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S16.E07: Carne!

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6 minutes ago, cameron said:

Actually, they are quite good.  Think of a croque monsieur with bacon.

But it, then, has whole lot of crap piled on top. Heh, maybe I just don't get gargantuan food! 

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14 hours ago, Yeah No said:

I almost had deja vu over this episode.  I seem to remember another season (don't remember which) where the chefs disappointed the judges, who wanted big ginormous homestyle entrees, not dainty appetizer portions.  And Tom gave them the obligatory scolding over it, too.  So the judges wanted Flintstone sized brontosaurus steaks, but the chefs were sabotaged in giving them that by not being given enough time to do it.

Wasn't this the time they had some kind of theme party -- Vikings, Medieval Faire, Cavemen -- when the chefs wondered if they were allowed to just do "giant Turkey legs" or some such, and then, yes, everyone opted for much daintier offerings? Much like this week, folks needed to take a hint. 

If Tom comes for his sniff-n-sneer and recoils in horror when you say you're making a tartare with your Rib-eye or Sirloin or whatever awesome cut of beef you have, RETHINK YOUR IDEA.  If the primary guest judges are screaming "CARNE!" repeatedly and there is a butchering exhibition, but you dice/hack/grind/disfigure/hide the meat that they've lovingly presented to you (to be served to other folks from the cattle industry), RETHINK YOUR IDEA. Geez.

 

*Edited to Add: In addition to several seasons having "Steak" challenges (including the one for the Cattlebarons at South Fork), I think the one I was thinking of is Season 13, "Where's the Beef?": Elimination Challenge: The chefs, separated into three teams, had to cater a black tie bacchanal event called Beefsteak, where the diners forego silverware and eat with their hands."

Edited by tljgator · Reason: Curiosity --> Googlefu
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1 minute ago, tljgator said:

Wasn't this the time they had some kind of theme party -- Vikings, Medieval Faire, Cavemen -- when the chefs wondered if they were allowed to just do "giant Turkey legs" or some such, and then, yes, everyone opted for much daintier offerings? Much like this week, folks needed to take a hint. 

 

Yeah, I think it was a Denver Broncos tailgate party?

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40 minutes ago, JTMacc99 said:

Given the comments from the judges and the number of plates we saw them preparing, there is virtually no shot the chefs were limited to just the meat from the cow they broke down. (That’s my behind the scenes brain talking. Tom is a producer, when he asked if Brian’s meat was on the bone and asked why he didn’t serve it that way, he had to know that was actually possible. He’s not stupid or uninformed.)

And if I’m right about that, the whole lot of them are tone deaf. When you’ve got a guy excitedly chanting Carne! at you, you should consider that a HINT. 

Tom seems to be selectively informed.

Most of them didn't get very much meat.  I think if anyone had served beef that was not from the one animal that was butchered, they would have been subjected to a lot of pearl clutching about how they didn't honor the beast.  And they didn't really get enough money to purchase more meat ($100).  What I don't understand is why Brian didn't say that he only got 12 ribs and was asked to feed 40 people.  How could they really expect to get a hunk of meat and a bone each?

Sarah's not my favorite cook, but it looked like she only got a pound and a half of meat.  Other than sausage, what could she have done?  And, the casings are on Whole Foods.  I doubt she had a variety to choose from.  She could have made sausage patties and that would have stretched it further.

I am positive that Hot Browns have come up on Top Chef before this.  Didn't Ed Lee win a quick fire with one?

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16 minutes ago, carrps said:

Yeah, I think it was a Denver Broncos tailgate party?

I edited my post ... think I found it. Going through all the Wiki's, though, seems like this is a surprisingly common problem, lol.

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There was the Beefsteak event in the California season where they were dying to eat huge slabs of meat with their hands and were getting finicky seared tuna with ash and microgreens. It was pretty ridic.

Also, Lena is stylish and awesome. 

