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S16.E08: Whatever Floats Your Boat

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For an elimination challenge, the chefs are split into teams and tasked with throwing houseboat parties on Lake Cumberland; chef Emeril Lagasse joins Padma, Tom and Nilou, along with Capts. Sandy and Lee from "Below Deck" for houseboat hysteria.

Air date: January 24, 2019

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I cannot be on a non-moving boat on the water without my motion sickness kicking into high gear, so watching them bob up and down during JT made me have to turn away a couple of times.  I’m not sure I could have medicated myself enough to get on those boats, but the food looked seriously tasty!

Once we learned which team was on top and which one was on bottom, I predicted Kelsey would get the win and Brian would be eliminated, and once he started whining about how his team knew he stayed up all night and no one stood up for him, I started hoping I was right.  Like Michelle asked, "What does that have to do with anything?"  But he didn't repeat that in his post-elimination talking head, so maybe it was just exhaustion (lack of sleep plus marinating in the hot tub) talking.

I have no idea how Eddie does not have a chronic ulcer.  Could there be a worse person in the group to give the option of choosing a team of five or of four?  I loved Padma’s “Okay, my feet hurt” when he was taking forever to pick a team.

I understand product placement is a necessary evil, but the BMW commercial tonight was too much.  I could do without the crossover with what I had to look up to see is some other Bravo reality show, too.

Eric's dad getting a key to the city for returning the $10k left in his cab was a great story.

The jiggle juice made me laugh.  I think it’s been a good 20 years since I had any sort of Jello shot, and I never cared for the texture, but it certainly works for a party boat.  And the green team definitely created a more festive atmosphere.  But it’s a cooking show, so I wasn’t sure which way it was going to go, because it seemed like the blue team’s food was a little bit better overall.  I think the judges might have picked them, unlike the guests going for green, but it's so hard to tell from what comments make the cut/what order they're put in.

Edited by Bastet · Reason: Because "half to," really?
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Eric's Dad got the key to the city.

 

We houseboat vacationed on Lake Cumberland about 25 years ago.  It was fun but there was literally no place to eat or drink nearby.  All the nearby counties were dry, so this party would have been very welcome for the vacationers!!

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I felt bad for the blue team, to be without a generator for so long and then to have 1 person so sick (felt bad for her, especially).  It sounds like their food was tasty, especially if you got while hot.  They even showed one of the voting guests say blue had better food, but green team better party.  That said, they would have been really low key no matter what.  And Brian's dish did sound the most ill-conceived, and executed.  I also wasn't sure about the dumpling in the cup.  And once again, Eddie prepares someone else's dish better than his own.  

Green team's food looked good, too.  Their party was a little too frat sounding, with jello shots and puppy chow, but it really wasn't frat in execution.  

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Well that was an interesting juxtaposition of temperaments among the teams. My temperament is somewhat split among the two; I've certainly got my share of introspective, wry mope but ultimately my party animal green team side ends up winning out, just like what played out on the show!

Brian was a weirdo and I think it was a most deserved chop, but he had my heart a little bit when he grasped onto someone's forearm and said, "It's a Lake Cumberland Miracle!" all dramatic like when the electricity finally came on. And while his bitching about how hard he worked and why didn't anyone stand up for him was annoying, I'm certain if I was up all night dealing with what they were I would totally be that bitch in that moment as well. Ultimately though, I think the stupidest thing he did was decide to stand in the frickin hot tub. I'd rather not have the guy slicing the meat I'm about to eat be standing barefoot in a germ-laden hot tub, thanks anyway.

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7 minutes ago, Mambo Queen said:

Ultimately though, I think the stupidest thing he did was decide to stand in the frickin hot tub. I'd rather not have the guy slicing the meat I'm about to eat be standing barefoot in a germ-laden hot tub, thanks anyway.

I kinda think the stupidest thing was not calling it off when he realized that it was super hot and even worse with the sun beating down on him. It's not like it was so "fun" that it would have made a difference to the guests if he was there or in a cooler area. 

