compete with him.

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Issac talking about how good Emerl was to his employees after hurricane Sandy

cemented why I really like him.

 

As an East Coast transplant to Cali., I am really craving some New Jersey red sauce.

Edited by Lillybee
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Issac talking about how good Emerl was to his employees cemented why I really like him.

I actually wanted to cry a tiny bit when he described how Emeril found his employees jobs and used his own money to take care of them after Katrina. I really enjoy his personality on Top Chef, versus his persona on his old Food Network shows.

So far I like the perky chef, the Louisiana chef, Charismatic Carl, and Amar. I'll need a few weeks to figure out who is who.

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Loved that guy's slam on Isabella! Bastardization of Italian food, ha!

 

Does anyone else thinks that's why he was the first one kicked off? Tom Colicchio has always been Isabella's biggest fan and protector.

 

I'd been channel surfing and turned back to hear him talking about this woman cooking at a place where they served the most horrible, bastardized Italian food. And I thought to myself, wow, do they have a Top Chef contestant who worked at an Olive Garden?

 

Actually, that might be an interesting concept for a season of TC, or a spin-off. Have all contestants who work at Olive Garden, Chili's, Red Lobster, Friday's etc. I bet there are probably some good, creative chefs who are working at those places and yearning to break out.

Edited by bluepiano
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Does anyone else thinks that's why he was the first one kicked off? Tom Colicchio has always been Isabella's biggest fan and protector.

No for a variety if reasons,including the fact that the guest critics voted him in the bottom and more importantly that interview was clearly conducted after he was eliminated.

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I actually loved Grayson from her first go around, so I don't mind her coming back (even though I hate that conceit of ANYONE coming back). "I've gotten raves about my balls."  Hee.  (she knew exactly what she was saying too...) Shame she wasn't very adventurous though (and you could hear how defensive she got too--which isn't boding well for her future...)


Redhead Chef may get on my nerves quickly,  but she DID seem to know what she was doing.


Manbun was really annoying. What is it about Manbun guys that in recent reality shows has pissed me off?  Were Manbun wearers ALWAYS this annoying and I never noticed before?

 

Cajun Dude annoyed me a bit too. I get he's a Cajun. Do you have to mention it every five seconds?  That said he gets major points back for sounding truly humble about how Emeril helped him out after Katrina.  Only on this show do we have to wonder if Emeril can be objective here though.

 

That Philosophy spouting Chef gets ONE pass from me for that. One bit of self-indulgence talking nonsense like that I can wave off. If he does it again?  He gets on my list! (and I TOOK Philosophy). I did actually chortle though that he later had the guts to slam Mike Isabella (via meeting Isabella's latest protege come on this show). I still dislike Isabella and so find him getting some attitude tossed at him amusing (and it annoys me that the show keeps letting his proteges on). Oh wait a second. My one pass doesn't matter if he just goes. And... he did.

 

How does Wesley The Pig run his own restaurant again?  Being THAT messy? It. Does. Not. Compute.

Edited by Kromm
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Does anyone else thinks that's why he was the first one kicked off? Tom Colicchio has always been Isabella's biggest fan and protector.

Not 100% that, no. But it contributed.

 

As an Isabella hater (okay, disliker) I did like seeing him slammed. Isabella thinks he's twice the chef he is, and I really dislike his little protégées showing up constantly. That said, the guy DOING the criticism needs more backing up his standing to get away with it. Making a bad dish and spouting some bad philosophy is not enough.

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I totally missed what that guy said about Mike Isabella, can anyone tell me? Thanks!

I don't like Frances. I didn't like her on her Chopped episode either.

That messy chef should have gone home for being disgusting. After seeing him double dipping his spoon, I wouldn't be able to eat anything from him.

I kind of miss the intros Top Chef has. Seeing the chef and their name helped me remember them better.

Anyway, I'm super excited that Top Chef is back. I feel like it took forever for it to come on.

Edited by Suzy123
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I understood why Garret was eliminated but I was sorry to see him go.  He seemed to have the potential to make some interesting food.  I liked his edges. 