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15 hours ago, hendersonrocks said:

I would truly Venmo David $10 to stop wearing his hat crooked.

Ha, me too. I think he’s cute and I’m rooting for him, but I have an irrational dislike of sideways hats.

I like that Eddie mentioned galumpkis; my mom used to make those when I was a kid. (I think they have different names but that’s what we called them.) 

Sara’s sad little sausage looked ridiculous on that plate. I would’ve been angry being served that. 

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2 hours ago, meep.meep said:

Tom seems to be selectively informed.

Most of them didn't get very much meat.  I think if anyone had served beef that was not from the one animal that was butchered, they would have been subjected to a lot of pearl clutching about how they didn't honor the beast.  And they didn't really get enough money to purchase more meat ($100).  What I don't understand is why Brian didn't say that he only got 12 ribs and was asked to feed 40 people.  How could they really expect to get a hunk of meat and a bone each?

 

I thought I heard that they had 2 cows to work with in total.  There is no way that Eric could have fed 40 people with only one cow head.  But even then, 2 would barely be enough for a large entree portion for 40.  I think the reason Brian did not say anything about the limited amount of meat would be that this would be like breaking the 4th wall.  This challenge was very flawed but the cheftestants are not supposed to bring up this fact.  Or, he did mention the absurdity of the challenge and it was edited out.    

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1 hour ago, meep.meep said:

I think if anyone had served beef that was not from the one animal that was butchered, they would have been subjected to a lot of pearl clutching about how they didn't honor the beast.  And they didn't really get enough money to purchase more meat ($100).  What I don't understand is why Brian didn't say that he only got 12 ribs and was asked to feed 40 people.  How could they really expect to get a hunk of meat and a bone each?

I think you're right, and I'm wrong about them having access to more meat than just what they carried in from outside. I didn't think they would have to buy more, but I did originally think that they would provide enough to not force the chefs to make tiny portions.

It looks like they had to prepare 18-20 plates. At one point they showed people plating and it looked to me like it was 40 plates, but upon closer look the 40 plates were split between two chefs.

In that case, most of them definitely had enough meat to serve more than a couple small bites. Whether or not Brian had enough ribs to serve 20 portions on the bone, I don't know but I would certainly hope that Tom knew the answer to that question before he asked it. And if he was wrong, like you said, Brian could have easily defended himself with that answer.

So I'm not giving up on my statement that the chefs were tone deaf when they didn't grasp that this was a "we want to act like a big ole bunch of carnivores" challenge. I'm just altering my opinion a bit and saying that the ones who were given enough meat to put a big hunk of it on a plate, should have put a big hunk of it on a plate. That's what CARNE! CARNE!, CARNE! was telling them to do.

And on that note, I don't think that this bunch of chefs is any less talented than any previous season, but I am noticing that they're not particularly strong at the game play yet. 

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I found this episode extremely disappointing. The chefs were not go an enough time to make a decent dish. Some of those cuts of beef needed a long cooking time. I really loved the fru fru comment about the quality of the dishes. I personally thought  most of them looked barfable. The tartares almost made me puke.

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I don’t eat carne!carne!carne! but even I wanted to weep at how the meat was desecrated. I admired Mr. Carne!Carne! Carne!’s restraint at what was served to him, and I felt so sorry for the restaurant owner who had provided the cow(s) only to be presented with these...tragedies. I did like how she was honored at Mr. Carne!Carne!Carne!’s observation that it had been a happy cow.

I also agree that it was a wonderful prize, to someone who also would appreciate "the Eff" out of it!

Poor Eric with his little dots of liquified offal. As he said, he didn’t choose the dish, the dish chose him. The only other thing he could have made was something with cow brains, although maybe there’s a real health concern with preparing them in the time given?

I didn’t know who Lena was before, but I liked her and her very respectful words to the chefs (at least what was shown.) Will definitely be checking out Master of None!