 

10 minutes ago, Mambo Queen said:

And while his bitching about how hard he worked and why didn't anyone stand up for him was annoying, I'm certain if I was up all night dealing with what they were I would totally be that bitch in that moment as well.

Yeah, I give him a pass on that because he was operating on less than fumes at that point. And I think Michelle understood that too. She was straight with him, but in a gentle way (of course I'm not sure Michelle has a setting other than "gentle").

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26 minutes ago, Mambo Queen said:

Well that was an interesting juxtaposition of temperaments among the teams. My temperament is somewhat split among the two; I've certainly got my share of introspective, wry mope but ultimately my party animal green team side ends up winning out, just like what played out on the show!

I'd have been like Michelle when the blue team was trying to decide how to make it a party: "Trivia?" 

I'd have wanted to just stand at a station, hand out food, and leave people to enjoy the boat.  Working the crowd with passed appetizers I can do among friends, but among strangers, especially that many of them, would be particularly exhausting (I'm a classic introvert, and need alone time to recharge).

But, while I understand the blue team's personality, they played it like a group of friends was coming to hang out with them on their boat.  In that case, all you need is great food and drink stationed around the boat, where people will gather to chat and nosh.  But the green team played it right, like they were hosting a boat party for 100 "paying" customers who wanted an elevated spring break experience, meaning much better food and drink and minus the drunken sex with random people, but fundamentally carefree, even silly, fun.

Edited by Bastet
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They all looked so hot with the sun beating down, during judge’s table.

Brian’s pork dish looked really unappetizing to me, but I am not a fan of pork. It didn’t seem like the right dish for the hot weather. Too heavy. He must have been roasting in that hot tub. I think he kept his shoes on. 

Poor Adrienne feeling sick. Her dish, that Eddie prepared, looked delicious.

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I loved the houseboats.       

Brian definitely needed to go.

Adrienne certainly was sick, no matter what caused it.    I hope she was better quickly after that.   

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Why they just didn't get a different boat?? Ya know--one that works. Jeez, I hate when that happens plus I didn't understand why some electronic things worked. Weird.

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1 hour ago, susannot said:

Eric's Dad got the key to the city.

 

We houseboat vacationed on Lake Cumberland about 25 years ago.  It was fun but there was literally no place to eat or drink nearby.  All the nearby counties were dry, so this party would have been very welcome for the vacationers!!

This episode was a hoot for me because my friends and I have rented a houseboat from that very same company (State Dock) every summer for quite a few years. They should be glad the model they rented was the 1000 because the other models have even smaller kitchens. Susannot, you’d be happy to know that the county where State Dock is located is no longer dry...they even sell alcohol at State Dock now.

I always make pudding shots for our houseboat trips, instead of Jell-O shots. Highly recommended. ;)

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I thought they were foreshadowing Brian collapsing in the hot tub and the team of 5 going to 3! What the hell was he thinking? And it added no excitement what so ever to that atmosphere. My god. You don't have to be drunk and wild to have a good time. Just show some personality! I think they got in their own heads and felt they couldn't compete with the green team's energy, because surely they have all at least attended one fun party in their lifetimes, right? 

Good for Kelsey! This was a challenge made for her, and she delivered. 

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I'd have been like Michelle when the blue team was trying to decide how to make it a party: "Trivia?"

I loved her SO much in this moment. Me too, girl. Me too.

Eddie straight panicked when put on the spot to choose his team. I truly do not know how Kelsey and Justin were not his first two picks, and I think Sara also has made her partying stripes clear (even if her food has been less than impressive) - but seriously. How he did NOT go with Kelsey and Justin, I will never understand.

It was Brian's time to go.

