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Other Great Reality Shows => Other Reality TV Shows & News => Topic started by: apskip on August 09, 2011, 02:06:05 PM

Title: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on August 09, 2011, 02:06:05 PM
"Top Chef," heads to the state that does everything bigger - Texas. Possibly the worst kept locale secret in this moment's culinary universe, the new season of "Top Chef" will heartily embrace the Lone Star State's adage that all things are bigger as, in a series first, the production will head to three cities within the season - Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Season nine will also showcase many surprising twists and turns and never-before-seen challenges and events. Returning to the judges table is host Padma Lakshmi and head judge, chef Tom Colicchio, alongside judges Gail Simmons and new this season, famed chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse and critically acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson.

Emeril Lagasse is a fun guy with a great sense of humor. I know little about Hugh Acheson but will see what I can find out.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on August 09, 2011, 05:27:12 PM

I know him best for his participation on Top Chef Masters 3, where he was eliminated in the first episode, immediately reinstated and lasted until the end of the 8th episode.

Chef/ Partner: Five& Ten, The National, Gosford Wine – in Athens, GA and Empire State South – in Atlanta, GA
Competing for Wholesome Wave Foundation
Hugh Acheson is the chef/partner of Five & Ten, The National, Gosford Wine, and Empire State South. Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada Acheson started cooking at a young age and decided to make it his career. At age 15, he began working in restaurants after school and learning as much as possible. Today, Acheson's experience includes working under Chef Rob MacDonald where he learned stylized French cuisine, wine and etiquette at the renowned Henri Burger restaurant in Ottawa as well as in San Francisco as the chef de cuisine with Chef Mike Fennelly at Mecca, and later as opening sous-chef with famed Chef Gary Danko at his namesake restaurant. Taking these experiences, Acheson developed a style of his own forging together the beauty of the South with the flavors of Europe and opening the critically acclaimed Athens, GA restaurant Five & Ten in March of 2000. Since 2000, Acheson has gone on to open Gosford Wine in 2004 with sommelier Ben Giacchino, The National in 2007 with fellow chef Peter Dale and his Atlanta based restaurant Empire State South in 2010. Acheson's fresh approach to Southern food has earned him a great deal of recognition including Food & Wine’s Best New Chef (2002), the AJC Restaurant of the Year (2007), a four time James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and a 2007 Rising Star from Chef Mario Batali chose Acheson as one of the 100 contemporary chefs in Phaidon Press' Coco: 10 World-Leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs. In addition to running three restaurants and a wine shop, Acheson is writing a cookbook titled A New Turn in the South: The Cuisine of Hugh Acheson. This book is to be published by Clarkson Potter in the fall of 2011.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: TexasLady on August 09, 2011, 06:26:41 PM
Whoa! I need to keep on top of this, Austin is my home town.  :wohoo:
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on September 21, 2011, 01:03:32 PM
Following are the 29 "Top Chef: Texas" hopefuls, about double the previous number of beginning competitors in any prior Top Chef season (but then again this is in Texas where it's a large landscape):

· Nyesha Arrington, 28 - Los Angeles, Calif., Wilshire Restaurant.

· Lindsay Autry, 29 - West Palm Beach, Fla., Omphoy Ocean Resort &Michelle Bernstein

· Jonathan Baltazar, 36 - Long Beach, Calif., Heights Cuisine.

· Ty-Lor Boring, 34 - Brooklyn, N.Y., Spasso

· Molly Brandt, 30 - Hollywood, Fla., Allure of the Seas for Royal Caribbean

· Chaz Brown, 29 - New York, N.Y., Fatty Crab

· Kimberly Calichio, 27 - New York, N.Y., Fishtail by David Burke

· Beverly Kim, 31 - Chicago, Ill., Aria Restaurant

· Chris Crary, 29 - Los Angeles, Calif., Whist Restaurant in the Viceroy Hotel

· Andrew Curren, 32 - Austin, Texas , 24 Diner

· Berenice deAraujo, 33 - Miami, Fla., Sra. Martinez

· Janine Falvo, 37 - Atlanta, Ga., Briza Restaurant

· Richie Farina, 28 - Chicago, Ill., MOTO

· Sarah Grueneberg, 29 - Chicago, Ill., Spiaggia

· Chris Jones, 30 - Chicago, Ill., MOTO

· Edward Lee, 38 - Louisville, Ky., 610 Magnolia

· Whitney Otawka, 30 - Cumberland Island, Ga., Greyfield Inn

· Simon Pantet, 30 - Seattle, Wash., Twenty-Two Doors

· Colin Patterson, 37 - Seattle, Wash., Sutra

· Laurent Quenioux, 51 - Los Angeles, Calif., Vertical Wine Bistro

· Paul Qui, 30 - Austin, Texas, Uchiko Restaurant

· Keith Rhodes, 39 - Wilmington, N.C., Catch Restaurants

· Grayson Schmitz, 27 - New York, N.Y., Exec. Chef

· Tyler Stone, 22 - Sacramento, Calif., Personal Chef

· Heather Terhune, 39 - Chicago, Ill., Sable Kitchen and Bar

· Chuy Valencia, 25 - Chicago, Ill., Chilam Bilam

· Nina Vicente, 29 - Seattle, Wash., Spur Gastropub

· Ashley Villaluz, 25 - Seattle, Wash., Sous Chef

· Dakota Weiss , 35 - Los Angeles, Calif., 9:30 Restaurant and The Backyard

New this season, eliminated chefs will have a second chance at the "Top Chef" title through a "Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen" webisode series, hosted by "Top Chef" lead judge and culinary mastermind, Tom Colicchio. Each week, two eliminated chefs face-off to compete for the ultimate prize, a chance to return to the show and compete to qualify for the on-air finale. Fans can follow the "Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen" challenges and vote in each week's Tweet Battle on

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on September 21, 2011, 01:05:39 PM
The start of Top Chef 9 (Texas) is dovetailed with the finish of Top Chef-Just Desserts. Top Chef 9 will start on Wed. Nov. 2 at 10pm on BRAVO.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: georgiapeach on September 21, 2011, 01:24:08 PM
Go eat, TL!!
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on September 21, 2011, 02:00:29 PM
Peach, I'm sure you are aware that the entirety of Top Chef 9 is already on film. What would be left for TexasLady to eat?
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on October 21, 2011, 07:38:25 AM
Here's a reminder that Top Chef 9 starts Wednesday night Nov. 2 at 10pm EDT. Top Chef-Just-Desserts will finish use of that time slot next week with its finale.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 02, 2011, 10:33:29 AM
‘Texas’ cookoff
‘Top Chef’ comfort food with a Southern kick

Last Updated: 11:20 AM, November 2, 2011

Linda Stasi

Tonight, all the competitors have to cook a different part of a pig. Next week, everyone has to cook with the same main ingredient, and then each chef picks another ingredient they want to add -- and then they find out how many minutes they each get to finish their meal.

The chefs who pass muster get the jacket. A smaller group is told they have to compete again to make it to the top 16, while the rest are told to pack up their knives and hit the road.

Read more:
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 03, 2011, 12:17:53 PM
TC9, Qualifying round, part 1

The site of TC9 is 3 major cities in Texas, but this episode was in San Antonio with the kitchen apparently in or near the Alamo and a dormitory for 16 chefs somewhere in the city. The announced format of this competition was the first 2 episodes will narrow the competitors from 29 to 16 using a Qualifying Challenge. There were 3 groups and each one are doing something different. A chef can be graded Yes (2 of 3 judges say so), No (2 of 3 judges observe something bad during prep or cook time and instantly eliminate or 2 of 3 vote No) or “On the Bubble” meaning those will get the opportunity to cook again before their fate is decided. The judges were Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse and Padma Lakshmi, with Gail Simmons substituting for Emeril as needed.

The 10 chefs in Group 1 got pig parts to plan, prep and cook in 1 hour staggered. They had to first divvy them up to determine who got what. In one case the butchering of a chef impacted the piece of pork tenderloin available to another chef.  Chefs prepping and cooking were observed and any bad practices resulted in instant termination. Tyler, the chef who did a poor job with the piece that included the tenderloin, was eliminated. Some aphorisms that were spoken in this part were:
“If you don’t know how to breakdown then you shouldn’t be here.”
“Don’t trust anyone (to butcher meat for you).

Here were the dishes prepared and presented by the 9 other chefs in Group 1:
Nyesha – Tex-Mex Ravioli
Grayson – Haricot Vert w/ Toasted Hazelnuts Mushroom Stuffed Tenderloin
Sarah – Pig Skin Ravioli
Simon – Ham Roulade Stuffed w/ Fig Confit, Goat Cheese
Heather – Maple and Citrus Glazed Baby Back Ribs w/ Bacon, Corn, Blue Cheese Grits
Chris – Caramel Apple Stuffed w/ Braised Pork Belly Sweet Applesauce
Richie – Onion Soup w/ Braised + Crispy Pig Ears, Pickled Shallots, Frozen Parsley Powder
Molly – Smoked Sweet Potato Soup w/ Pork Cheek, Tequila Cilantro Lime Cream
Colin – Short Rib Zucchini Cake with Mole Roja, Roasted Cauliflower Tarragon Soup

It was noted that 4 of these are from Chicago and in particular Chris and Richie from Moto have worked together a lot. The results were:

Earned TC9 Jackets – Nyesha, Sarah, Heather, Chris, Richie
On the Bubble – Grayson, Molly
Eliminated – Colin (whose piping bag broke creating a mess with soup all over the plate too late for him to fix), Simon (who did not finish in time)

The 9 chefs in Group 2 were asked to pick a protein from a huge table, then all the chefs would cook using that as the main ingredient in 1 hour staggered. The chosen one was rabbit (I think that’s a fine choice). The dishes prepared and presented were:
Janine – Rabbit Nugget, Rabbit Rack, Rabbit Loin Saltimbocca w/ Mushroom Hash
Edward – Butter Poached Rabbit w/ Butternut Squash Puree
Ty-Lor - Confit Rabbit Legs w/ Pickled Cucumber, Tomatoes in Fish Sauce
Nina – Rabbit Loins + Thighs, Brussels Sprouts, Corn, Apples
Chris – Duo of Rabbit: Confit Leg, Butter Seared Tenderloin w/ Carrot Polenta
Chuy – Rabbit Loin w/ Cashew Pipian Grilled Zucchini
Whitney – Rabbit Sugo w/ Tomatoes, Shallots, Asparagus, Bacon
Keith – Seared Tenderloin, Chicken Fried Rabbit, Yukon Potato Hash, Braised Rabbit Confit
Dakota – Roast Rabbit Crepinettes w/ Bulgur Wheat and Vanilla Jus

The results were:
Earned TC9 Jackets – Ty-Lor, Chris, Chuy, Whitney, Keith, Dakota
On the Bubble – Janine, Edward
Eliminated – Nina (protein did not get onto plate)

So, that leaves 4 chefs On the Bubble and another 10 chefs waiting to compete in Group 3. The chances of any chef On the Bubble getting in are quite poor, as there are only 5 places left and some from Group 3 will also be On the Bubble.

By subtraction of those who were in Group 1 or Group 2 from the total list of 29, I get these chefs in Group 3 to compete next week:
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: kiki on November 03, 2011, 12:35:35 PM
OMG, apskip I can't believe that you could keep track of all those names. I was quite lost with all the faces. A great recap as always.

As a whole I liked the episode. I think that there are some good chefs among them. I would definitely eat a lot of the dishes presented.

Just one observation: Hugh Atchinson will be one of the judges this season and one of the contestants, Whitney, who was in the 2nd group and qualified for the top16, said that she is his protege. How objective is that?
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: ZBC Company on November 03, 2011, 12:46:32 PM
keith it my favorite i think he form my mom birth place
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 03, 2011, 10:22:04 PM

You might be surprised to learn that Keith with his North Carolina coastal roots and broad experience is my favorite too based on group 1 and Group 2! I don't know what chef talent Group 3 will have.