Brian has been shown talking about his butcher skillz being why he wasn’t good at pastry or other important Top Chef skillz. He’s been really middling, which is why his RW win came as a big surprise. This wasn’t his first time on the “bottom three” and it won’t be his last.

This was not a good episode for Sara. I’m glad Justin won the QF and was also top 3 at the end. He’s had his misfires, but he seems to learn from them. Unlike Brandon, buh-bye!

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I am a pretty loyal TC viewer and I had NO IDEA who Annie Pettry was and had to go to Wikipedia to figure out that she was road kill/one of the 1st cheftestants eliminated in Charleston and like all the newbies other than Jim,  left absolutely no impression!

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1 hour ago, Michichick said:

A person who is comfortable with who she is and doesn’t feel the need to change her style for an appearance on a reality competition show. Also, I don’t think a Hot Brown qualifies as sophisticated cuisine.

Honestly, she was talking about late night (early morning) after partying food.

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 I would believe you, if you told me that the judges brought a robot that just said carne as a guest judge. He was pretty entertaining.

Its kind of weird with the judges wanted the plates to be hearty and rustic, when it looked like that there wasn't really enough to go around in the first place.  Like people said before, Eric had only two heads to serve a large number of people.  The interesting thing is, it looked like Michelle was trying to be rustic...and then couldn't cook the large piece of the meat properly because of time restraints.

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1 hour ago, Michichick said:

A person who is comfortable with who she is and doesn’t feel the need to change her style for an appearance on a reality competition show. Also, I don’t think a Hot Brown qualifies as sophisticated cuisine.

That's her right and her choice.  

However,  IMHO she looked like a jackass (especially wearing the baseball cap).

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9 minutes ago, biakbiak said:

Is there a required look for eating turkey out of skillet in a kitchen?

I don't think it's productive to continue this discussion.   IMHO she looked ridiculous but you didn't think so. 

That's fine.   Let's agree to disagree.  

Edited by AnnA
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22 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Is it me or have a disproportionate number of young people on reality shows (especially cooking competitions) lost a parent at a relatively young age?  It was mentioned about two of them in this episode.  The more I watch these shows the more that seems to be the case.

It didn't strike me as especially disproportionate. Most of my classes when I was in school had 16-25 students each, and there were always at least 2 of us in any given class who'd had a parent die. Seems to me most shows start off with similar number of participants, so it seems normal to me.

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20 minutes ago, theatremouse said:

It didn't strike me as especially disproportionate. Most of my classes when I was in school had 16-25 students each, and there were always at least 2 of us in any given class who'd had a parent die. Seems to me most shows start off with similar number of participants, so it seems normal to me.

Also, in real life there are probably a number of people you know that lost a parent at an early age you just don’t know it because they don’t highlight it but it’s something that’s definitely going to be highlighted on a reality show.

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12 hours ago, meep.meep said:

Tom seems to be selectively informed.

Most of them didn't get very much meat.  I think if anyone had served beef that was not from the one animal that was butchered, they would have been subjected to a lot of pearl clutching about how they didn't honor the beast.  And they didn't really get enough money to purchase more meat ($100).  What I don't understand is why Brian didn't say that he only got 12 ribs and was asked to feed 40 people.  How could they really expect to get a hunk of meat and a bone each?

Sarah's not my favorite cook, but it looked like she only got a pound and a half of meat.  Other than sausage, what could she have done?  And, the casings are on Whole Foods.  I doubt she had a variety to choose from.  She could have made sausage patties and that would have stretched it further.

I am positive that Hot Browns have come up on Top Chef before this.  Didn't Ed Lee win a quick fire with one?

I haven't been impressed with really anything Sarah's said or made. She's flaps her gums about how good she is and but her actual food is mediocre at best. 

She needs to go.

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15 hours ago, WendyM said:

And I love his "exuberant" face, lol. I've even put aside my dislike for his boss. I'd like Eddie to win the whole thing, fair and square. (Unlike his boss did, ha.)