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Worst episode ever. Such a pile of contrived bullshit. From the casual lack of electricity (but the refrigerators worked - you can miss me with that bullshit) to the houseboat parties for a bunch of overfed Kentucky locals to a party host who would be more at home at a funeral (even if his food is decent) to the team of overgrown frat boys (I really can't stand Justin and Sara is even worse)  and their jiggle juice to worrying (maybe hoping) that the sick chef would be contagious to the product placement to the irrelevant Bravolebrities to serving poorly-executed winter food from a hot tub with your shoes on in the middle of a summer day to Emeril. Blech. Worst season ever. I hate to say it, but I preferred the head shaving of season 2. I can't wait to see what fuckery they get up to in Nashville next week.

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Who wants to eat roast pork on a boat in stupendously hot weather?  Brian and his highly inflated opinion of his own skills needed to go.

Eddie is such a downer of a person. I’m certainly no fan of Kelsey, but as she kept reminding us, this is what she does for a living.  It seems like it was a no-brainer to pick her. When the challenge is to throw a party, why choose Michele and Adrienne? They are fine chefs but seem super introverted.  Brian is just a weirdo.  David is just there.

 If I were a guest, I would not have wanted to eat anything Adrienne had touched.  And it looks like Justin may have come down with the same thing.

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I liked that Padma said they would come back to try Eric’s dish instead of not trying it. 

I am not sure that having no power really impacted the food for the blue team. The thing that needed to be cooked the longest was able to finish. I am not saying it wasn’t a set back I just don’t think it was huge.

I believe Adrienne was sick and that production probably told her she couldn’t serve but I wish I looked that good when sick.

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28 minutes ago, The Solution said:

Worst episode ever. Such a pile of contrived bullshit. From the casual lack of electricity (but the refrigerators worked - you can miss me with that bullshit) to the houseboat parties for a bunch of overfed Kentucky locals to a party host who would be more at home at a funeral (even if his food is decent) to the team of overgrown frat boys (I really can't stand Justin and Sara is even worse)  and their jiggle juice to worrying (maybe hoping) that the sick chef would be contagious to the product placement to the irrelevant Bravolebrities to serving poorly-executed winter food from a hot tub with your shoes on in the middle of a summer day to Emeril. Blech. Worst season ever. I hate to say it, but I preferred the head shaving of season 2. I can't wait to see what fuckery they get up to in Nashville next week.

Agree 100%. I've hated most of the challenges this season, and Kentucky just isn't interesting to me. Sorry, Kentuckians. Tacky houseboats on some random lake does not seem like anything I'd go out of my way for. What made Kelsey's oysters (or however she said it) Alabama? Was it the mixing the hot sauce and mignonette? Because I thought at first she said they like oysters with hot sauce, and that's kinda like how 90% of everybody serves oysters.

It just seemed so juvenile and, as said, frat boy-esque. The crowd seemed to skew rather old for this, too.

Ugh, and Sara? If you ever take your top off near me I'm running as fast as I can in the opposite direction. Was she trying to be funny? 

At judging table, I was empathizing so hard with Adrienne, I was thinking I'd just lie down on the deck before Tom (Padma?) said she could go downstairs.

What was Padma's problem with their stupid jiggle juice? I don't think it was just too much booze. Padma seems to be the type that can hold her liquor. Since the flavors sounded vile to me, I'm guessing that's what the problem was.

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5 minutes ago, biakbiak said:

I am not sure that having no power really impacted the food for the blue team.

It didn't, and I respect that they said that quickly and with no reservations when asked by Tom at JT -- in the end (after using alternate power sources in the interim for some things and just waiting out the generator fix on others), all the food came out cooked the way they wanted, so it was to be judged without any "but they had to deal with a power outage" consideration.

And, again, I hope - and give the benefit of the doubt that this is true - that Tom's "I just want to make sure" line of questioning reflected the fact production was simply double-checking that production's understanding of the situation was correct.

(If they wanted to fabricate a problem for "how will they cope?" shenanigans beyond the small kitchens, I think they'd have imposed a different yet similarly-influential one on the other side.) 

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1 hour ago, Pickles said:

They all looked so hot with the sun beating down, during judge’s table.