I am not fond of Hugh Acheson from his Top Chef Masters 3 stint. I want to see plenty of Emeril and little of Hugh, but it will probably be the reverse.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 10, 2011, 04:50:09 PM
TC9, Qualifying Round, part 2

Hugh Acheson joined the judging team. There were 10 chefs left to be evaluated. The challenge was one of the most interesting ever on top Chef. Each chef had to pick one of 10 ingredients on a large table. Attached to the tray holding each item was something they could not see. It proved to be a clock with the minutes ticking down. 3 chefs had an ingredient with a 20 time limit, 4 had an ingredient with a 40 minute time limit and 4 had 60 minute time limit ingredients. The choices were:

20 Minutes
Paul – trout
Andrew – mushrooms
Kim – lamb

40 Minutes
Jonathan – Brussels Sprouts
Chaz – rice
Laurent – duck
Berenice – short ribs

60 Minutes
Ashley - oxtails
Lindsay – veal
Beverly – octopus

Each sub-group was judged immediately after cooking, except that Chaz had failed to plate any risotto so he could not be evaluated and was eliminated on the spot. Edward cut himself badly and lost time while the medic almost immobilized it. The dishes created and presented were:

Paul – Trout with Southeast Asian Tomato Salad
Andrew – Roasted Mushrooms with Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Crispy Spinach, and Poached Egg
Kim – Lamb Chop with Kalamata Olives and Arugula
Jonathan – Brussels Sprouts with Tomato Sofrito and Hazelnut Gremolata
Chaz – risotto
Laurent – duck with lemon yuzu curd and arugula
Berenice – Asian Style Short Rib with Cabbage Slaw

Ashley – Braised Oxtail "Kare Kare"
Lindsay – Braised Veal, Creamy Polenta, Warm Salad, Charred Pickled Carrots
Beverly - Korean Style Octopus "Nakji Bokum

The judges’ results for each dish were:
Paul – OUT
Andrew – On the Bubble
Kim – OUT
Jonathan – IN
Chaz – not scored and OUT
Laurent – On the Bubble
Berenice – OUT
Ashley – OUT
Lindsay – IN
Beverly - IN

Simple counting reveals that 14 of the 16 places were not filled, with 2 left for the On the Bubble chefs to compete for. A cook-off ensued with 45 minutes to “take any ingredients in the kitchen and cook anything you want.” Each one had a 1/3 chance of making it into the final grouping.

Here were the primary ingredients chosen for this:
Molly – shrimp
Laurent – scallops
Edward – duck
Grayson – shrimp and polenta
Janine – scallop and shrimp
Andrew – mussels

The dishes created and presented were:
Molly – Jumbo Stuffed Prawn, Mousseline of Shrimp w/ Soy Glazed Watermelon + Rice
Laurent – Scallop Two Ways: Tartare, Seared on a Bed of Fennel w/ Saffron
Edward – Duck w/ BBQ Sauce, Sweet Asian Custard
Grayson – Polenta with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, Port Wine Fig Sauce
Janine – Seared Scallop w/ Baby Clams, Bacon, Corn, Watermelon Garnish
Andrew – Mussels w/ Sherry, Fregula, Charred Corn Panna Cotta, Shrimp

The feedback from the judges was sometimes brutal, but the heavyweights were leading it with Hugh and Padma being mostly silent. Tom stated that Molly’s shrimp were overcooked. Emeril loved Grayson’s dish, although he found the inclusion of pannacotta strange. Emeril also loved Edward’s dish. Tom stated that Andrew had extraordinary mussels but should have stopped there; the rest of his dish was negative in its impact. Janine did not tie her components together well. Tom’s said that Laurent’s scallop dish was gray and unappetizing.

After an apparently long caucus, the judges came back with the decisions. Edward, based mostly on the success of his moo shu pork, was IN. Molly, Laurent and Andrew were OUT. It was down to Grayson vs. Janine for the 16th spot and Grayson was IN.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 10, 2011, 05:12:10 PM
“Last Chance Kitchen”, round 1

This is a new Top Chef innovation that takes what Survivor has been doing with its Redemption Island and applying it to the chefs eliminated each round. The first implementation of Last chance Kitchen was with the 2 highest rated chefs eliminated from the “On the Bubble” cookoff. That was Janine and Andrew. They went into an empty kitchen with Tom Colicchio to respond to this challenge: crate a delicious pizza in 30 minutes. The ingredients used were:
Andrew’ Mediterranean Pizza – salsa verde, anchovies, capers, fried calamari, arugula, grilled calamari
Janine’s Fig Pizza – figs, parmesan, asiago, sopressata, black garlic, balsamic vinaigrette drizzle, arugula

Andrew was judged the winner and stays alive despite tom’s preference for some olive oil drizzle on his Mediterranean pizza. Janine has lost 3 times and there is no further recourse for her. The winner of Last Chance Kitchen from the prior episode will get to compete against the newly eliminated chef. Whoever emerges alive from 13 episodes of this competition will be allowed into the finals.
Last chance Kitchen is available only on-line through I recommend it.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 19, 2011, 08:13:53 AM
TC9, Ep. 1

The Quickfire was to take the contents of a box and create a dish from it. The TC9 competitors knew that somehow rattlesnake was inside, but they were relieved to find out that it had been skinned and was dead. The winner would get immunity in the Elimination Challenge and $5,000. The competitors were introduced to Guest Judge Johnny Hernandez, chef/owner of La Gloria. They were given 1 hour to create their best rattlesnake dish.

The dishes created and presented were:

Kim - Rattlesnake Nigiri
Chris C. - Rattlesnake Nicoise w/ Olive Oil Pudding and Olive Panko
Chris J. - Cumin Breaded Rattlesnake w/ Bacon
Chuy - Adobo Seasoned Rattlesnake w/ Pasilla Balsamic BBQ Sauce
Dakota - Beer Battered Tempura Rattlesnake
Edward - Rattlesnake Gumbo w/ Habanero Orange Sauce
Grayson - Rattlesnake w/ Lime Zest, Fried Plantain w/ Avocado, Tequila Lime Sauce
Heather – not shown as best as I could tell
Keith - Sweet Corn Rattlesnake Griddle Cake, Beer Battered Rattlesnake Crudité
Lindsay - Grilled Rattlesnake w/ Spanish Chorizo, Avocado and Crispy Farro
Nyesha - Rattlesnake Braised w/ Tequila, Citrus, and Jalapeno
Paul - BBQ Rattlesnake w/ Peaches, Fried Peanuts, Southeast Asian Spices
Richie - Grilled Jerk Seasoned Rattlesnake w/ Roasted Corn
Sarah - Flash Fried Rattlesnake in a Brown Butter Sauce
Ty-Lor - Chicken Fried Rattlesnake, Slaw, Pickled Vegetables and Salsa
Whitney - Pan Seared Rattlesnake, Fennel, Avocado and Pomegranate Seeds

The least favorite dishes of the Guest Judge were Paul (BBQ snake with peaches, peanuts and Southeast Asian spices were not a harmonious combination), Richie and Nyesha (overcooked rattlesnake). The best dishes were Beverly, Dakota and Sarah. The winner was Dakota.

Elimination Challenge
2 teams were then formed by knife draw:
Team Green – Heather, Chris J., Richie, Paul, Grayson, Edward, Beverly and Chuy. 
Team Pink – Keith, Lindsay, Sarah, TyLor, Nyesha, Dakota, Whitney, Chris C.
Each team was given the mission of planning the food for 100 guests at a quinceanera party for a Mexican/American girl turning 15 years old. The teams were allowed to briefly question her, then they had to menu plan for 30 minutes and go shop at a Mexican store and Whole Foods with a $1500 budget. Several important decisions were made at those stores. Keith decided to forgo the work associated with fresh shrimp, so he bought them cooked and flash frozen. Both teams decided to go with purchased tortillas. The person on the Pink team
Who needed them was Keith; he was only familiar with flour tortillas, so that is what he bought.

The teams had 3 hours to cook that evening and then moved to the Adalco Restaurant, site of the party the next day. There was no formal leadership of either team except that Chuy helped his teammates as the “resident Mexican.”  Each competitor was on his/her own except for those that teamed up with someone else for a specific dish, typically a second one for them.

The dishes created and presented at the party were:
Beverly- Beef Short Rib Asada w/ Pina Kimchi
Chris C. - Choclo Con Chile
Chris J. - Green Chile, Mushroom, and Oaxaca Cheese Empanadas
Chuy - Braised Goat Birria, Cabbage, Red Peanut Salsa, and Handmade Queso Fresco
Dakota - Pineapple Strawberry Cake
Edward – Tomatillo Gazpacho w/ Watermelon, Jicama, and Pork Rinds
Grayson - Chicken in Ancho Pepita Mole w/ Pickled Red Onion, Crema, Lime
Heather - Vanilla Tres Leches Cake
Keith - Enchiladas en Salsa Verde
Lindsay and Keith - Pork Tenderloin Huarache w/ Pineapple Salsa
Nyesha - Ceviche w/ Crispy Plantain Chips and Spiced Popcorn
Paul - Shrimp Yuzu Ceviche w/ Corn Salsa and Yucca Chips
Richie - Grilled Jerk Seasoned Rattlesnake w/ Roasted Corn
Richie - Tapioca Chicharron with Pork Carnitas
Sarah and Lindsay - Cochinita Pibil
Ty-Lor - Fire Roasted Summer Fritter with Avocado Mousse
TyLor and Nyesha - Carne Asada with Pinto Beans
Whitney - Green Chili Pozole
Specific judges’ comments were:
Beverly – did a good job
Grayson – dish not exhibit much skill
Dakota’s cake – too much icing
Heather’c cake – very good taste but sloppy (leaning tower of Pisa effect)

The judges decided that the Green team won, so they were exempt.  The Pink team would be the one losing a member. The judges focused in on 4 individuals, although they also stated that Dakota would be there in the losers’ group if she did not have immunity. The 4 were TyLor, Lindsay, Sarah and Keith. The major sins of each one were:

TyLor – large, dry fritter tasted awful; he bought flour tortillas for Keith (who did not know any better)
Lindsay – cochinta pibil should have been easy for someone with experience cooking in Mexico, which Lindsay did
Sarah – cochinta pibil dish not good
Keith – used flour tortilla when Mexican cuisine demands corn tortilla; wasted shrimp by buying pre-cooked, which was rightly criticized by Hugh. Hugh had the best line of the episode in “like it or not, Keith made a burrito (not an enchilada)”.

In addition, the Pink team showed no teamwork, as Sarah and Lindsay both knew that corn tortillas should have been used and other were there when Keith bought the pre-cooked shrimp and failed to comment.

Keith was the first one to be eliminated. He went over to the “Last Chance Kitchen.”

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 19, 2011, 08:15:07 AM
“Last Chance Kitchen”, episode 2 (if you are confused by the different numbering systems for the  regular show and Last chance Kitchen, I understand)

This is Andrew vs. Keith. First is a Mise en Place race, then those ingredients must be cooked in combination with clams to highlight the flavors of the clams. Andrew had Clams with Grilled Radicchio with Peperonata in Lemon Juice and Olive Oil. Keith had ceviche with one raw and raw cooked clam with lemon zest and pancetta. Tom Colicchio made the decision and declared Keith’s dish superior based on perfect ceviche and subtlety of flavors.

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: franxaverian on November 19, 2011, 09:28:56 PM
Just to help clarifying Apskip's perfect recap, Beverly and Kim are the same person. Her full name is Beverly Kim.

Consider this post to 'subscribe' to your recap, Apskip.  :tup:
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: kiki on November 20, 2011, 12:22:45 AM
I was surprised that there was no individual winner from the Green Team. In all the previous seasons, even in the team tasks, there was always an individual winner who received a prize, if only a recipe book. But in this episode the winning team was not called in the judges table. I hope that they will not continue like this. I enjoyed seeing the winners at the judges' table and find out if those I considered the best were also the judges' favourites.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 20, 2011, 05:36:07 PM
kiki, I too was surprised at no individual winner. I am guessing that the Judges only get so much behinds-the-scenes time at Judges Table (in this case it was where at the party they ate) and the producers elected to not spend that time on an individual winner. Remember that it gets a bit hectic with 16 competitors. Once there is a more manageable number due to eliminations, I expect we will see a return of individual rewards to complement the group reward (of being safe from elimination).
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: franxaverian on November 21, 2011, 08:16:56 AM
It wasn't that surprising for me considering Top Chef JD 2 did all that. At least, until the 3rd episode, they didn't give a single winning chef from a winning group. So, I don't expect this to happen until the 5th episode(hopefully not).