 

Grayson's attitude was surprising.  Haughty doesn't work in any situation, especially with judges who will decide your fate. She describes her food as simple Italian.  You can get that on any street corner.  I don't like it, I know many do but it has no place on Top Chef.  

Edited by wings707
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Grayson's attitude was surprising.  Haughty doesn't work in any situation, especially with judges who will decide your fate. She describes her food as simple Italian.

 

It was sorta like Jen Carroll when she came back for All Stars-like she knew more than the judges and was right and they were just wrong. And, yes, she did get awfully fat-they did her no favors in the angles they showed.

ManBun dud needs to go soon-hasn't he watched this show for 12 seasons enough to know that acting like Mr Know-it-all never works. Cocky yes, if you back it up (see Stefon), but not what he was doing.

The cricket guy needs to go quickly-cute gimmick, but the wont matter if he has underseasoned protein or another of Tom's non-nos.

Loved the guy dissing Isabella, but then getting eliminated. And, no, the "talking heads" are added later so I doubt that Tom had any idea about it when they went to judges table.

Did like when the Filipino sous chef from Budokan pulled out a picture of her wife and she looked just like the sassy chef who had just agreed to be her roomy.

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I skipped the last 3 seasons due to Top Chef fatigue, so I was wondering when they started calling all of the cheftestants to the Judges' Table.  It takes a lot of the fun out of the stew room.

 

I was also surprised that they didn't tell Renee and Frances they were in the bottom 5.  They may have been immune from elimination, but they could still use the feedback.

 

This episode is another example of why I wish the standard for elimination wasn't "who cooked the worst dish", but "who do I want to see cook, or not cook, again".  I'd rather give Garret another chance than a returning cheftestant who cooks an ordinary meat ball.

 

My tin foil hat theory is that they weren't going boot Grayson first because that would be admitting it was a mistake to bring her back.  I say that as someone who liked Grayson on Top Chef Texas, but I think she's being too much of a try hard.  I almost feel as Grayson chose her dish just so she could say, "I've gotten raves about my balls".

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As an Isabella hater (okay, disliker) I did like seeing him slammed. Isabella thinks he's twice the chef he is, and I really dislike his little protégées showing up constantly. That said, the guy DOING the criticism needs more backing up his standing to get away with it. Making a bad dish and spouting some bad philosophy is not enough.

I am an Isabella disliker too, but I have to stand up for Marjorie as being much more than his protege.  It's what they are obviously going to push on this show given their love of Mike Isabella, but Marjorie is very well known in the DC restaurant scene on her own merits and is likely to be a no-nonsense, head-down putting out good food, contender.  

Edited by Seelouis
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I was also surprised that they didn't tell Renee and Frances they were in the bottom 5. They may have been immune from elimination, but they could still use the feedback

They may have, but it was edited out. I know from a couple of people who were on TC in past seasons that the judges' table segment goes on for a long time. We only get to see about 5 minutes worth.

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I liked Marjorie too.  And I agree, every obnoxious chef has underlings who can quietly absorb the positive aspects of working with them while blowing off the more negative aspects.  I once worked for a horrible person that actually taught me a lot of value.  

 

Man-bun and Wes-mess annoy me, and I hope they leave soon.  

 

Maybe if Grayson gave her balls a Greek or Mediterranean spin instead of traditional Italian, they would have been better received.  I would have gone Greek, with lemon, mint & feta.  

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I skipped the last 3 seasons due to Top Chef fatigue, so I was wondering when they started calling all of the cheftestants to the Judges' Table.  It takes a lot of the fun out of the stew room.

 

I was also surprised that they didn't tell Renee and Frances they were in the bottom 5.  They may have been immune from elimination, but they could still use the feedback.

 

This episode is another example of why I wish the standard for elimination wasn't "who cooked the worst dish", but "who do I want to see cook, or not cook, again".  I'd rather give Garret another chance than a returning cheftestant who cooks an ordinary meat ball.

 

My tin foil hat theory is that they weren't going boot Grayson first because that would be admitting it was a mistake to bring her back.  I say that as someone who liked Grayson on Top Chef Texas, but I think she's being too much of a try hard.  I almost feel as Grayson chose her dish just so she could say, "I've gotten raves about my balls".