Imagine if each of us were judged by the worst boss we ever had.

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I watched the episode last night. It started with a smiling young man sitting down and talking on the phone. I was thinking "Who's that?" And then I saw it was Eddie! I hadn't seen him smile before. I like him and Justin the best. I think I actually like Eddie better than Justin but I need to cheer for the home team.

When Brandon talked about the texture of his tartar with all that oil in it I had a feeling he would be leaving. Raw beef doesn't sound too appetizing to me in the first place, but oily ground beef sounds gross, plus whatever texture issues that were caused by agar agar and xanthum gum.

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On 1/14/2019 at 5:50 PM, AnnA said:

I'll take your word for it but I never heard of her or Master of None.

The Root's a good place to see who this Lena Waithe is, though I'm most excited about her being Executive Producer for the reboot of my favorite Eddie Murphy movie, Boomerang. I figured Master of None's whole food-focus thing was reason enough to connect her to Top Chef.

I was very touched by Eddie's win. And completely unsurprised, since they signaled it with The Touching Family Call From Home.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to hear "cabbage rolls" without cracking up at the thought of the Schmenge brothers' Leutonian Christmas tradition of cabbage rolls and coffee. "And, of course, the egg symbolizes the breakfast." RIP John Candy!

Edited by heavysnaxx
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On 1/17/2019 at 9:26 PM, xaxat said:

I noticed that the Top Chef kitchen has Anova sous vide cookers. Have they ever been given enough time to actually use them? I love mine and while they didn't do tonight's elimination in the TC kitchen, I would be really interested in how the chefs would have approached this challenge given time and a sous vide cooker.

I was wondering about pressure cookers and the lack of time some complained about. If they have them, that seems like a better strategy for tongue, cheeks, plate, etc. than liquifying, grinding, and so on. The great thing about those tough parts is their depth of beefy flavor and texture, if handled the right way. I'll take (properly cooked) well-done chuck over comparatively bland medium-rare filet.

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So they never judged Sara’s scotch egg at all? I don’t see how a Scoth egg can possibly be considered a re imagined hot brown. I don’t think many of the quickfire fit the challenge honestly, but a Scotch Egg?

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I feel like the chefs got really caught up in the “locally sourced ingredients” part of the challenge, while the judges seemed to see it as more of a CARNE! challenge. 

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1 hour ago, novhappy said:

So they never judged Sara’s scotch egg at all? I don’t see how a Scoth egg can possibly be considered a re imagined hot brown. I don’t think many of the quickfire fit the challenge honestly, but a Scotch Egg?

She didn’t get it on the plate so it wasn’t judged.

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On 1/18/2019 at 1:30 PM, tljgator said:

If Tom comes for his sniff-n-sneer and recoils in horror when you say you're making a tartare with your Rib-eye or Sirloin or whatever awesome cut of beef you have, RETHINK YOUR IDEA.  If the primary guest judges are screaming "CARNE!" repeatedly and there is a butchering exhibition, but you dice/hack/grind/disfigure/hide the meat that they've lovingly presented to you (to be served to other folks from the cattle industry), RETHINK YOUR IDEA. Geez.

 

*Edited to Add: In addition to several seasons having "Steak" challenges (including the one for the Cattlebarons at South Fork), I think the one I was thinking of is Season 13, "Where's the Beef?": Elimination Challenge: The chefs, separated into three teams, had to cater a black tie bacchanal event called Beefsteak, where the diners forego silverware and eat with their hands."

Yeah, I remember Tom and the other judges were so disappointed.  I think only one or two chefs gave them meat on the bone.   I think they actually had more meat that they could use, but I think the fact that they had to butcher the meat themselves along with the time constraints stopped them from giving them meat on the bone.  They may have been afraid that if their cut was off, they would get dinged for it since they had a master butcher show them the cuts.  So it was easier to do the small dainty servings where the cutting skills are ones they are used to.  But Brian the butcher should have given them a big ole brontosaurus rib on the bone.