Brian’s pork dish looked really unappetizing to me, but I am not a fan of pork. It didn’t seem like the right dish for the hot weather. Too heavy. He must have been roasting in that hot tub. I think he kept his shoes on. 

Poor Adrienne feeling sick. Her dish, that Eddie prepared, looked delicious.

I've seen recipes that brine a porchetta, but I don't think it's a step that makes much sense. Maybe the loin, but not the whole dealio. In a porchetta, you take a pork loin, which is very lean, and wrap a pork belly aka the cut you use to make bacon around the loin. Ordinarily you'd be concerned about the loin drying out or being flavorless, but not when it's surrounded by 4 inches of bacon on all sides. And you're not so concerned about it being flavorless because you typically put a layer or herbs, spices, and seasonings between the loin and the pork belly. You also cover the outside of the belly in these too. When you cook it, the outside skin is flavored and crispy and some of the fat will have cooked into the loin.

Even when you use the same cuts for dishes like char siu, you marinate them. A brine is basically a wet cure so it's not super surprising that brining it turned the meat hammy. And if Brian had the time to think about it, he would have realized the mistake.

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I have been disgusted for years by the lack of hygiene when preparing the food. It's a violation of every state's health department rules to not wear gloves and hairnets. Do they get away with it because technically they aren't serving the public? The rules are there for good reasons. Adrienne had her hands all over that salmon before she got sick, which means she got her communicable germs on it. The salmon should have been thrown out as a potential health hazard and not served. I'd love to know if any of the attendees was sick after the party.

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I couldn't believe Brian accused his team of not speaking up for him - because he stayed up all night.  Michelle was right on when she said what does that have to do with anything - and that his dish just didn't work.

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30 minutes ago, Vermicious Knid said:

I have been disgusted for years by the lack of hygiene when preparing the food. It's a violation of every state's health department rules to not wear gloves and hairnets. Do they get away with it because technically they aren't serving the public? The rules are there for good reasons. Adrienne had her hands all over that salmon before she got sick, which means she got her communicable germs on it. The salmon should have been thrown out as a potential health hazard and not served. I'd love to know if any of the attendees was sick after the party.

I wasn't paying too much attention to Addrienne, but I hate seeing pro chefs wearing gloves unless they have a cut. 

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I didn't see anyone washing their hands. No one is bothered by skin to food contact? These are the Louisville rules:

Employees are now prohibited from touching RTE foods with bare hands (except when washing
fruits and vegetables) to prevent food contamination.
Bare hand contact can be avoided by using utensils (such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, or dispensing equipment)
or food handler’s single-use gloves. Foods not in RTE form (such as raw meats prior to cooking) shall have minimized
contact with food employees’ bare hands and arms.

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15 minutes ago, Vermicious Knid said:

I didn't see anyone washing their hands. No one is bothered by skin to food contact? These are the Louisville rules:

Employees are now prohibited from touching RTE foods with bare hands (except when washing
fruits and vegetables) to prevent food contamination.
Bare hand contact can be avoided by using utensils (such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, or dispensing equipment)
or food handler’s single-use gloves. Foods not in RTE form (such as raw meats prior to cooking) shall have minimized
contact with food employees’ bare hands and arms.

It states:

Quote

new code does provide some exceptions under strict requirements, contact us for more info.

The exceptions are many and applies to most restaurants. Next time you go to anything above fast casual even in Louisville and they will be gloveless.

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I can get seasick standing on a dock so this was not my idea of fun.  That said, I still thought it was a fun episode. 

Both teams showed really nice teamwork.  The Green Team obviously had great chemistry that actually carried through service this time.  I liked seeing Justin running down to bring up and plate Eric's dish so all Eric had to worry about is cooking.  And I had to laugh at his "other tall black man with a beard" joke because it's something that struck me from the first episode.  It's unusual to have minorities who have very similar looks/styles get cast in the same season of reality TV even though it's something that happens with white contestants all the time.

I didn't see jiggle juice and puppy chow as juvenile (puppy chow is addictive y'all) but rather a fun touch of nostalgia with a twist on the flavors.  Minus the banana, I'd love to try the version the Green Team made.  That was a smart touch--along with pretty much everything else they did.