 

 

Re bold.  That would be subjective and impossible.  As it is the judges spend a long time figuring out which dish was worse.  I like that personalities don't enter the picture and that could easily happen if the focus was not directly on the dish in front of them.

 

No tin foil hat needed for this show.  They really do judge the food and, though boring, Grayson made a tasty dish.  Garret failed in that he was not consistent and 2 judges got burned garlic and the other 2 had the good version.   I have forgotten the 3rd guy but his dish was properly served just not up to TC standards.  

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Too many fat guys with beards. They all blur.  

 

Are they trying to be Kevin Gillespie 2.0?  It's not working.

 

Can't wait to see to what sloppy chef Wesley does next after blending vegetable labels and triple dipping a spoon.

 

And Sassy Chef Renee needs to take her "sleeping with one eye open" remark back to 1974.

Edited by RemoteControlFreak
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Did they mention anything as to whether Wesley was self-taught? Cause using a tasting spoon and keeping your station clean is something I thought they stressed in culinary school.

Yes, as soon as Brainiac unleashed that word-salad of a statement about 'culinary manifestation', it was pretty clear he'd be the first to go.

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I must not watch enough TV, because I only saw one promo for this season and almost forgot it was on. For some reason, I was thinking Nashville, but maybe I'm not paying enough attention. I've loved this show from minute one but really disliked the last few seasons, I hope this one is better. I was glad to see Grayson because I enjoyed her on Texas, but what is it with her and meatballs, especially at the judges table? I kept getting flashbacks to her being all mad at the healthy block party thing when they were busting on her chicken salad and she said "Like a meatball?" with an attitude. Maybe she was trying to tell them something this time with that dish. She is a rather random return contestant though, so I'm sure there is a reason. She's just not who I would have thought of first. I was glad to see Garret go, if only because my sons' name is Garrett and I would hate to hate someone on tv with the same name. Makes me feel uncomfortable. As for everyone else well...we'll see!

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Should Emeril be a judge when one of his present or former employees is a contestant? No. They have a huge group of people to choose from to judge.

Still no explanation as to why Grayson was brought back. At first, I thought maybe she was a spy or something, but then she's going on and on about competing. And then the humiliating critique. She's in the bottom right off the bat which makes bringing her back questionable, in my mind, at least. Taking a spot from someone else who might have done better. And she does not look healthy.

17 is a weird number of chefs to start with.

 

 

I can't help thinking that they have 17 chefs because they chose their usual 16 and then a producer forced them to take Grayson at the last minute. She obviously doesn't want to be there. She deserved a solid boot for telling Emeril that she'd add sparkles. I hope she sparkles on her way out the door.

 

Garret's Asian noodles must have really stunk up the joint.

 

And I don't think we have to question Emeril's objectivity. Old school chefs like him and Tom are stone cold when it comes to assessing a dish made by their underlings.

 

ETA: my favorite part of the night was listening to Gail & Emeril bust on Manbun. Did his dubiously smoked crab even make it to the dish?

 

Glad to have this show back!

Edited by Merneith
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Oh, and whoever said they miss the old opening credits is dead on. I hate the new ones with the two second flashes of unnamed people and the shortened theme song. I'm staring blankly at the Boston season right now trying to remember who some of those people were.

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Wesley grossed me out so he is dead to me. 

 

Renee is a beautiful woman, but her perkiness would drive me over the edge.  I would throw myself off the Roosevelt Hotel roof after 15 minutes of her...

 

...but, I would toss Manbun off first.  GAH!  Could he be any more of stereotype hipster?  And what was with his vision drama?  "If that evil orange hadn't deliberately blinded me with citric acid, I would've won!"  Maybe the editing played it up for laughs, but they showed the guy wincing and blinking for waaay too long. How much juice can one orange segment spurt?  I was waiting for him to run to one of those emergency eye wash stations and douse himself.

 

I'm glad Garret is gone.  He had an over inflated vision of himself.  Just because you grew up with "academics" & you string a bunch of big words together in your TH's doesn't mean you are the most erudite person in the room. Too loquacious, verbose, palaverous and  effusive in my opinion (HAH! 760 on my verbal SAT).