I'm so bummed that I can't watch the last chance kitchen. I couldn't watch it from my country
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 25, 2011, 07:22:45 AM
TC9, Ep. 2
The Quickfire brought in Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, both Top Chef Masters competitors who run the Border Grill, as Guest Judges. The challenge was to utilize one of several types of chili in whatever dish the chefs wanted to cook. Each one had a different amount of money they would win associated with it. The choices were:

Ghost Chili $20k – Paul
Habanero Chili $12.5K – Grayson, Dakota, Nyesha, Beverly, Lindsay
Jalapeno Chili $10k – Chuy
Thai Chili $10K, Chris C. , Heather, TyLor, Whitney
Manzano Chili $7.5K – Chris J.
Fresno Chili $3K – Richie, Sarah
Anaheim Chili $500 - Beverly

The dishes selected were:
Paul – Chilled Coconut Soup w/ Kaffir Lime, Ghost Pepper Relish
Grayson – Habañero Popper w/ Cream Lime Sauce
Heather – Date & Pistachio Cous Cous, Pickled Cucumbers, Red Onions & Thai Chili
Dakota – Oyster Shooter with Fire roasted Habañero Mignonette
Nyesha – Baby Fennel w/ Rock Shrimp Salad, Habanero vinaigrette
Beverly - Anaheim Chili Crudite w/ Ssamsiang Paste
Lindsay - Picked Herb Salad w/ Charred Sugar Snaps, Oranges, Avocado, Blackened Habañero Vinaigrette
Chuy – Sautéed Scallop with Achiote
Beverly - Anaheim Chili Crudite w/ Samjang Paste
Chris C. - Coconut Soup with Thai Chili
Heather – Date & Pistachio Cous Cous, Pickled Cucumbers, Red Onions & Thai Chili
TyLor - Prawns in the Shell w/ Roasted Chili Caramel Sauce, Raw Chili Crudite, Lime Leaves,  Fish Sauce
Whitney - Beef Tenderloin with Napa Cabbage and Thai Chili Slaw
Chris J. - Seared Chicken w/ Manzano Vinaigrette 
Edward – HabaLi
Richie – Fresno Slaw with Pineapple Curd & Seared Bay Scallops
Sarah – Salmon Belly Seared with Fresno Chili Relish
Lindsay - Picked Herb Salad w/ Charred Sugar Snaps, Oranges, Avocado, Blackened Habañero Vinaigrette

The least favorite dishes were Beverly (tried to be risk-free with a safe chili pepper), Richie (too much sweetness) and Chuy (use of canned tomatoes overwhelmed other flavors). The most favorite dishes were Paul, Grayson and Heather. Paul took the most risk with the 1 million Scoville unit Ghost Chili and he was rewarded with $20,000 for the win and immunity for the Elimination Challenge.

Elimination Challenge
This was to make a very large pot of chili to feed 200 Texas Rodeo cowboys and workers and their families. The 200 would vote to determine their favorite and least dishes. The cooking was a bit cut-throat, as people were hoarding critical resources.

There was a typical apron draw from inside a pot and the results were these teams:
Blue – Edward, Heather, Paul
White – TyLor, Lindsay, Grayson
Green – Chuy, Chris C., Sarah
Red – Chris J., Whitney, Dakota
Black – Nyesha, Beverly, Richie
The chilis prepared and served were:
Blue - Smoked Brisket Chili with Summer Pickles
Black - "Chili Mole" with Cornbread
Green – beer-infused chili con carne (no beans, which is authentic Texas style)
Red – braised brisket chili
White - Three Bean & Three Beef Chili & Poblano Corn Bread

The Green Team was voted as the winner and the Black team the loser. This meant that one of Nyesha, Beverly and Richie would be eliminated. Padma announced that there would be another opportunity for those 3 to demonstrate their cooking skills. They had to take some of the Black Team’s chili and fix its flaws. The dishes that resulted were:
Beverly - Seared Tuna with Habañero Creamed Corn
Nyesha - Frito-Encrusted Black Tiger Shrimp with Roasted Corn Salsa
Richie - Frito-Encrusted Pork Tenderloin, Potato Hash & Ricotta Cheese Chili Puree

Beverly got high marks for an excellent dish, Nyesha got OK marks for a mediocre dish
and Richie got low marks for being one-note in flavor and lacking seasoning. As a result, Richie was eliminated.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on November 25, 2011, 02:33:32 PM
Last Chance Kitchen, Ep. 2

This one was between Richie and Keith, using a minimum of 3 Thanksgiving meal leftovers. The dishes prepared were:
Keith – turkey & sweet corn hash, ham fritter, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie smear
Richie – turkey, green bean casserole, cranberry, macaroni and cheese fritter, cornbread puree

However, Richie had a heavy hand with the salt in the macaroni and cheese. That resulted in Tom Colicchio giving Keith the win.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on December 01, 2011, 01:34:08 PM
TC9, Ep. 3

The Quickfire has an unusual (some like me would say absurd) twist. The chefs were told by Padma that they must pack their knives, get in Toyota Sienna SUVs and drive to Dallas where Top Chef 9 would continue. On the way they are shown detouring on a country road . Now if I was driving from San Antonio to Dallas I would stay on Interstate 35/35E    all the way. Why detour on a country road? The answer becomes clearer when a state trooper directs them into a field, where picnic tables, Padma and Top Chef Master 1 competitor John Besh awaited with Padma. John is the owner of Luke in San Antonio and New Orleans, August in New Orleans and 4 other restaurants. The chefs were given a basket of odd canned and non-perishable goods plus some bowls and 2 burners with no utensils and no cutting board. They had 45 minutes to cook their best dish. Here were the dishes presented:

Beverly – Beef Satay with Peanut Noodles, Mango Chili Relish + Pepitas
Chris C. - Spicy Garbanzo Beans w/ Tofu and Crab
Chris J. – Fried Chicken on Lemongrass Noodles
Chuy – Basmati Rice w/ Smoked Trout
Dakota - Sweet and Spicy Noodles w/ Crab Meat + Pineapple Juice
Edward – Thai Peanut Soup w/ Salmon, Tofu + Fried Hominy
Grayson – Pickled Herring with Hearts of Palm, Dates + Herring Juice
Heather – Asian Coconut Soup w/ Mackerel + Dill Pickle Juice
Lindsay – Triple Club w/ Tuna + Sardines in French Onion Soup w/ Vienna Sausage
Nyesha – Seared Spam w/ Chutney
Paul - Pork and Beans w/ Coffee + Basmati Rice
Sarah – Dried Beef + Pineapple Rice, Apple Sauce + Hearts of Palm
TyLor – Black Pepper Chicken Stew w/ Garbanzo Beans + Rice
Whitney - Beer + Peach Glazed Chicken w/ Green Bean Casserole

John Besh rated the dishes of these chefs as his least favorite: Whitney, Dakota, Chris C. He rated those of Edward, Lindsay and Chris J. as the best. Lindsay was the winner. Sour grapes from another chef focused on the apparent dryness of Lindsay’s dish, but how could that be if soup was part of it? Lindsay commented on how her father used a lot of Vienna sausage and it was in order of him that she made that the centerpoint of her dish. She won $5,000 and immunity for the Elimination Challenge. 

Elimination Challenge
This started after arrival in a hotel in Dallas and a night’s rest. The chefs had been assigned to Appetizers, Entrees or Deserts somewhat randomly by Padma back in the field. They were to shop for 30 minutes with $250/person for a dish of their assigned type for a progressive dinner for 3 couples who are neighbors in Dallas plus 4 judges, one plate for the camera and one unknown (I like to speculate on who this one might go to, perhaps the other chefs. First was spending some time with the hosts for their assigned type to find out what they liked and disliked. This was generally simpleton stuff except for cooking for the woman who is a vegetarian. Beverly won no friends from her fellow chefs with her style of hogging all the burners and the bowls and colanders. Here was what they cooked in 2 hours and presented at the dinner:

Beverly – Seared Scallop w/ Creamy Polenta
Chris C. - Strawberry Cupcake w/ Banana Custard and Chocolate Icing
Chris J. – Roasted Chicken Cigar w/ Sweet Corn, Collard Greens, Cumin Ash
Chuy – Sockeye Salmon Filet Stuffed w/ Goat Cheese
Dakota - Banana Bread Pudding, Banana Mousse and Banana Date Milkshake 
Edward – Panna Cotta, Cantaloupe Consommé, Raspberries Stuffed w/ Basil Pudding
Grayson – Chocolate Sponge Cake, Caramelized Bananas, Semifreddo
Heather – Garlic+ Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops w/ Garbanzo Beans & Mint Chimichurri
Lindsay – Roasted + Raw Beet Salad w/ Chickpeas & Greek Vinaigrette
Nyesha – Roasted Filet of Beef with Vegetable Mélange
Paul - Fried Brussels Sprouts w/ Grilled Prosciutto
Sarah – Grilled Roman-Style Artichokes w/ Date Purée
TyLor – Grilled Pork Tenderloin w/ Summer Slaw
Whitney - Seared Scallop over Sweet Corn Puree

Some chefs were immediately in trouble in the commentary from the progressive dinner diners and the judges.  Chuy had overcooked salmon which then affected his goat cheese stuffing. Chris C., who was afraid of getting a dessert from the beginning, tried to cover all the bases with 20 components and wound up doing nothing right. Chris J. had this crazy concept of a cigar shape for this roasted chicken with cumin for the ash and it was not well received by anyone. Dakota was self-critical of the texture of her dessert.

The judges were John Besh, Padma, Gail and Tom. They called in these 4 individuals and then told them they had created their most favorite dishes:
Paul got the victory

Then they called in these 4 individuals with the message that they were the least favorite and why:
Chris J. – stringy collard green exposed too many ribs; horrible to look at, ill-advised, and difficult to eat
Chris C. – too many ingredients; a big mess
Chuy – overcooked salmon; goat cheese also tasted wrong as a result
TyLor – slabs of pork were far too large and out of balance to the slaw

So, who would it be for elimination? It could have been any of them, but Chuy’s mistakes were judged to be the most compelling and he was sent to Last Chance Kitchen.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on December 01, 2011, 01:35:19 PM
Last Chance Kitchen, Ep. 3

The combatants were Chuy versus Keith. Tom announced that they first had to go to Bolnger’s Meat Market in Dallas and come back with something to further instructions. A side of beef weighing 778 pounds was processed to give them each a large beef rib rack. Tom then told them they had 45 minutes to cut 5 ribs off, trim the ribs, cook one rib to a perfect medium rare and serve it. It looked pretty even to me from the cutting and trimming and they both had a really nice sear on the top side. Keith had learned an unusual technique of cooking with the bottom side of the skillet flipped upside down. Keith seasoned his meat with a more complex blend of spices, but Chuy seasoned only with salt and pepper. Tom selected Chuy’s steak as the winner due to slightly better searing on the bottom side of the steak. Chuy remains in the competition and Keith went home (or more likely to sequester).   
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on December 08, 2011, 04:56:47 PM
TC9, Ep. 4

This episode featured James Beard Award winning chef and owner of Fearing’s of Dallas, Dean Fearing. The focus was on sauces and each of the 13 remaining chefs was assigned by knife draw to this master sauce:

Espagnole (veal or beef stock plus tomato paste, roux, and aromatic vegetables) –
Hollandaise (egg yolks, oil; just before it is served add lemon juice and a little cold water) –
Bechamel (stirring cold milk or cream into a butter-flour mixture called a roux with onion and cloves ) -
Tomate (tomato, chopped garlic cloves, red or white wine, beef or veal stock
Veloute (chicken, veal, or fish stock thickened with white or pale roux)-

Their assignment was to make a variation of their master sauce in 90 minutes. The sauces created were:

Beverly - Sauce w/ Charred Shallots w/ Pepper Corn, Sake, Red Wine, Crab Maki Roll w/ Rib-Eye
Chris J. - Onion Soup w/ Butter Onion Puree
Paul - Quail w/ Pickled and Roasted Honshimeji Mushrooms, Garlic Scapes

Grayson - Scallop, Charred Corn Sauce w/ Paprika, Corn Ravioli, Blueberry Balsamic Reduction
Lindsay - Charred Scallion w/ Soft Boiled Egg, Creamy Polenta, Pickled Herbs
TyLor - Hollandaise, Ahi Tuna, Bok Choy w/ Sugar Snap Peas

Dakota - Béchamel Infused w/ Peach, Truffle + Lemon Crab + Mushroom Duxelle, Seared Scallop
Edward - Cauliflower Milk Béchamel w/ Poached Red Snapper, Crab, Fried Oyster
Heather - Gruyere Croquette w/ Chinese 5 Spice, Apple Ginger Compote + Asian Slaw

Nyesha - Tomate Sauce w/ Coconut and Ras El Hanout Braised Lentils
Whitney - Poached Shrimp, Fennel Pillau, Sauteed Okra, Pancetta

Chris C. - Halibut over Mussels, Andouille, Hajimachi Mushrooms, Veloute w/ Mussels, Lemon Puree
Sarah - Shrimp Poached in Veloute, Braised Fennel + Leeks, Bread Crumbs + Fresh Herbs w/ Tarragon + Fennel Tops

Fearing had questions for several chefs on whether had had used a roux or clarified butter. It appeared that he did not like the answers he received. Dean apparently likes sauces thickened with classic roux.