But even the blue team, with their struggles, acquitted themselves well.  I was impressed by how they stepped up to support Adrienne while she was ill. 

Adrienne did touch the salmon while she was sick but most cold and flu viruses are cooked off with high heat so the salmon isn't what would worry me; it's the cabbage she started to shave because I doubt that got cooked.

2 hours ago, carrps said:

What was Padma's problem with their stupid jiggle juice? I don't think it was just too much booze. Padma seems to be the type that can hold her liquor.

You can be able to handle your booze but still not like the concentration in one drink.  I do wish they would have said what her issue was but it could have been the texture as well.  It's a specific experience and if she didn't experience it when she was younger, the nostalgia factor wouldn't be a factor.

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If I was on the blue team, I would have made Adrienne stay away from everyone else & all the food. 

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I think Adrienne is a much stronger chef than Brian and I think she's great, but....did Brian bust himself off the whole night doing prep for the whole team only to get kicked off while Adrienne was sleeping?

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I get that the party-team won in this scenario, I think it was probably fair. But I thought this episode did a really good job of illustrating the two sort of personalities that have sort of shaped the storyline this season. We have the party-cliquey-sort of immature group of Justin, Eric, Kelsey, and Sara, (including Nini) and we have the more serious, less outgoing, more focused on cooking group of David, Brian, Eddie, Michelle, Adrienne, Brandon also. It is interesting to note the latter group of chefs come from a more classically trained, often fine-dining background, while the former mostly cook Southern cuisine. Maybe there is a sort of decorum in the kitchen that classically trained chefs have. The former group was also the group that was really angry at Brother's return. I think the way the season is pivoting, they are really trying to get a chef from the former group to win. Personally, I prefer one of the latter group.

Edited by bobbobbob199
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26 minutes ago, bobbobbob199 said:

I think Adrienne is a much stronger chef than Brian and I think she's great, but....did Brian bust himself off the whole night doing prep for the whole team only to get kicked off while Adrienne was sleeping?

I think Adrienne should have gone home. She didn't really compete, she got to rest and someone else finished her dish. 

16 minutes ago, bobbobbob199 said:

I get that the party-team won in this scenario, I think it was probably fair. But I thought this episode did a really good job of illustrating the two sort of personalities that have sort of shaped the storyline this season. We have the party-cliquey-sort of immature group of Justin, Eric, Kelsey, and Sara, (including Nini) and we have the more serious, less outgoing, more focused on cooking group of David, Brian, Eddie, Michelle, Adrienne, Brandon also. It is interesting to note the latter group of chefs come from a more classically trained, often fine-dining background, while the former mostly cook Southern cuisine. Maybe there is a sort of decorum in the kitchen that classically trained chefs have. The former group was also the group that was really angry at Brother's return. I think the way the season is pivoting, they are really trying to get a chef from the former group to win. Personally, I prefer one of the latter group.

I really don't get their anger. Wait until next season or two seasons down the road when you're the returning chef. But also, I dislike the "last chance kitchen" concept. Cooking in a controlled environment just for Tom isn't the same as cooking multiple dishes in various conditions. You get to rest and relax while everyone else is stressing out and competing. 

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8 minutes ago, watchingtvaddict said:

I really don't get their anger. Wait until next season or two seasons down the road when you're the returning chef. But also, I dislike the "last chance kitchen" concept. Cooking in a controlled environment just for Tom isn't the same as cooking multiple dishes in various conditions. You get to rest and relax while everyone else is stressing out and competing. 

Last Chance Kitchen is a controlled environment, but I think viewers underestimate just how taxing it is. They film multiple Last Chance battles in a day, maybe 4 or 5. So you cook for 30 minutes or an hour, Tom tastes and judges, production resets the kitchen, and the eliminated chefs hang out and change clothes so that it seems like this is all happening on separate days.