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I personally thought  most of them looked barfable. The tartares almost made me puke.

I can't get past the chefs who have sweat dripping off their face while cooking.  That plus the raw meat made me want to puke.  I had a waitress one time who had beads of sweat rolling off of her face.  Needless to say, I lost my appetite.  

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On 1/17/2019 at 11:27 PM, hendersonrocks said:

I thought the comments last week about the chefs being bullies to Brother were overblown, but they did not exactly put their best feet forward in the first few minutes of this episode.

I am really curious (and maybe reading further and/or reading LCK notes will clarify this) but I was also surprised by the outright animosity the chefs had towards Brother. I quite liked him during his season (partly because he reminds me SO much of one of my favorite relatives) ... but it's not like the show has not pulled some surprise contestant switches in past seasons. Still, I thought when Brandon got PYKAG'd whoever hugged him (David? Brian?) said something along the lines of "Go beat the shit out of him" and I assumed they were referring to Brother (not even sure if he returned to LCK to give this week's eliminee someone to cook against or if he just went home ... it appeared from the snippet they showed that Brandon was cooking solo with Tom watching). 

It seemed really harsh and I wonder what might have been said/done that we didn't see.

ETA: I was out of town last week and did not bring my computer, so while we watched LAST week's Top Chef (January 10) at our daughter's house (they're also big fans) and this week's episode this past Thursday night, I knew nothing about what had happened on LCK (and am still not sure but it seems clearer) ... but did the remaining cheftestants know what was going on at LCK?

ETAA: While away, had an amazing dinner in LA which happened to be at a friend's nephew's new restaurant the night that Graham Elliott was doing a one-night pop-up menu there. His food was terrific (killer Caesar) and he could not have been nicer or friendlier to us (he is really good-looking "in real life"). 

Edited by PamelaMaeSnap
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I wanted to punch that stupid Italian butcher.  Making a show out of cutting up a dead animal was sickening and disrespectful enough.  But it killed me when he said something like "I can tell when a cow has had a happy life".  A dead cow is a dead cow, you dumbass.  It's still dead and not at all happy about it.  Makes me sick.

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On ‎2019‎-‎01‎-‎18 at 9:17 AM, AnnA said:

Except for Eddie's win, last night's episode was a huge disappointment.  I was totally unimpressed with all of it......from  Lena Waithe's appearance to the dishes the chefs created.   

ETA:   Speaking of Lena, who goes on a national TV show featuring sophisticated cuisine dressed like a teenage boy in a school yard?

Yes, we get it, you don't like Lena Waithe.  But that's okay because you don't need to.  She's happy anyway.

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2 hours ago, Token said:

I wanted to punch that stupid Italian butcher.  Making a show out of cutting up a dead animal was sickening and disrespectful enough.  But it killed me when he said something like "I can tell when a cow has had a happy life".  A dead cow is a dead cow, you dumbass.  It's still dead and not at all happy about it.  Makes me sick.

I agree.  It was gross.

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3 hours ago, Token said:

I wanted to punch that stupid Italian butcher.  Making a show out of cutting up a dead animal was sickening and disrespectful enough.  But it killed me when he said something like "I can tell when a cow has had a happy life".  A dead cow is a dead cow, you dumbass.  It's still dead and not at all happy about it.  Makes me sick.

While a dead cow is a dead cow, live cows can lead very different lives based on the kind of farm they are raised on, so I believe his point was that by the quality of the meat you could tell that it had been treated well while alive.

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1 hour ago, biakbiak said:

While a dead cow is a dead cow, live cows can lead very different lives based on the kind of farm they are raised on, so I believe his point was that by the quality of the meat you could tell that it had been treated well while alive.