The results of this were that these chefs had inferior sauces: Dakota, Nyesha, Beverly.
The best sauces were by Grayson, Chris J. and Paul. Grayson was the winner and received immunity for the Elimination Challenge.

Elimination Challenge
The group was to cater the Cattle Baron’s Baron, a fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society held at the South Fork Ranch for 200 guests. The chefs had to team up to do 4 courses, plan for 30 minutes, spend $4000 in 30 minutes at Whole Foods, prep in the Top Chef Kitchen at Le Cordon Bleu School in Dallas 3 hours, then cook the next day for 3 more hours at the South Fork kitchen. All steaks were to be served medium rare. The winner would get a 2012 Toyota Venza SUV, quite a valuable prize.

The courses and chefs responsible were:
#1 Soup – Dakota, Beverly, Sarah
#2 Rib-Eye Steak in a Salad –Chris J, Edward, Paul
#3 Sirloin Steak – TyLor, Whitney, Chris C, Nyesha
#4 Dessert – Heather, Lindsay, Grayson

Due to the fact that Heather and Lindsay finished the cake (similar to the Quinceanera cake) during the prep period, they became expeditors responsible for the overall flow and timing of the other courses. TyLor was assigned to work outside in the 112 degree heat at the grill to mark 200 steaks after stabbing his hand and requiring stitches in a local emergency room overnight.  Heather and Lindsay were to time the firing of them for finishing in the oven. This did not go well and many steaks were fired too early and cold when served. Whitney’s potato gratin was also a bit cold.
The actual dishes served at the Cattle Baron’s Ball were:
Course 1 - Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho, Poached Shrimp, Avocado Mousse
Course 2 - New York Strip Carpaccio, Pistachio Vinaigrette, Mushroom “Bacon”, Red Onion Jam
Course 3 - Grilled Rib Eye, Creamy Potato Gratin, Braised Greens, Thyme Jus
Course 4 - “Right Side Up” Texas Peach Cake, Whipped Mascarpone, Pecan Streusel

The overall response from the judges was that “we expected a lot more from 13 chefs.” One major problem was the lack of coordination on the steaks and another was Whitney’s cold and undercooked potato gratin.

The winner’s group was Chris J., Nyesha and Heather. Heather got the nod and the Venza because her cake was just that special. The loser’s group was TyLor, Whitney and Chris C. Whitney was sent home for her undercooked potato gratin.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on December 08, 2011, 04:57:38 PM
Last Chance Kitchen, Ep. 4

This competition was Whitney vs. Chuy. Tom assigned them lean meat to make a classic American burger. Whitney got elk and Chuy got ostrich. They had what appeared to be 30 minutes to crate and cook. Chuy had to start over on his aioli because his first one broke. A new feature this week was that the past Last Chance Kitchen losers were present to comment and give advice to both chefs. Keith was particularly vocal, while Richie and Andrew were less so. The final composition of the burgers served was:

Chuy – ostrich and ground pork burger (meaning bun, tomato, lettuce) with fresno chili aioli on top and cheddar cheese and bacon on the bottom, onion straws
Whitney – elk with ground pork burger, fried tomato, garlic, shallots, fried egg, black pepper aioli
Tom asked the observers their opinions. Keith said Whitney’s had more flavor. Tom agreed and Whitney was the winner. 
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on December 15, 2011, 04:42:16 PM
TC9, Ep. 5

This episode utilizes Tim Love, owner/chef of Lonesome Dove Bistro and a Top Chef Masters 1 competitor. The Quickfire was to use various brands of Don Julio Tequila to create a dish. One wonders how much of a fee for product placement top Chef got from Don Julio. Here are the tequilas used and the dishes created:

Beverly - Reposado  w/Cold-Smoked Green Tea Oyster
Chris C. - Blanco w/Raw Oyster, Tequila Tapioca Pearl and Sea Salt Air 
Chris J. - Blanco w/Pan-Seared Chicken + Lime Vinaigrette
Dakota - 1942 w/Lamb + Medjool Date Pistou
Edward - Anejo w/Bok Choy Lettuce Wrap + Lamb
Grayson – Anejo w/Sesame Cod + Tequila Brown Sugar Glaze
Heather - Reposado w/Mango Avocado Salad + Rock Shrimp
Lindsay - Anejo w/ Salmon + Fennel Puree, Brown Butter Sauce
Nyesha - Anejo w/Beer Battered Soft-shell Crab + Fennel Salad, Basil Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
Paul - Fried Chicken, Yellow Curry, Watermelon, Fish Sauce
Sarah – Blanco w/ Fennel Risotto + Glazed Scallops
Ty-Lor - 1942 w/ Steamed Clams in Thai Style Fish Caramel Sauce

Tim Love judged the worst dishes to be those of Heather (shrimp not properly cooked), Chris J. (chicken dry) and Sarah (risotto not a good clean dish). The best were those of Chris C., Lindsay and Ty-Lor. The prize was $5,000 although there was no immunity (for reasons which will be evident later this episode). The winner was Ty-Lor, who felt redeemed from a bottom end finish the prior episode.

Tim Love invited the chefs to cook a game dinner for some of his friends who are game-oriented chefs. These pairings were done by some osmosis not evident to the viewer:
Ty-Lor/Edward – Quail for Vinny Ditolo, Los Angeles
Heather/Beverly – Duck; based on the very different work styles of these chefs this was not a match made in heaven; I expected fireworks; for John Currence of Oxford MS
Chris C./Lindsay – Boar for Jon Shook of Los Angeles
Dakota/Nyesha – Venison; Dakota claimed that she has cooked venison “thousands of times” for Bryan Caswell? of Houston
Grayson/Chris J. – Elk for Tim Love of Dallas
Sarah/Paul – Squab for Anita Low of New York City

Each pair of chefs would create and cook one course of a 6 course game dinner. Teams started by spending $200 in 30 minutes at Whole Foods. They then had 3 hours to cook at Le Cordon Bleu. The next morning they cooked again on a staggered 90 minute basis at Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove Bistro. Their creations were as follows:

Beverly/Heather - Five-Spice Duck Breast w/ Creamy Polenta and Pickled Cherries
Lindsay/Chris C. - Roasted Wild Boar w/ Kohlrabi Slaw, Farro Fried Rice
Nyesha/Dakota - Roasted Rack of Venison w/ Kobocha Squash, Beet Gratin
Ty-Lor/Edward - Sorghum Quail w/ Pickled Cherries, Eggplant
Chris J./Grayson - Juniper Roasted Elk w/ Sweet Potato and Bouquet of Citrus Greens
Sarah/Paul - Squab Breast and Sausage w/ Nectarine Pickled

The chefs had to cook enough to handle not only the guest judges and 3 regular judges (Hugh, Padma and Tom), but also all of the other 10 competing chefs.

The guest judges and regular judges picked the winning team, which was Ty-Lor (a double win) and Edward. The competing chefs had 15 minutes to select 3 teams for potential elimination. Padma had made it clear that this was a double elimination episode, so 2 chefs would be leaving. Those selections were:

Beverly/Heather – the total dish was “not together”; no surprise there
Dakota/Nyesha – they knew that Dakota had cooked rare venison when it was supposed to be medium rare; would they walk the plank?
Grayson/Chris J. – no reason given, but they were under the gun to pick some team
Tom stated later that he felt that these were the right 3 teams to be in the figurative hot seat. He also stated that the venison was undercooked.

Heather did not wish to be judged as a team with someone who she clearly despised based on work ethic and style (during the cooking period Beverly had again attempted to hog all the stovetop space until Heather ordered her to cut it out). To me showing disunity before the judges was pure folly, but Heather did not care. She went ahead and lambasted Beverly to make the judges know that Heather might feel responsibility for some of the errors made, but she only wanted to go down by herself. Tom stated to the other judges once the teams had gone back to the stew room that they should judge on the quality of the food they ate and not on the personality conflicts of the chefs.

We came to the final phase of Judges’ Table. Beverly and Heather were criticized heavily for the disunity of their team reflecting in the disunity of the dish they presented.
Nyesha and Dakota were criticized for the undercooked venison once again. Grayson and Chris go off with minor criticism, reflecting no doubt the reality that calling half of the group as Losers was a poor idea to begin with.

Dakota/Nyesha were eliminated. I felt that was the right decision from the end of the eating period.

Next episode Top Chef 9 moves again to Austin.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on December 15, 2011, 05:04:19 PM
Last Chance Kitchen, Ep. 5

This involves a 3-way contest between Nyesha, Dakota and Whitney. The challenge was to use cactus as a main ingredient and use only a wok for 30 minutes cooking. Nyesha is going Asian with her dish. Here are the dishes prepared and presented:

Whitney – cactus +m chicken fried rice w/ sriracha and soy sauce
Nyesha – Asian style scallops, prickly pear garnish, cilantro, Thai basil
Dakota – shrimp tostada w/ watermelon, prickly pear shooter

Tom sampled and made his decision. He then invited the 4 previously eliminated chefs (all male) to sample and comment. They all had fairly equivocal comments. Tom stated that his favorite dish was Nyesha’s. As she had pretty much caused Nyesha’s elimination, Dakota was very pleased Nyesha was getting another chance.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on December 22, 2011, 03:40:21 PM
Top Chef 9, Ep. 6

Padma started this episode with a “pack your bags; we’re moving on to Austin,” the third and last of the host cities for TC9. When the 10 remaining chefs arrived they checked into the Cattle Baton Suite at the Driskill Hotel. Then they went to the cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts where Tom Colicchio was waiting. The challenge was simple and a bit flaky: respond to avant garde Twitter technology by showing your adaptability. Tam and Padma read incoming Tweets from a selected group of Top Chef fans (who presumably were not told what was happening) and they picked a few ideas for use by the chefs. The first idea was to showcase bacon, the second was to add in hash (usually not a good combination with pork) and the third was to pick any ingredient and give it to another chef to use in his/her dish. Edward was given sriracha sauce and he was not thrilled about that. They had 45 minutes to cook.

The judging was by Tom and Padma for $10,000 but no immunity. Here were the dishes prepared and presented:

Beverly-Crispy Pork Belly w/Corn, Bell Pepper, Habanero, Potato Hash (pressure cooked)
Chris C. - Bacon-Wrapped Monkfish w/ Potato, Leek, Bacon Hash
Chris J. - Corn Pure w/ Bacon, Potato Hash, Seared Scallop
Edward - Potato Hash w/ Bacon and Soft Shell Crab Deglazed in Sriracha
Grayson - Shrimp Puff w/ Crispy Bacon Hash Cake
Heather - Smoked Paprika Quail w/ Bacon Jam, Leek Hash
Lindsay - Crispy Soft Shell Crab, Sweet Corn and Bacon Fat Hash, Pickled Okra
Paul – Bacon Fat, Crispy Bacon, Blackberries, Chorizo, Mushroom Hash
Sarah - Pork Sausage Stuffed Cabbage and Spinach w/ Browned Butter
Ty-Lor – Maple-Glazed Bacon w/ Bacon and Kale Hash

The Losers’ Group consisted of Grayson (not enough bacon), Chris J. (salty) and Ed (burned hash and too bitter). The Winners’ Group was Beverly, Sarah and Paul. Paul won the $10,000, giving him a total of $30,000 in 6 episodes. Not too shabby for him!