It takes about 12 hours to film an episode of Chopped. Yes, filming on the main show is stressful and uncontrolled in particular ways. However, filming Last Chance is stressful and uncontrolled in its own ways. So when we see a chef on a hot streak, in actuality, they are going balls to the wall for 30 minutes, waiting for 90 minutes, and having to balls to the wall for another 30 minutes for a 12 hour filming day. It's like having multiple Quick Fires in a day and I don't think any of the chefs still in the competition would think that's any less stressful. When Brandon decided to put xanthan gum into his tartare, it wasn't because the conditions were so unpredictable. Brian's decision to inexplicably brine his porchetta wasn't related to their lack of electricity. Both were victims of bad technique.

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While they were able to cook their food the way they wanted, I do think having no oven/stove, and lights for a couple of hours did impact them.  How could it not stress them out?  Plus they needed to take up more counter space with induction burners, and bunsen burners with trays over them, and so on.  They adapted quite well in that time.  I give them props for that.  I do agree with the judges that having everything made ahead of time, rather than finishing off during service, impacted them negatively.  And that wasn't due to the power issues.  That would have always been an issue.

ETA: They also said something about no air conditioning, too, during the power issues.  Do the boats have A/C inside the cabin?  Or was that a general "no a/c" comment?

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10 hours ago, Mambo Queen said:

I'd rather not have the guy slicing the meat I'm about to eat be standing barefoot in a germ-laden hot tub, thanks anyway.

He wore his sneakers in the hot tub, the camera gave us a couple of close ups of his feet.   But I agree I didn't get the "fun" part of his idea, I just thought it was  stupid.      I like Below Deck but Captain Lee seemed very stiff and out of place, I guess he's more comfortable on his own boat.        Not a fan of the constant product placement on this show, for awhile I felt like I was watching a BMW commercial, and why can they only shop at Wholefoods?  Everything is so dam expensive there, in the early seasons they weren't so limited.

Edited by SevenCostanza
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All I could think of at the coda of chefs sliding with a splash into the lake was: "You're gonna get a brain-eating amoeba up your nose!"

The entire episode was the antithesis of what for me would be "a good time."

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11 hours ago, Bastet said:

I cannot be on a non-moving boat on the water without my motion sickness kicking into high gear, so watching them bob up and down during JT made me have to turn away a couple of times.  I’m not sure I could have medicated myself enough to get on those boats, but the food looked seriously tasty!

I hear 'ya!  I'm like my Dad.  He would say that we're the only ones that got sick in port.  I would not have made it through that challenge.

11 hours ago, aquarian1 said:

They even showed one of the voting guests say blue had better food, but green team better party

To be fair, that was just one guest we saw make that comment.  Both teams were getting oohs and ahhhs from their food.   IMO, there was just a better energy over on the green team's boat.  Kelsey was smart in making those take-home bags of goodies, and she stayed up late to finish them and didn't complain about it!  I appreciated that she offered the blue team use of their oven.  This is the first season of Top Chef that I've watched in a long time.  I tuned in for Kelsey.  Turns out that she is a local chef, so I'm pulling for her.  I'm new to this area, so I wasn't aware of her restaurant until I saw her story in the local news.   As far as "Alabama oysters," I don't have a clue how they make them here.  I don't eat them, so I wouldn't know what the main ingredients are!  Apparently they are popular though in these parts. 

2 hours ago, bobbobbob199 said:

It is interesting to note the latter group of chefs come from a more classically trained, often fine-dining background, while the former mostly cook Southern cuisine. Maybe there is a sort of decorum in the kitchen that classically trained chefs have. The former group was also the group that was really angry at Brother's return. I think the way the season is pivoting, they are really trying to get a chef from the former group to win.

Looking at their bios on BravoTV.com, Kelsey trained at the Culinary Institute of America in NY, and her food is inspired by southern classics with French techniques sprinkled in.  Eric A. worked in premiere restaurants in NYC, while Sara worked for several Michelin Star chefs.  Justin trained in Atlanta.  I don't think they lack kitchen decorum, but as usual, YMMV.  And as I recall, Kelsey was on Brother's team during that challenge, and although she hated going against a teammate, she was professional and did her best for Brother.  I don't think she said anything terrible about him.  I remember a couple of others though that were vocal about it. 