I agree--and I thought of Temple Grandin and her championing humane practices. I thought of her right away when he said that.

On 1/19/2019 at 2:55 AM, Corgi-ears said:

Imagine if each of us were judged by the worst boss we ever had.

I think that's what I meant to say--I'm not judging him by his boss. I may have been prepared to from his intro on the very first episode, but that went right out the window.

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None of the guest stars like Lena, are appearing on here just for the food, but for the national exposure, so of course the guest star celebrities want to look recognizable, and true to their public persona.    

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Ok, so I have to chime in - I liked Lena a lot on Master of None.  Didn't love her Emmy-winning episode, but appreciated it.  I live in Chicago and thought I would like The Chi.  After the stunt that show pulled, I was disgusted (and there is no way she didn't know about this): http://blackyouthproject.com/chi-staffers-know-discarding-food-food-desert-insensitive/

I lost all respect for her.

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There's no such thing as humanely raising and slaughtering animals.  That's a myth these farmers and cattle yards feed people to make them feel better about the practice.  None of them are pretty places.  And none of it is humane.  

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And xanthan gum?! That's known in the chef biz as "PYKAG."

John Tesar won an elimination challenge using xanthan gum to sub for AP flour in his mac and cheese dish in the Charleston season.

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It doesn't seem it was the xanthan gum itself, but how much was used.  And the chef seemed to know that, but once it all dumped in (he knew it was too much) and at the timing of it all, he couldn't adjust.  

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33 minutes ago, aquarian1 said:

It doesn't seem it was the xanthan gum itself, but how much was used.  And the chef seemed to know that, but once it all dumped in (he knew it was too much) and at the timing of it all, he couldn't adjust.  

The ingredient he used in excess was the seed oil, which apparently wasn't tightly capped (cap fell into the blender when he was making the dressing for the tartare, and a bunch of oil followed). He added the gum to counteract the amount of oil, but that failed.

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I thought it was both - too much grape seed oil, which he added to try to balance the thickening agent because there was too much of that, too

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4 minutes ago, aquarian1 said:

I thought it was both - too much grape seed oil, which he added to try to balance the thickening agent because there was too much of that, too

I'm gonna have to rewatch

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21 hours ago, Token said:

I wanted to punch that stupid Italian butcher.  Making a show out of cutting up a dead animal was sickening and disrespectful enough.  But it killed me when he said something like "I can tell when a cow has had a happy life".  A dead cow is a dead cow, you dumbass.  It's still dead and not at all happy about it.  Makes me sick.

Meh. A dead cow is food. Harvested vegetables are food. Just the way things are...

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On 1/19/2019 at 9:50 PM, BryroseA said:

I feel like the chefs got really caught up in the “locally sourced ingredients” part of the challenge, while the judges seemed to see it as more of a CARNE! challenge. 

I hadn’t thought of that aspect. I just chalked it up to them competing against each other in who can be most fancy. But sure! There was a bunch of stuff that factored into their choices. 

(They still missed the big hint, but all of the locally sourced stuff probably did cloud their ability to understand CARNE! was the challenge.)

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On 1/19/2019 at 2:55 AM, Corgi-ears said:

Imagine if each of us were judged by the worst boss we ever had.

I wouldn't even want to be judged by the third worst boss I've ever had -- I've had some pretty awful bosses. But I'm also not a chef, and it seems to me that who you've worked with is a huge part of the chef identity, and how the other cheftestants size you up. And of course it's an additional source of stress if the person who's mentored you is a guest judge. Plus the editing folks are always quick to remind us who's trained with someone known for whatever the challenge is based on. 

IMO, it's fair to also hold it against someone if they've worked for a chef who's not well-liked or respected--and then be pleasantly surprised.

 

On 1/19/2019 at 5:32 PM, KnoxForPres said:

Have mercy I have such a crush on Justin.

He's kind of stood out from the beginning. I was happy that he really shone in this episode.

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