Elimination Challenge
The Elimination Challenge started when the chefs were relaxing at a bar and the pianist introduced Patti LaBelle (now, what would she be doing with her famous voice singing for maybe 30 people in a bar in Austin?). Nobody seemed to catch on until Padma came out from behind the curtain and announced that Patti is a cookbook author and would be a Guest Judge along with 2 of her friends. The task was for each chef to identify their culinary inspiration and create a menu to honor that individual (this type of challenge usually comes later in a top Chef season).  The chefs had the usual 30 minutes and $200 to shop for their meal preparation. Then they had 2 hours to cook.

Here is what they chose:
Beverly - - Korean Braised Short Rib w/ Edamame Scallion Puree, Hon Shimeji Mushrooms
Chris C. - Sockeye Salmon w/ Confit Potato and Brown Sugar Carrot Puree
Chris J. - Lemon-Pepper Steak w/ Baked Potato, Vegetables
Edward - Modern Bibimbap (the only vegetarian dish) w/ Lemon-Chili Sauce
Grayson - Grilled Rib Eye Steak (12oz., what was she thinking?) w/ German Potato Salad, Grilled Vegetables
Heather - Beef Stroganoff w/ Herb Spaetzle, Roasted Wild Mushrooms
Lindsay - Trout Spanakopita w/ Crispy Leeks and Rainbow Trout Roe
Paul - Quail Adobo and Ginger Rice w/ Green Mango Salsa
Sarah - Burrata Stuffed Squash Blossom w/ Bacon, Zucchini Hash
Ty-Lor – Duck Fat-Fried Chicken Tender w/ Pickled Peaches 

The judges made several comments while dining on staggered groups of 2 meals:
Chris J. – salmon albumen (which he knew was a problem but could not fix) disgusting
Chris C. – steak overcooked, far too much dill
Grayson – cut of meat was stringy, not tasty
Heather – dumplings dried out, meat grisly
Edward – Emeril loved his bibimbap
Lindsay – Emeril and Padma said the roe was great
Sarah – good dish
Ty-Lor – very good dish

The first 3 called in were Heather, Chris C. and Grayson. It appeared to me that, unlike the usual practice and to keep the chefs off balance, this would be the Losers’ Group. It was. Grayson was criticized for trying to copy her father’s recipe too closely and not adapting it to a generation later. Chris C. overseared his steak, so the judges were critical. Heather also overcooked her dumplings and her stroganoff was difficult to eat, as she had not used a pressure cooker to tenderize it and was only braising it.

The Winners’ Group was Beverly, Sarah and Edward. Emeril praised Beverly for “showing lots of technique.” Sarah was praised for her beautiful and tasty dish. Edward was praised for another beautiful dish with particularly tasty mushrooms.  Sarah got the nod from the judges.

When the Judges’ Table came back to the Losers’ Group, the phrase “lack of imagination” was tagged onto Grayson. The negatives about Chris C. did not appear to be serious enough for him to be eliminated. Both Heather and Grayson were in trouble as a result of their selection of cuts of meat. Heather was the one eliminated.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on December 22, 2011, 03:41:09 PM
Last Chance Kitchen Ep. 6

This battle was Heather vs. Nyesha. The tasks were to utilize frying, injecting and foaming in a half-hour in the preparation of one dish. The dishes prepared were:

Heather – fried Gulf shrimp w/ smoked paprika and porcini mushroom foam

Nyesha – brown butter foam and beignet injected w/ caramel sauce

Tom said they were both good, but Heather overcooked her shrimp and so the win went again to Nyesha. The “peanut gallery” did not have much impact on this one.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 07, 2012, 09:50:52 PM
TC9, Ep. 7

The Guest Judge was Nathan Myhrvold, author of the $625 6 volume 52 pound cookbook Modernist Cuisine. He was Microsoft’s Chief Technology Officer and he is the founder of the globally respected “Intellectual Ventures” think tank. The Quickfire was for the chefs to create the best modernist cuisine dish in 30 minutes. The winner would get the cookbook plus immunity.  The dishes created and presented were:

Beverly - Curry Whipped Cream, Flash Steamed Clams and Mussels, Mango Chili, Cucumber, Radish
Chris C. – risotto foam, scallops, brown butter dust
Chris J. - Miracle Berry, Lemon Deconstructed Cheesecake, Lemon/Lime Spritzer
Edward - Compressed Watermelon with Brunoise of Radish, Salmon Belly Sashimi, and Orange Pulp
Grayson - trout sashimi with dill caviar, pickled watermelon, cucumber and radish
Lindsay – marinated baby octopus with sea beans and togarashi
Paul - endive salad with egg yolk
Sarah - Breakfast Raviolo, Pancetta, and Egg Yolk
Ty-Lor - watermelon with vanilla bean honey, saffron, and salted olive oil powder

Myhrvold rated as worst dishes Paul (insufficient depth of flavor), Beverly and Grayson (too simple). The best were Ty-Lor (a watermelon with tapioca maltodextrin), Beverly and Chris J. (an intense flavor bean that turned the following lemon flavor into tangerine flavor). The winner of immunity and the cookbook was Ty-Lor.

Elimination Challenge
These teams were created by chefs banding together:
RED – Ty-Lor, Ed, Sarah
WHITE – Chris C., Chris J., Beverly
BLUE – Grayson, Paul, Whitney
The task was to cook plates for 300 guests at the Salt Lick Restaurant consisting of beef brisket BBQ, pork ribs BBQ and chicken BBQ plus 2 side dishes. Each team had $1000 at Whole Foods and $1000 at Restaurant Depot (primarily for meat) to buy in 30 minutes at each place. The teams were given a demonstration of the inside BBQ pit of the Salt Lick by its owner, but they were actually cooking all night and the next morning outside in the broiling Texas heat at the Onion Creek outside BBQ pits. Tom Colicchio came by to tell them that the winning team would get $15,000 to split. The mentality of Top Chef producers to force chefs to show that they can “do whatever it takes” may be misplaced when no sleep and heat prostration become critical. It backfired when Sarah got heat prostration and had to be taken away by an EMT to a local hospital, to return only as the judges arrived for sampling the RED team’s plate.

The RED team was using Ty-Lor’s Kansas City-style dry rub. The WHITE team used Chris J.’s beer can style chicken and Dr. Pepper in the ribs. The BLUE team was using Asian spices on its BBQ. Will that sell in Texas?

The plates actually created were:
RED – Texas chicken, Kansas City Style Pork Ribs, Smoked Brisket, Poppy Seed Cole Slaw, Pinto Beans
WHITE – Smoked Brisket with Spiced Barbeque Sauce, Sweet N Sticky Pork Ribs with Dr. Pepper Glaze, Pit Roasted Beer Can Chicken, Coleslaw and Bourbon Baked Beans
BLUE - Smoked Brisket with Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Curry BBQ Chicken, Caramel Miso Pork Rib, Watermelon Salad and Nouc Mam

Comments from the judges while eating were:
BLUE – ribs excellent, cilantro watermelon great
WHITE – salty, chewy
RED – ribs chewy, brisket flavor really good

The BLUE team was judged the winner for doing a first-class job of cooking and seasoning the meats.

Comments by the judges at JUDGES TABLE were:
WHITE – too salty due to Chris C. marinades and sauces for all the meats, meat cooking by Chris J. not done correctly, a number of mistakes made by Beverly, including cole slaw that was neither acidic enough nor original enough, beans undercooked and chicken skin not crisp enough
RED – ribs chewy, Sarah’s chicken poorly done, Ty-Lor and Ed did not get it done, partly a result of his decision to slice his meat too early

In the final analysis, the judges believed that there were plenty of mistakes for each and every one of these 6. Ty-Lor was immune or he might have been eliminated. The worst was judged to be Chris C.

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 08, 2012, 02:15:10 PM

This was Chris Crary versus Nyesha. There were given the classic gas station ingredient challenge with 15 minutes and $20 to buy and 30 minutes to cook. Nyesha ‘s dish was:
Beer-glazed smoked,  sausage w/pork rind  twill, chili cheese sauce
Chris – togarashi spiced tomato soup, spiced pork rinds, grilled cheese w/ fried ham, pickle

Tom judged Nyesha the 3-time winner, so she stayed alive.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: spauline on January 10, 2012, 10:57:01 PM
Top Chef has really taken quite a huge recognition with being able to come up with big names for the culinary industry but seems to have lost quite its touch in terms of audience turnover.  I think that the drama some shows are able to bring out though nothing really contributing to the show is enough to sway viewers to other shows.  I am talking about Hell's Kitchen and though it attacks the topic differently has taken some ranks higher.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 11, 2012, 11:27:04 AM

I looked into this and Top Chef despite its Emmy Award has sunk to about 2 million viewers last week. The most recent Hell's Kitchen, which was a finale, got 5.85 million.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: DavidJunior on January 12, 2012, 08:56:10 PM
Hell's Kitchen is the most ridiculous reality competition show that I've seen

The fact that you can be on the winning team and still get eliminated solely because the head (only) judge felt like it/doesn't like you is completely ludicrous.  There is no rhyme or reason to the structure of the eliminations.

If I wanted to watch someone pick and choose who stays in such a way, I'd watch the Bachelor (which I don't)

Back on topic of Top Chef, I loved this week's episode, especially due to the elimination

Overall, however I feel like this season has been kinda blah... No more team tasks please!
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 13, 2012, 10:08:12 AM
Hell's Kitchen is the most ridiculous reality competition show that I've seen

The fact that you can be on the winning team and still get eliminated solely because the head (only) judge felt like it/doesn't like you is completely ludicrous.  There is no rhyme or reason to the structure of the eliminations.

If I wanted to watch someone pick and choose who stays in such a way, I'd watch the Bachelor (which I don't)

Back on topic of Top Chef, I loved this week's episode, especially due to the elimination

Overall, however I feel like this season has been kinda blah... No more team tasks please!


Your comment is mostly about Hell's Kitchen, so I will deal with that first:
Yes, Gordon Ramsay is the only judge of anything significant on HK (although he does sometimes bring in celebrity judges for the challenges). This has the potential to be arbitrary. However, please cite me a few instances in 9 seasons of Hell's Kitchen where a truly bad elimination was made.

For Top Chef Ty-Lor had been winning some Quick-Fires and Elimination Challenges, so I did not expect that he would be next out. I agree with you on team tasks, as they do put some chefs at a disadvantage since frequently they still have to create at least one dish and depend on another chef to cook it.

For those interested in more information on both series, I can recommend these books(both available through
Chef Wars: Hell's Kitchen
Chef Wars: Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, Top Chef-Just Desserts
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: DavidJunior on January 13, 2012, 02:04:33 PM
Okay, none of the eliminations were bad necessarily... I just get annoyed as a viewer that you could be on the winning team and still go home.  If the competitor was truly that bad they would screw it up for their team eventually and then you could boot them, or wait until it gets to be more of an individual competition, so you can get rid of them when they start floundering there.