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I am glad to see Brian go.  He just never seemed to understand the concept of the show and the challenges.  I got the feeling that he has never seen a episode of any of the seasons.  It's not about your technique nor how much time you spend creating your dish, the judges ultimately only care if the food tastes good.  Also, think about the challenge at hand--an afternoon party on a boat would have been the perfect time for some BBQ.  Save the technique for a later challenge when the judges want finer food.  

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13 hours ago, Lovecat said:

Kelsey’s pronunciation of “oyshtyur” made me want to stick a shrimp fork in my ear.

 cleaning the shells in the dishwasher.... how MacGyver of her....

Edited by sATL
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To be fair, that was just one guest we saw make that comment. 

Which was obviously inserted to make us doubt what was an obvious outcome, the Green Team winning. I don't think the blue teams food was bad, a side from Brian's weird porchetta, and Michelle/Adriennes looked super tasty), but all the Green Teams dishes were on point as was their vibe on the boat.

I am SO glad Barnnacle Brian got bounced I was so sick of seeing his ass in the bottom and still get through, I was worried he was gonna be another Lisa F. who had like five or six bottom finishes but ended up in the final fucking four!

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I think the blue team's food was probably good when it was fresh - i.e. at the beginning of the party, and then not as good later on (with the cold fish, and not so refreshing dumpling-in-a-cup).  As said at judges table, they premade everything (aside from cutting the pork) and so it sat all day.  I bet even the poached shrimp skewer thing tasted good when it was first made.  Not sure about Brian's pork though. :)

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Why didn’t the blue team just use the green team’s ovens? Kelsey offered, but instead they decided to just pull all nighters. That was their choice, and I’m looking at you, Brian. His porchetta looked like it was the consistency of jellied ham fat. Ugh. No. Just no.

You can serve good food, elevated food, and smile and be entertaining while doing it. 

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4 hours ago, aquarian1 said:

ETA: They also said something about no air conditioning, too, during the power issues.  Do the boats have A/C inside the cabin? 

Yes, and that's another thing that needs the generator for power (it draws too much current to be run on battery power), so that's why it was among the things not working while the generator was down.

11 minutes ago, BlackberryJam said:

Why didn’t the blue team just use the green team’s ovens? Kelsey offered, but instead they decided to just pull all nighters.

By the time Brian had pre-scheduled for his pork to go in, their generator was working, so there was no need for him to take it over to the other boat.  Both boats planned to be working much of the night, and napping for an hour or two rather than truly sleeping, so it was only Brian who truly stayed up all night and that was something he chose to do, unaffected by the generator downtime.

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As a native Southerner who lives in SC, it seemed a little strange to me that Kelsey's oysters were considered "cooking" at first. Raw oysters with hot sauce aren't anything revolutionary in this part of the world, and I'm not sure how Alabama could claim that as their own. But to her credit she did add some watermelon and that fresh made cocktail/vinegar mix, and she took the extra care to clean the shells so there wouldn't be any grit in the oysters. And they were certainly popular and great for a party. 

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15 minutes ago, GoGamecox said:

As a native Southerner who lives in SC, it seemed a little strange to me that Kelsey's oysters were considered "cooking" at first. Raw oysters with hot sauce aren't anything revolutionary in this part of the world, and I'm not sure how Alabama could claim that as their own. But to her credit she did add some watermelon and that fresh made cocktail/vinegar mix, and she took the extra care to clean the shells so there wouldn't be any grit in the oysters. And they were certainly popular and great for a party. 

Kelsey was one of the few to figure out this challenge.  Her catering background definitely helped her think everything through, and she as able to figure out that the judges wanted both good food and an good atmosphere.  I probably would not have given her the win over Eric's fish, but that must have been a great oyster.  

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