 

Once the thinning of the herd begins in earnest I will find my favorites.  So far I like the Louisiana guy and the woman from DC.

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This episode is another example of why I wish the standard for elimination wasn't "who cooked the worst dish", but "who do I want to see cook, or not cook, again".  I'd rather give Garret another chance than a returning cheftestant who cooks an ordinary meat ball.

 

 

That would be subjective and impossible.  As it is the judges spend a long time figuring out which dish was worse.  I like that personalities don't enter the picture and that could easily happen if the focus was not directly on the dish in front of them.

I don't know why that would be any more subjective than deciding whose dish is worst. It's not as if the judges always agree that so-and-so made the worst dish

 

No tin foil hat needed for this show.

The Top Chef Conspiracy thread at TWoP was one of the more fun threads.  Though as time wore on, I recall more and more of that being discussed in the episode and judges thrads.

 

They really do judge the food and, though boring, Grayson made a tasty dish.  Garret failed in that he was not consistent and 2 judges got burned garlic and the other 2 had the good version.   I have forgotten the 3rd guy but his dish was properly served just not up to TC standards.

I believe that was Angelina

Edited by Constantinople
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I must not watch enough TV, because I only saw one promo for this season and almost forgot it was on. For some reason, I was thinking Nashville, but maybe I'm not paying enough attention. I've loved this show from minute one but really disliked the last few seasons, I hope this one is better. I was glad to see Grayson because I enjoyed her on Texas, but what is it with her and meatballs, especially at the judges table? I kept getting flashbacks to her being all mad at the healthy block party thing when they were busting on her chicken salad and she said "Like a meatball?" with an attitude. Maybe she was trying to tell them something this time with that dish. She is a rather random return contestant though, so I'm sure there is a reason. She's just not who I would have thought of first. I was glad to see Garret go, if only because my sons' name is Garrett and I would hate to hate someone on tv with the same name. Makes me feel uncomfortable. As for everyone else well...we'll see!

 

 

I can't remember Grayson.  Can you say more about this?  I don't get her meatball comment.  Was she dissed for doing meatballs on that season, too?   This may seem OT but it isn't really.  I am gathering more reasons to dislike her!     

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I am delighted and excited cause they are not limited to one "area" cuisine this season!

 

ie bbq - cajun - chowder and lobster

 

I liked that they were able to have freedom to choose what they wanted to showcase (even if some made bad choices)

 

I don't usually like returnees - ok with Grayson but puzzled...why come back if only to play it safe?

 

On competition /talent shows I personally go for talent not sob stories...I hope they continue to keep them to a minimum 

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I can't remember Grayson.  Can you say more about this?  I don't get her meatball comment.  Was she dissed for doing meatballs on that season, too?   This may seem OT but it isn't really.  I am gathering more reasons to dislike her!

Grayson was fairly likable last time around. I do recall her being mega-sarcastic though. If that's turned to her being/acting like a know-it-all then maybe it won't be as pleasant. We shall see I suppose.
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http://www.chowhound.com/post/top-chef-texas-ep-12-01-25-12-spoilers-830216

 

I found this recap that explains Grayson's "like a meatball?" comment.

I remember that now.

And the more it comes back the more I recall that her problem is specifically with Tom, who I think she thinks can be very arbitrary in some of his judging. So... it's interesting they brought her back.

I do also seem to recall some more between her and Tom in that season's Last Chance Kitchen thing. Probably harder to find recaps of that though, and I don't recall the specifics.

EDIT - Oh wait. You can look here: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/season-9/videos/ep-12-grayson-vs-beverlyand comments from her about both that Last Chance Kitchen as well as her earlier elimination, here: http://www.tvguide.com/news/top-chef-grayson-1042748/

She IS consistent with the "how I cook" thing though. Listen to these comments from back then...

First about Tom....

 

Tom had an issue with you mixing summer and fall flavors, but does that warrant elimination when there are under-seasoned eggs and nearly undercooked chicken?