I don't know, I just like it to be more structured and by the books.  The show is just too free-flowing in the elimination department for me to truly enjoy it  :duno:
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: TexasLady on January 15, 2012, 08:13:27 PM
I've been behind but catching up. I've enjoyed watching this season because it's been filmed in Texas and especially San Antonio and Austin. I need to watch Restaurant Wars and then I'll be all caught up.  :tup: 
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 17, 2012, 09:25:54 PM
Top Chef 9, Ep. 8

There was no Quickfire, as this episode was to create your own pop-up restaurant. The teams were the 4 male chefs versus the 4 female chefs. The ultimate goal was Restaurant Wars, to create a 3 course meal for 100. Many steps were required first. Menus were created and the restaurant named (The Canteen for the men and Half Bushel for the women). There were 2 teams of 4 each and they sent a subset to Whole Foods with $4000 to be spent in 1 hour and another to Sur La Table to buy furniture and fixtures with $7500. The furniture and fixtures had to be delivered and the individual designated by each team (Edward and Lindsay) as Front of the House had to oversee the process of turning the former dining room of the Palme D’Or into their dining room. Making it presentable was completed just in time. The men cooked first and the women dined, then they swapped roles. I want to note that both Edward and Lindsay still had responsibility for one menu item even though they could not actually cook it, requiring delegation to someone else. Teams were having the kitchen at quite separate times, with the opportunity to eat their competition’s food.

Beverly - Braised Short Rib over Thai Basil Potato Puree, Appleslaw, Kimchi
Grayson +Lindsay - Crispy Skin Pork Belly w/Green Apple, Sweet Potato Puree, red curry
Grayson +Lindsay - Summer Peach Salad w/ Pickled Shallots, Bacon Vinaigrette, Candied Pistachios
Lindsay - Grilled Halibut with Spanish Chorizo, Fennel and Sherry Salad
Sarah - Mozzarella Filled Arancino (Risotto equivalent), Celery Salad
Sarah - Hazelnut Creme Italian Doughnuts with Banana Sugar Glaze
Grayson – Schaum Torte with Vanilla Meringue and Champagne Berries

Chris J. - Cracker Jack Ice Cream, Cherries and Frozen Peanut Butter
Edward - Almond Joy Cake w/ Malted Chocolate Mousse, in Banana Coconut Puree
Paul - Ham and Pork Pate w/ Mushrooms, Braised Mustard Seeds, Duck Fat Coated Crostini
Paul - Crispy Skin Pork Belly w/Green Apple, Sweet Potato Puree

Ty-Lor - Thai Style Crab and Shrimp Salad with Caramel Fish Sauce and Peanuts
Paul and Ty - Poached Salmon Warm Tomato Water, Clams, Mushrooms, Tomatillo Jam

I don’t quite see how Lindsay will have a hand in 3 dishes plus act as Front of the house, but she didn’t ask me. During the male kitchen stint, the question of who would expedite came up, but it was never resolved satisfactorily. Lindsay tried to cheat back in the kitchen, but this resulted in poor communications from the dining room. Sarah speared to be personally attacking Beverly in the dish selection process and during cooking.

The men had better service, but the women better food. They won and Beverly was the individual winner of a 3 Liter bottle of a gourmet wine plus a trip for 2 to Napa Valley to personally check out vineyards. One of the men will be going home.

The judges (Tom, Hugh, Padma, Emeril) found plenty to criticize from each of the men’s dishes:
Ty-Lor – major seasoning issues
Chris J. – his dessert was a mess
Edward – stayed out of trouble doing a good job as Front of House
Paul – greasy brioche
So that left the judges with no alternative but to eliminate Ty-Lor.

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 17, 2012, 09:26:53 PM
Last-Chance Kitchen Ep. 8

The challenge was to utilize a sous-chef to cook a pastry in 30 minutes. Nyesha chose Heather as her sous chef. Ty-Lor went with Chris Crary. The dishes created were:
Nyesha – Coconut and Lime Tart with Coconut Crème Fraiche Mousse and Caramel Sauce
Ty-Lor - Puff Pastry with Park Chocolate Mascarpone Cream, Vanilla Bean Rum Cherries and Caramel Sauce

Tom found mistakes in the mascarpone, so he awarded her fourth consecutive victory to Nyesha.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 20, 2012, 08:29:31 AM
Top Chef 9, Ep. 9

One thing I believed would happen before this episode finished was the elimination of a female chef to even the male/female ratio at 3 to 3.

The Quickfire used as Guest Judge the venerable Eric Ripert. It was a difficult challenge that tested the chefs’ abilities to make quick decisions. A fast-moving conveyor belt delivered a constantly changing array of ingredients. Eric Ripert stated that there was a basic tradeoff, since the best ingredients would arrive relatively late and delaying cooking may not be the best approach. Some chefs “waited for it” and some did not. The chefs had 30 minutes to select and cook. Each chef had to use 3 ingredients to make a sophisticated dish:

Beverly – Sockeye Salmon, tofu, curried Rice Krispies
Chris J. – Lobster, Foie Gras, vanilla
Edward - Sauerkraut, Shrimp, Black Truffle, macadamia nuts
Grayson – Dover Sole, Goldfish, grapefruit
Lindsay – fish, clams, pernod
Paul – mussels, bitter melon, saffron
Sarah – Soft-Shell Crabs, Cottage Cheese, artichokes

Beverly – Glazed Sockeye Salmon and Black Eyed-Peas, without the Rice Krispies left off due to the clock
Chris J. - Butter Poached Lobster with Foie Gras
Edward – Sauerkraut Soup, Shrimp with Shaved Truffle
Grayson – Butter Poached Dover Sole w/ Goldfish, Rosemary
Lindsay – Bouillabaisse in Fennel-Pernod Broth
Paul – Mussels in Ginger + Bitter Melon Broth
Sarah – Fried Soft-Shell Crab w/ Cottage Cheese Sauce

Ripert rated these dishes in the Worst category: Chris J. (it did not come together), Grayson, Paul. He rated as Best before her disqualification for a rules violation Beverly’s dish. That meant that between Lindsay and Sarah Lindsay was the winner of immunity for the Elimination Challenge.

Elimination Challenge
The task was a gothic feast for a dark queen demanding indulgence and risk taking. The chefs had 2 hours to create one dish out of a 7 course menu for a dark Queen, specifically the only being played by actress Charlize Theron in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman. She arrived to be another Guest Judge with Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Emeril Lagasse and Eric Ripert. The chefs felt totally inspired cooing for an A-list actress who is also a foodie.

Each chef went to Whole Foods to spend $250 in 30 minutes. Paul’s dish started with 14 components even though he lost 2 during the cooking process. The dishes created and presented were:
Beverly – Seared Halibut with Red Curry Coulis and Forbidden Rice
Chris J. - Poisoned Apple and Cherry Pie
Edward – Tuna Tartare w/ Black Garlic Ponzu, Asian Pear Vinaigrette
Grayson – Black Chicken w/ Beets, Quail Egg, Foie Gras
Lindsay – Seared Scallop over "Witch’s Stew” (short ribs), Dragon Beans
Paul – "enchanted forest" of foie gras, bacon, beets, strawberries and pickled jalapenos, plus a bloody handprint on the middle of the plate
Sarah – Amarone (red wine) Risotto w/spiced Lamb Heart

The comments of the diners were really positive for all chefs:
Edward – sauce excellent, tartare very good, perfect manifestation of good vs. evil
Paul – beautiful and scary
Beverly – forbidden rice great, fish cooked perfectly
Lindsay – scallops were perfection
Sarah – flavorful
Grayson – vinegar for beets perfect
Chris J. – center of his pie was perfectly cooked but moist
So all the chefs had dishes that were way above average in quality. Who would win and who would lose? Paul’s dish was judged to be best, so he won a trip for 2 to the premier of Snow White and the Huntsman. Lindsay, Edward and Chris J. were all excused for exemplary performance. The group of just really good performances was Beverly, Sarah and Grayson. In spite of being told that her rice was perfect and her fish perfect, Beverly’s dish had sticky sauces. Sarah’s risotto was overcooked. Grayson had greens oversalted and with foie gras disconnected from the rest of the dish. Beverly was eliminated.

Did you notice that this takes the male to female chef ratio to 3:3 as I expected.

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 20, 2012, 08:30:11 AM
Last Chance Kitchen Ep. 9

This pitted reigning champion Nyesha against Beverly. The challenge started off as a simple “go get all your ingredients and cooking implements in one pass because you will not get another chance” with black drum as the fish to cook in 30- minutes. Tom asked the peanut gallery of fully eliminated chefs (most of whom had lost to Nyesha) who they thought would win and it appeared unanimous for Nyesha. Both Nyesha and Beverly expressed self-confidence. However, a short time after starting Tom called for a twist, to have each chef switch stations, leaving everything behind. So Beverly was cooking with Nyesha’s original ingredients and Nyesha with Beverly’s. These are the dishes created and presented:

Beverly – seared black drum w/ oranges, fennel, black olives

Nyesha – seared black drum w/ julienne of tri-pepper, slaw, pineapple chutney

Tom asked Nyesha if Beverly’s finished dish was “what Nyesha had had in mine?” She replied no. Tom stated that the pineapple chutney was superb. However, Nyesha’s dish was slightly underseasoned. Victory went to Beverly.

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: DavidJunior on January 21, 2012, 03:19:23 PM
Was personally a little sad that Beverly got eliminated, although she was pretty inconsistent and a little haphazard

And I was really sad to see her beat Nyesha, I wanted to see her make it back in the competition, but as they always say, pride comes before the fall, and Nyesha was a little over-confident going into this last chance kitchen
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: TexasLady on January 21, 2012, 03:50:19 PM
I haven't liked the way Beverly has been treated, there's been no respect for her at all. Every year there is someone who is disregarded and not given a voice, this was/is her year. I know the answer is to speak up and make your self heard. Right! Never happens. I am surprised that she beat Nyesha in the Last Chance challenge.

I've been trying to figure out why this season hasn't been as good for me. It's not the quality of the chefs, I think it's because so many of the scenes are in dark places, like the Driskill hotel and some of the other dining rooms, not to mention the last challenge. I also felt bad for them having to cook out doors because we not only had a major drought but 100º + heat when this was filmed.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 22, 2012, 03:38:12 PM
It's time for me to make a fearless prediction on the outcome of Top Chef 9. Let's start with who I expect the next two eliminees to be. That would be Grayson and Chris Jones. The next tier eliminated is likely to be Edward and Sarah. That leaves the two fighting for the title as Lindsay and Paul. It will be Paul with a clearcut victory. I have actually felt that he would win for about the last 6 episodes.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 26, 2012, 04:55:16 PM
TC9, Ep. 9

There are 6 chefs remaining, so they are paired up with an unstated logic (or maybe just as they were standing next to each other) for a Quickfire with a $10,000 per team prize. Cat Cora was the Guest Judge, probably to allow Bravo product placement on a new “Around the World in 80 Plates” series with her and Curtis Stone starting in May 2012. The Quickfire task was for a pair in 40 minutes to shell, devein and butterfly 2 pounds of shrimp, create and roll out 1 pound of fettucine and cut a reasonable portion of corn kernels off a bushel full of ears. A team could not move on to cooking until they finished all the mise en place tasks. The quickest team was not able to start cooking until only 10 minutes left. All teams attempted to rest their pasta dough before rolling and cutting the fettucine.

The dishes created were:
Edward and Paul – Fettuccine w/ Corn, Zucchini Flowers, Chanterelle Mushrooms,  Parmesan (but no required shrimp)
Chris J. and Grayson – Fettuccine, Toasted Corn, Poached Shrimp, Chili, Bacon, Rosemary
Lindsay and Sarah – Fettuccine w/ Corn Milk, Shrimp, Tarragon, Parsley

Paul distracted himself with frills and failed to get the shrimp onto the plate, so that team was disqualified. Chris and Grayson were the winners, very possibly because Cat Cora did not like the overuse of tarragon by Lindsay and Sarah.

Padma explained that there was a Healthy Choice outdoor Block Party event for 200 contributors to the San Antonio Food Bank that was to focus on the company name, healthy choices and have an end product that was light and low calorie but still fully tasty. The pairs were split into competing duos, with the one in each duo with the most “customer” votes sent to the winning group. The prize of $15,000 would be given to the best dish from the 3 winners. Each duo had to agree on the overall concept that would guide both their dishes. Those were:

Edward and Paul – BBQ spare ribs with Asian pickled vegetables
Chris J. and Grayson – chicken sandwich with cups of fresh fruit, including watermelon
Lindsay and Sarah – meatballs and vegetable salad

From that point, the competitor mode took over. Each individual had $600 and 40 minutes to shop at the Broadway Market. Lindsay went with lamb and veal for her meatballs while Sarah went with turkey. Chris went with tofu emulsion instead of mayonnaise. Edward substituted for ketchup a kimchi/chipotle blend. Grayson elected to make each serving to order, which slowed down her service a great deal but led to better freshness and probably also flavor. Lindsay substituted chickpea flour for regular flour. Teams had 2.5 hours to cook and then an additional 45 minutes to set up.