Grayson: Oh, yeah, he did. He really didn't like that. [Laughs] It's all subjective. ... They have to go back and go, "What was the challenge? What did Pee Wee tell them? What did we want from this?" If your dish basically matches all of those, you're safe. Pee Wee wanted something really healthy and I gave him an egg yolk in the center of mine, so maybe that's a little risky, you know what I mean?

 

Then about her process...

 

They also had a problem with the size and you tend to make gigantic dishes. Is that a Wisconsin thing?

Grayson: [Laughs] I don't know if it's a Wisconsin thing, but I figured for this, since it was family style, a breast of chicken on a plate wouldn't be crazy. I don't know. You'd think that I would've learned. But I didn't!You took some challenges really literally.

It worked for the Evil Queen one, but not the tribute dinner. Do you regret not conceptualizing more dishes or is this just how you cook?

Grayson: Here's the thing: I can't even regret it because it's just who I am. I'm very literal in my thinking. So when somebody asks me to do something, I'm going to do what they asked. I don't think past that. I don't regret it because I can't think any differently. With the Charlize Theron one, it worked toward my advantage. It was literal and it was crazy with the giant claw sticking out, and it kind of fit with the challenge. So it's not like being literal hurt me all the time.

Edited by Kromm

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 I don't think we have to question Emeril's objectivity. Old school chefs like him and Tom are stone cold when it comes to assessing a dish made by their underlings.

 

I agree, Merneith. I think that's why Isaac wasn't included in the judges' top three, though he made the critics' top five - so it wouldn't appear that Emeril was showing favoritism right out of the gate. That, plus Tom sniffed and sneered at Isaac using his MawMaw's courtbouillon recipe. Darn Yankee! :)

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I agree, Merneith. I think that's why Isaac wasn't included in the judges' top three, though he made the critics' top five - so it wouldn't appear that Emeril was showing favoritism right out of the gate.

 

I think Isaac will go far, but I think Emeril's expectations for him will be his downfall-any slip and Emeril will know he can (and should) do better.

Plus, based on the recap above, I think Isaac might be the winner of the "Who's the biggest alcoholic" parlor game-couple of Ballast Points open in front of him!

 

I had forgotten about Grayson's meatball comment-it is possible that she made a very meta choice of a dish. In her season, she was very popular and stayed above the fray in the Beverly bashing....for the most part. I think the producers do like having some familiar faces, especially if they were popular (like her) or they ramp up the drama (like Stefon or Josie).

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Didn't slob  Wesley say that he was a chef in one of Richard Blais's restaurants?  Doesn't speak well for Richard as a kitchen mentor.

Well, it seems Wesley was fired from the former Blais restaurant The Spence a few months ago.

 

http://atlanta.eater.com/2015/7/29/9066683/wesley-true-the-spence-top-chef

 

and is now at another Atlanta restaurant:

 

http://atlanta.eater.com/2015/8/5/9095125/wesley-true-the-optimist-chef-ford-fry

 

And I don't think he and Blais worked there at the same time, though Wesley does have an impressive resume including a degree from the CIA and stints at some big name restaurants in NYC.  

 

Also, check out Wesley's scathing Yelp reviews from one of his previous stints:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g30709-d943418-r96182595-True-Mobile_Alabama.html

Edited by RemoteControlFreak
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I just re watched a couple of parts.  At the end, Grayson says, well I could push myself, but that is not me, I want to stay true to myself.  She is not going to last long.  I wonder why she came back.

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Couldn't watch "Top Chef" last night because it conflicted with "Nashville." ;-) But, I have watched it since then and was sad to see that the D.C. contingent didn't do all that well. None of them made it through to the top nine of the quickfire and one of them went home. Boo hoo. That being said, some of the others intrigue me and the two I wouldn't mind seeing go home soon is "the messy guy," and Grayson ... just because I don't feel someone should have a second shot for no reason whatsoever (that they're telling us).

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I've totally seen Karen on the Food Network before... I want to say on Beat Bobby Flay.

 

Looks like Grayson is going to fall victim to the repeat contestant curse--I loved her the first time around, and already I want her to shut her trap. Although part of me really wanted them to send gross Wesley home just because he is gross. I mean... yuck.

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