The key elements of the actual dishes prepared were:
Edward – Open Face Kalbi w/ short ribs, Kimchi Chipotle Puree, Pickled Cucumber, and Daikon on a steamed bun
Paul – Korean BBQ Kalbi w/ turkey ribs and eggplant, white peach kimchi, ssam

Chris J. – Chicken Salad Sandwich with Tofu emulsion “Mayo,” Red Lettuce, Watermelon Fruit Salad, pineapple-watermelon smoothie, chopped fruit
Grayson – Chicken Salad Sandwich w/ Arugula, Pickled Red Onion, Feta Watermelon Salad w/ Pumpkin Seeds

Lindsay – lamb + veal Mediterranean meatball w/ Greek lemon yogurt, Greek salad of quinoa, black-eyed peas, Grenache vinaigrette
Sarah – Calabrese-style turkey meatball and summer vegetable salad

The panel of judges deciding was Cat Cora, Padma, Tom and Emeril. Dana Cowin joined to sample comment only. Ryan Scott from Top Chef 4 was there representing Healthy Choice and he sampled and commented too.

The commentary from the judges’ sampling was:
Edward – dry
Paul – “absolutely brilliant” (how do you beat that?) and very tasty
Grayson – serving to order a great idea; flavor limited
Chris J. – watermelon salad tasty
Lindsay – original, tasty
Sarah – healthy, good sauce

The close pairing was between Lindsay and Sarah. Lindsay won that pairing to be considered by the judges against Paul and Grayson. It was Paul by a mile, winning $15,000. That left the other 3 chefs to be considered for elimination from the losers’ group. Comments on them were:

Ed – short rib fat was trimmed off and that was the best part; tough; chewy
Chris – should have made it to order to be competitive
Sarah – salad inconsistent (Tom liked it, Dana did not)

It was clear from the tone of the comments that Sarah would be safe from elimination. The decision was between Chris and Edward. Chris was judged less worthy, with the overview that he scurried around with great ideas but failed in his execution.

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 26, 2012, 04:56:10 PM

This was Beverly versus Chris J. Each had a cook a meal from all of the ingredients contained in a first mystery box, then a second one and finally a third one. Those ingredients were:
Pine Nuts
White anchovy

Chris made grilled lamb with sweet puree, pine nuts, apple, radicchio salad, pancetta

Beverly made grilled lamb chops w/ parsnips, curry, radicchio, white anchovy vinaigrette

Tom had the usual nice things to say about both dishes. He named Beverly the winner and said that the winner of the next Last Chance Kitchen battle will go directly back into the main field.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on January 26, 2012, 05:17:23 PM
There is a competition of selected former Top Chef competitors with a $25,000 prize. The competitors were:

Sara Nguyen, TC3, 9th place
Casey Thompson, TC3 3rd place (still the easiest-to-look-at competitor in all Top Chef seasons combined)
Tre Wilcox   , TC3 8th place
Ryan Scott   , TC4 11th place

You can watch this at The first and second episodes are there and the string of episodes 3, 4 and 5 will just automatically load afterward.
The first episode was a Quickfire with one elimination. the second episode was Elimination Challenge cooking followed by 3 minutes of faux on-camera explanation of how to make that dish, with another elimination. Episode 3 was the finale cooking. Episodes 4 and 5 were the discussion of that.

I will tell you that the winner of $25,000 plus being awarded the position of Healthy Choice Ambassador (which was obvious if you observed TC9, Episode 9) was Ryan 
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 02, 2012, 06:50:31 PM
TC9, Ep. 10

The Guest Judge for this episode was Pee-Wee Herman, who really qualifies as a foodie
. His favorite food is pancakes, so that was what the chefs had to cook. They had 20 minutes to wow him and chose these dishes for a $5000 prize:

Edward - Pancake bits w/ raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, bacon, bruleed marshmallows, chocolate shavings.
Grayson - Ricotta buttermilk pancakes w/ peach compote, blackberry, basil, lemon zest carafe of syrup
Lindsay – Ricotta pancake w/ lemon, cardamom, brown butter syrup, crème fraiche, macaron almond, anise cookies
Paul – Rolled pancake w/ berries, black pepper, champagne Dipping Dots
Sarah - Confetti pancakes w/ blackberry sauce, cocoa nibs, vanilla whipped cream

The winner of the Quickfire and its prize was Edward.


This is a strange and difficult one. The chefs had to find and buy with $100 ingredients and then cook a family-style meal for Pee-Wee and the judges, but they have to bike around town finding those ingredients and borrowing kitchens for prep space. Only one chef can use any kitchen at one time. 3 hours were provided for self-transport, buying ingredients, negotiating with a place to cook and actually cooking there.

Paul chose a Belgian-Thai bistro. Ed went to a bed-and-breakfast. Grayson went to the Mexican restaurant Rosario’s. Lindsay needed additional ingredients so she left Mad Hatters, the site of her cooking, to get them; in the interim Sarah found that place and claimed it. Lindsay had to find Frank’s Hog Stand. The dishes created for serving at The Alamo were:

Edward - Chicken + Grits, Raw Corn, Kale Salad w/ Red-Eye Gravy
Grayson - Egg, Spinach & Gorgonzola Stuffed Chicken & Butternut Squash
Lindsay – Stuffed Zucchini w/ Braised Beef Cheeks, Rice, Goat Cheese
Paul – Roasted Chicken, Red Curry Gastrique, Summer Salad w/ Basil Blossom Oil
Sarah - Summer Vegetable Egg Salad w/ Chicken Skin Vinaigrette

Comments on the dishes were:
Lindsay – great flavor
Paul – beautiful, a little sweet, not perfectly balanced
Grayson – huge portion and high fat didn’t fit “health” concept; tomatoes and butternut squash not good combination
Sarah – underseasoned, too much vinaigrette
Edward – poaching chicken in beef fat a mistake; rubbery; undercooked

Based on the Judges’ Table discussion, you would conclude that Edward would be eliminated but, as frequently the case, you would be wrong. Top Chef producers delight in misleading
by withholding information.

Lindsay won and Paul was safe. That left the elimination decision between Grayson, Sarah and Edward. Grayson was eliminated. Tom admitted to the 4 remaining chefs that a 5th would be joining them from “a parallel competition.”
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 02, 2012, 06:51:24 PM

This was Grayson versus Beverly with the winner regaining the main field to compete with the 4 chefs for the grand prize. The challenge was simple but difficult: cook a meal worthy of being in the Top Chef finale in 30 minutes.

Beverly elected this dish: red snapper in coconut broth infused w/ lemongrass, ginger, Thai basil, cilantro, fennel salad

Grayson elected: bacon-seared scallops w/gastrique of cherry and champagne grapes w/ pistachio and tarragon

Tom made his usual comments about Grayson’s dish having perfectly cooked scallops but a little grey in color and Beverly’s Asian flavors a bit sweet. I expected the usual resolution of Last Chance Kitchen in this final episode of it, but Tom (or the producers) was playing with the audience. We have to wait for the beginning of the next regular episode (ep. 11) to see who shows up. I predict that it will be Grayson. 

There was an example of Lindsay out of control.

Sarah was pissed off that Andy Cohen pushed her with a statement from the crew that Sarah felt like she had been robbed of the win. She assured a national television audience that it was not so.

Heather, Sarah and Lindsay were shown through clips to be queens of mean.

The drive from San Antonio to Dallas had a planned "mystery stop" so the chefs were not totally blindsided. The question from Edward or Paul (I think) while driving after that stop to Sarah was if she had a choice of a night with maser chef John Besh or $1000 which would she choose. She chose Besh  (but of course couldn't do anything about that).

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: franxaverian on February 04, 2012, 08:17:52 PM
If Beverly comes back in, it will be so interesting that 3 out of the 5 chefs left are from the third qualifying round (Lindsay, Paul and Bev).  ;)
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: Squall on February 05, 2012, 01:38:49 AM
I think it's Beverly that's coming back, but I so wish it was Nyesha, she kicked ass.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 10, 2012, 10:24:54 PM
Top Chef 9, Ep. 11

This episode started with the revelation that Last chance Kitchen had been won by Beverly over Grayson. That put Bevely back into the mix with Edward, Lindsay, Paul and Sarah. The Quickfire was judged by Tom and Padma and based the objective was to

The competitors had the usual 30 minutes to select ingredients blindfolded and then cook regularly. Here are the dishes they created:

Beverly – Striped Bass with Avocado, Lime and Jalapeno
Edward – “Udon” with Ribbons of Zucchini and Mushrooms
Lindsay – Fish with Bulgur Wheat, Mascarpone and Broccoli Rabe
Paul – Sauteed Prawn with Thai Tomato Soup
Sarah – Corn Soup with Onion, Red Chili and Peaches

The winner would have the choice of a guaranteed spot in the finals or a Toyota Prius V. Commentary from Tom was:
Beverly – fish undercooked
Paul – prawn undercooked
Sarah – very ambitious combination that could either work or be awful; this worked

Sarah was the winner. She chose to take the guaranteed spot in the finals. That meant that there was a Prius V sitting around for the Elimination challenge top performer to win.


The chefs other than Sarah were re-introduced to their primary culinary career mentors:
Beverly – Sarah Stegner
Edward – Frank Crispo
Lindsay – Michelle Bernstein
Paul – Tyson Cole
Sarah – was permitted to have a nice day off with Tony Mantuano

The chefs had $500 for ingredients to be spent in 30 minutes. They would prep for 2.5 hours and cook for 1 hour the next day in Citrus Restaurant of Valencia Hotel
The first major milestone was that Ed was looking for fresh clams none of which were  available, so he settled for tins of clams instead. Paul’s vegetable soup with a cream sauce which had 14 components, so he considered it great skill to bring them all together properly. Lindsay went with a seafood stew with cream. Beverly was going to cook her final dishes in 2 woks, which all agreed was quite difficult.

These were the final dishes presented:
Beverly – Gulf Shrimp and BBQ Pork Curried Singapore Noodles
Edward – Pork Belly and Oyster Crema with Pickled Vegetables
Lindsay – Seafood “Stew” with Couscous
Paul – Chilled Sunchoke Dashi Soup with Vegetables

Paul and Beverly were selected as the top 2. Paul won because of the perfection of his soup and he got the Prius, but they both got spots in the finale. That left the battle to not be eliminated between Lindsay and Edward. Lindsay made mistakes, principally using the cream in her soup (conflicting with her flavors) and a massive overdose of dried herbs. Edward had misconceived the dish from when he bought the tinned clams and his development of a smoked oyster sauce was a bad choice. That was enough to get him eliminated and Lindsay into the finale.

The finale appears to be in Whistler, British Columbia.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 10, 2012, 10:29:16 PM
In post #45, I predicted that it would b e Paul vs. Lindsay as the two best chefs. I still think that. Sarah also made it in, but Edward was displaced by Beverly. I don't think either one of those has sufficient culinary skills to beat either Paul or Lindsay. We'll see within the next 2 weeks. 
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: TexasLady on February 10, 2012, 10:44:46 PM
I was sorry to see Ed eliminated. He made the fatal mistake of buying canned clams. I don't think Sarah is capable of winning but I've been wrong before, Beverly does have skills but I don't see her making final 2 either so I have to agree with your choices apskip.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: kiki on February 10, 2012, 11:33:30 PM
If Ed had made it to the F4 he would have  a chance in winning but as it is I agree that the fight will be between Paul and Lindsay, with Paul being slightly ahead, as he has been more consistent so far. Sarah is not that strong and Beverly so far has cooked well only Asian food, she hasn't shown a diversity in her plates, which is necessary to win.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 16, 2012, 04:27:53 PM
Top Chef Ep. 12

The 4 remaining chefs arrive at Vancouver international airport and receive instructions from Padma to get to the top of the mountain at Whistler, a major ski resort 70 miles away and site of the snow-based events for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Padma announced there would be 3 “events” in their Culinary Olympics with the winner of each receiving $10,000 and going to the finale back in Vancouver.

The chefs learned that they would be doing “speed cooking” on a moving gondola in the 22 minutes it took to get from one mountain peak to another. They were given a wide range of really first-class looking ingredients but marginal cooking equipment. While the gondola was moving, they had to get out at a specific point and pick an ingredient that they must use. Paul picked wasabi, Sarah prune juice, Beverly horseradish and Lindsay horseradish. Here is what they created under these conditions:
Paul – seared lamb loin w/Cinnamon Gastrique, enoki mushrooms, fresh juniper, wasabi
Sarah - Chorizo Sausage w/ Gooseberry Sauce, Pickled Mushrooms 
Beverly –salmon tartare with anchovy, horseradish crème fraiche, and crispy capers
Lindsay – seared salmon with red quinoa “risotto”, chorizo, and horseradish vinaigrette

The commentary indicated that Paul came up short, Sarah was #3 and the battle for #1 between Lindsay and Beverly.

The second event was to chip away at huge blocks of ice and unleash the ingredient that was inside. Chefs had to do this enough times to have sufficient ingredients for a decent dish. Paul gave a lot of help to both of his less-strong competitors. Here was what they created;

Sarah – spinach soup w/almonds and crab
Paul - Brown butter poached king crab w/ mango chutney
Beverly – seared scallop w/ orange slices, red wine reduction, buttered peas, couscous

This time Paul was #1, Beverly #2 and Sarah #3.

The final event was a culinary biathlon between Beverly and Sarah. Beverly had the edge for the cross country ski portion and finished minutes ahead of Sarah. That gave her the opportunity to start shooting for whatever ingredients she wanted. She ended up with arctic char, celery root, truffles, fennel and beets. Sarah got rabbit, cherries, cabbage and hazlenuts

The dishes created were:
Beverly – beet + onion compote, celery root truffle puree, arctic char, fennel salad
Sarah - Braised rabbit leg + heart, cherries, cabbage puree and hazelnut sauce

This evaluation was very close but Beverly’s char was overcooked and overpowered by her other ingredients and that was the difference. Sarah was steady on her flavors throughout. Sarah was going to Vancouver and Beverly was going home.

There were 3 Olympic gold medal winners who participated in the judging (Gretchen Gleiler in halfpipe snowboarding, James Montgomery in skeleton, Cammie Granato for women’s ice hockey) were pretty useful as judges for a culinary competition, as what I heard from them was gradations of “great flavors”. For the next episode, in the previews I saw Anita Lo running around so hopefully there will be a preponderance of culinary leaders among the judges. 
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 16, 2012, 06:30:48 PM
My predictions have not changed for many weeks. I think Paul will win a close victory over Lindsay in the final finale. The semifinal finale (my term to highlight the absurdity of going down to 2 finalists for the first time I can remember since Top Chef 1 and TC2) will see Sarah eliminated.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: TexasLady on February 16, 2012, 07:13:33 PM
I don't know why they had such a difficult challenge for Sarah and Beverly. Skiing, then shooting targets for the food, not a lot of time to cook. Since Beverly outperformed Sarah at every turn, it was hard to see her eliminated. I don't think Sarah is as strong as the other two.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 19, 2012, 05:26:47 PM
The order of each "event" and the rules were both pre-set in advance. Having Beverly getting that huge lead in getting ingredients for the final event was a major "uphill climb" for Sarah. The fact that she persevered and won was a tribute to her culinary skills.

I see her as the weakest of the 3 finalists, but she is not about to roll over and play dead.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 19, 2012, 05:45:53 PM
Texas Lady,

Wow, while I wasn't looking you got to 20,000. 

Current Posts: 20032

That's a huge achievement.

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on February 23, 2012, 10:17:27 AM
TC9, Ep. 13

Still standing in this competition are Sarah, Lindsay and Paul, clearly the three most talented chefs. They have relocated from Whistler to Vancouver’s Chinatown and have a Quickfire with a $20,000 prize. Each of them is paired with a Master Chef to Create an Asian Inspired Dish:

Sarah – Floyd Cardoz (TCM3 winner)
Paul – Takashi Yagihashi
Lindsay – Anita Lo

Each of the chefs has to develop a dish inspired by Chinatown and then it is a tag team process with their master to cook the dish at Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie. The masters cooked for 10 minutes, then the chefs, then the masters and finally the chefs, a total of 40 minutes.

These creations were:

Paul – Mirugai (giant clam) Sashimi w/Yuzu Dashi, Fried White Fish w/ copious Thai chile
Lindsay – Scallop three ways w/Dried Chinese Sausage, Water Chestnut
Sarah – Pan seared cod w/Coconut Curry, Dungenness Crab Salad, amaranth, greens, chilis, garlic

Sarah won the $20,000, her first victory in Top Chef 9.


This is exactly what you would expect, except that it is to cook for 150 guests at the Vancouver Olympic Village a meal that incorporates both “fire” and “ice” (representing Texas and British Columbia) and also has a cocktail. The shopping time is 45 minutes and amount $1200 at Whole Foods. They have 5 hours to cook. The winner got an expense-paid trip for 2 to Costa Rica.

Here is what they created:

Lindsay – Halibut with fiery celery root salad, kale; Cocktail: "Encendido" (Vodka, Tomato, Horseradish)
Sarah – Five Greens Filled Pasta w/ Garlic, Chili, Spiced curry mousse Sformato; Cocktail: "Agrumi" (Gin, Kumquat and Mango)
Paul –King Crab w/ Sunchoke Chips, Lobster Broth, Lemon Snow, arugula garnsh; Cocktail: "The Pan Am" (Kaffir Lime, Thai Chilis and Rum)

The tasting by the judges (Emeril, Tom, Padma, Gail) and their Judges’ Table commentary resulted in this:
Lindsay – the raw kale should not have been there; her cocktail was good but not the best; halibut cooked properly, celery root salad very good
Sarah – cocktail on its own the best of the night, mousse too cold but complemented her past well
Paul – cocktail very effective, flavors outstanding; the arugula was problematical

The judges stated that they would ideally want to acknowledge the excellence of all 3 meals. However, they had to eliminate somebody. Sarah was told that she had earned a spot in the 2-chef cookoff for the grand prize. Lindsay was told to pack her knives. Paul was told he had won the vacation in Costa Rica plus the spot in the final 2. By what I could see (remember that we don’t have access to the critical tastings), that seems fair. It will be Sarah vs. Paul in the final episode of TC9.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: TexasLady on February 24, 2012, 01:50:57 PM
Thanks for the recap apskip, we were not able to be home Wednesday night and haven't watched this episode yet. I am surprised at the outcome and have trepidations for the final results.
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: coolio on February 25, 2012, 10:33:25 AM
Lindsay  :torche
Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on March 03, 2012, 06:38:04 PM
TC9 Ep. 14, Finale

It’s the end of the line in the TC9 competition, the cook-off for $125,000, the Top Chef title, the place in the4 Food & Wine Classic held in Aspen and an article in food & wine magazine. Winning it will be a launchpad for ownership of one’s one restaurant. The finale is in Vancouver. It starts with a competition to cook the best possible dish in 45 minutes, except that the contestants are eliminated chefs plus two master chefs. Here is who created dishes for Paul and Sarah to sample as a basis for choosing which to select:
Chris Crary
Tyler (eliminated in the preliminary rounds)

Master Chefs
Barbara Lynch, owner/chef #9, Boston MA
Montero Canora, New York City

Any dish picked up to the limit of a 4 person team resulted in the chef or master chef creating it going onto the sous chef team of the finalist who picked them. Sarah’s picks resulted in a sous chef team of Nyesha, Grayson, Tyler, Heather. The one Sarah wanted badly for her dessert expertise was Heather, but it cost her getting Tyler by attempting to pick which specific dish Heather had created and making a mistake at that. Paul got Barbara Lynch plus Keith, Chris Crary and Tyler. Both Montero Canora and Colin Patterson (eliminated in preliminary rounds) were not picked in the 80% of the individuals selected for either team.

Paul and Sarah developed their menus from things they believed they did particularly well.  Paul’s menu was primarily Japanese-inspired.  Sarah’s menu was primarily inspired by Italian and German cuisine. Paul and Sarah were given the usual credit limit at the local Whole Foods and had to spend it in a specific time limit. Sarah’s team cooked at Black and Blue while Paul’s team cooked at ?.

The menu for Sarah was:
1. Squid-ink tagliatelle topped w/ Spot Prawns and Coconut
2. Rye Crusted Steelhead Trout w/ Pickled Beets, Fennel and Gras Pista
3. Braised Veal Cheek w/ Veal Sweetbread Sauce Polenta
Dessert – Hazelnut Cake w/ Roasted White Chocolate Ganache, candied kumquat

The menu for Paul was:
1. Chawanmushi, Steamed Egg Custard, Prawns and Pea Shoots, Edamame
2. Grilled Sea Bass w/ Clam Dashi, Pickled Radishes and Mushrooms
3. Congee w/ Scrambled Eggs, Uni, Kale, smoked albacore tuna
Dessert - Coconut Ice Cream w/ Puffed Wild Rice, Mangosteen Thai Chili Foam, candied kumquats

The meals were tasted by the families of each finalist plus these judges:
Group1 – Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Marco Canora, Mark McEwan (chief judge Top Chef – Canada), David Myers
Group 2 – Padma Lakshmi, Hugh Acheson, Emeril Lagasse, Bill Terlato
Final judging was the smaller group that did not include Marco Canora, Mark McEwan and Bill Terlato.

Here is the commentary from the judges:
Sarah 1 – very successful
Sarah 2 – very good, except that Sarah’s fiancée got this first and cautioned about bones; her beets were undercooked
Sarah 3 – first group of judges found this unsatisfactory due to overly chunky; that was fixed for the second but lacked “crunch”
Sarah Dessert – “over the top”, genius

Paul 1 – first group of judges great but overcooked for second batch
Paul 2 – excellent
Paul 3 – different opinions on textures
Paul Dessert – maybe better than Sarah’s

The core group of judges in a top Chef finale always compares dishes course by course. Here is what they revealed:
Course 1 – close but it went to Sarah
Course 2 – clearly Paul
Course 3 – toss-up
Dessert – again, a toss-up

So now they had to go to more subjective comparisons. Sarah was viewed as taking more risks while Paul had a comfortable menu. Fine detail execution favored Paul.

So who won? It was Paul judged to be Top Chef and get the large rewards.

I was satisfied with this season and with Paul winning.

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: apskip on March 08, 2012, 02:49:15 PM
A Top Chef Season is not complete without the reunion of the chefs and judges. That was live on BRAVO-TV in advance of the announcement on Watch What Happens Live of who won the $10,000 prize as Fan Favorite. The zillion female viewers of Top Chef voted as a block for Chris Crary ("Malibu Chris"), so nobody else had a chance.

There were special focuses on Paul, Lindsay, Beverly, Sarah, Chris Crary and Chris Jones. A viewer asked if Beverly was emotionally stable. Her response was that she cries a lot to improve her cooking. Other criers features were Lindsay, Sarah, Dakota and Chris Jones.

Lindsay honored Grayson by indicating that " (outspoken) Grayson said many things which I would have liked to have said myself."  Then there were examples of profanity used in the kitchen, which several chef likened to something necessary and appropriate.

There was  plug for Last Chance Kitchen and clips of each win there.

A semi-nude photo of Ty-Lor from "long before top chef" was shown for amusement.

The drive from San Antonio to Dallas had a planned "mystery stop" so the chefs were not totally blindsided. The question from Edward or Paul (I think) while driving after that stop to Sarah was if she had a choice of a night with maser chef John Besh or $1000 which would she choose. She chose Besh  (but of course couldn't do anything about that).

Gail Simmons got a parody of herself on film. She had the opportunity to plug her new book "Talking with My Mouth Full". 

Title: Re: Top Chef 9
Post by: TexasLady on March 19, 2012, 07:06:52 PM
I'm so behind but I did get to see Paul win and that made me happy. I think it was a good choice.  :wohoo: