I Hate Jill Zarin Top Chef – Restaurant Wars! 10 Chefs Left Jan 20, 2011
I could not understand this guest judge at all, his accent was so strong it was taking every ounce of strength that I had to decipher each word that I finally gave up and by judges table he might as well have been speaking Teresa Giudice’s made up Italian.
Antonia the jinx reminds viewers that every time there is a team challenge she loses her teammate at judges table, including last week where she lost not only one but two of her teammates Jamie and Tiffany. Luckily for viewers Marcel chose the Top Chef jinx for his team this week.
Anthony Bourdain introduced the Quick Fire challenge this week as it was his design, in his new book Bourdain devotes an entire chapter to this phenomenal chef at Le Bernadin.
The Quick Fire challenge wasn’t pretty, cleaning, scaling and filleting fish, but it showcased some of the chef’s talent at doing prep work, and doing it quickly. The fish butcher/chef at Le Bernardin, Justo Thomas was very impressive as he filleted those fish in eight minutes but whatever he’s making, he needs a raise. The restaurant has to utilize three chefs to do the same work this guy does while he’s on vacation, how many people can say that about their job? Amazing!
The Chef’s have ten minutes to fillet the same two fish ensuring there is little to no waste. When the smoke clears the bottom four are Carla, Fabio, Tiffany and Antonia and the top four are Dale, Richard, Mike and Marcel. The final winner will be chosen after the top four prepare one dish utilizing the throw away portion of the fish that they just filleted. Dale comes out on top and wins immunity.
Dale is much calmer this season, he hasn’t beaten up any prep tables or punched any walls yet. He seems to have grown and matured since his original appearance and he may just win this whole thing. We know for sure he’s not going anywhere tonight.
The final 10 prepare to hear about this week’s challenge, Padma is practically jumping up and down she’s so excited because this challenge is Restaurant Wars!
The Quick Fire winner will be a team captain and will be allowed to choose the other team’s captain. Dale made a genius move in choosing Marcel, this solved two issues for Dale, it ensured he wouldn’t have to work with Marcel and it put Marcel in danger of being eliminated as head chef of the opposing team.
Team Bodega consisted of Dale, Richard, Tre, Fabio and Carla. This is the dream team, if they had Angelo it would be the perfect team. When Richard suggested that they open their meal with a bag of chips I thought he’d lost his mind but it was one of the things that Chef Tom Colicchio pointed to as a winning idea. They served their tuna dish in a oval tuna can, even as one diner complained that he didn’t understand it and it was hard to eat out of it, most people thought it was a great idea, another one of Richard’s who is also a top contender to take this entire competition.
Team Etch, Marcel’s team was a mess from the beginning, Angelo, Mike, Antonia and Tiffany did not seem thrilled to be working with Marcel, particularly when he was put in charge of the team. Marcel couldn’t manage his way out of a parking lot, he is the epitome of every negative adjective known to man. The key to a chef running a successful kitchen is respect. No one in this contest has an ounce of respect for Marcel, he has no idea how to talk to people, how to deal with people and this is his second time around so there is no excuse for his behavior. Most of the other chef’s in the competition seemed to have learned something from their previous appearance on the show, but not Marcel.
I firmly believe that it was Marcel’s attitude and lack of teamwork that led to his demise his first time around. I don’t think that Ilan was a much better chef than Marcel, but he was a better leader and he earned the respect of his co-workers and the judges. Bravo and the Top Chef community certainly don’t want someone with Marcel’s attitude representing them as the best and brightest. It isn’t just one person who hasn’t been able to get along with Marcel, this is every chef he’s come into contact with on this show. It can’t possibly be everyone else’s problem.
The front of the house was like night and day, Fabio for team Bodega was professional and swiftly took care of every area of the dining room. He handled the diners with style and grace while instructing and supporting his wait staff. Tiffany had a completely different style, simply trying to connect with the diners and bringing feedback into the kitchen in hopes that they can improve certain dishes. Where Tiffany failed was that amazing, wonderful true laugh that she has was heard throughout the dining room except it was fake and forced not to mention way too loud. Padma even noted that it was inappropriate to hear the hostess laughing louder and more frequently than anyone else in the dining room.
The kitchen at Team Dale held it together well, as Carla noted they had a bit of a rough start but quickly were sending out amazing food like a well oiled machine. While Dale was the team leader, there is no doubt that the concept and the entire feel of the restaurant was all Richard. Richard also had his influence in many of the dishes that went out of that kitchen and he clearly took the lead and won it for the whole team.
The dynamic in the kitchen at Team Marcel was tense, unorganized and uncomfortable. There was no doubt that not only did Marcel completely fail as the leader but he failed as a member of the team and as a chef because even his food was sub-standard. I believe that Marcel was responsible for the failure of the other chef’s dishes as well. While the judges had no problems with Angelo’s or Mike’s dishes, Marcel threw Tiffany off her game without a doubt as her first attempt at her egg dish failed. Marcel as the leader didn’t support and try to help her, he just criticized her more. Then my pet peeve about this show, Tiffany was in the dining room forcing others to prepare her dish. Antonia was stressed and thrown off by all the bickering and unorganized kitchen.
As Chef Tom made his rounds visiting the chef’s, Marcel was rude and practically asked Colicchio to leave, his comment, “we can talk about how I’m in the weeds or you can let me work and get out of the weeds” I know all the chef’s are somewhat annoyed by Tom’s visits particularly when they’re flustered already, with a million things to do the last thing you want to do is stand around chatting about the plan. However, Dale managed to make a few minutes for Tom and if we’ve learned nothing from past episodes, pissing off Chef Tom is the perfect way to get sent home, just ask Jen.
Angelo has to get credit for saying that he was there to support his leader, Marcel, and Angelo did tell Mike and Marcel to stop bickering but the only thing that he accomplished was getting his head bitten off by Marcel. Marcel wasn’t sharp enough to recognize that Angelo was trying to support him and snapped at the one and only guy who was trying to be a good team player for Marcel. Chef Tom really should not have chastised Angelo at Judges Table for not stepping up, I think Angelo was doing what he could to keep the peace and support his leader. You’re not always going to like the person that you work for but as Angelo said, you have to support them 100% no matter what happens.
At judges table the winners, Team Bodega were a true team and I thought it was great when Carla said that Richard had some influence over almost every dish and improved them all, the ultimate compliment. That one comment probably earned Richard his $10,000 and the win. I think Richard should throw Carla a few bucks for that. Richard should throw each of his teammates a few bucks because they worked so well together that they all deserved that money.
On the other end of the spectrum, Team Etch’s judges table was a bus caravan with each chef throwing someone directly under as the busses crawled by. Just when it seemed as though they would all keep quiet about all the arguing in the kitchen, Tiffany called them all out! She was being questioned about her lack of direction in the dining room and deflected by saying she was thrown by all the arguing in the kitchen. BAM! As NeNe would say, let the accusations fly! Marcel claimed that he took command but that no one would listen to him, Mike explained that Marcel was unreasonable and unorganized and right then there was a moment between Angelo and Chef Tom as Mike was speaking. Just as Angelo nodded in agreement with Mike, Chef Tom made eye contact with Angelo and it was at that moment I knew that Marcel would be going home.
Marcel just doesn’t get it, he interviews that his only mistake was choosing the wrong team members, there wouldn’t have been any chefs that would have worked well with him, there never are any chefs who are comfortable working with this guy. Maybe he didn’t hear the judges saying that his food was also poor quality, and that’s the bottom line in this competition.
With just nine chef’s left, I really like them all, I would be happy if any one of them won the whole thing but I think there is little doubt that Richard is the front-runner. There was some speculation that his season was taken by the first female to win in Top Chef history and possibly they just chose the best female because they were determined that a woman would finally win a Top Chef title, proving that they’re not opposed to a woman winning the competition. It is clear that Richard feels like he should have won his season and he is convinced that he’s a better chef than Stephanie, the winner from Richard‘s season.
Just because he’s so hot, I have to mention Tre, although he’s been in the middle of the pack for most of the competition. I’m hoping he will step up in future episodes and do more than just “get by”, let’s see Tre win a few!
The previews for next week seem to point to Fabio being in the deep weeds and Antonia announcing that she thinks Mike should be the next to go home. I don’t think Antonia has a chance in hell, she was inconsistent during her season and is proving to be the same here. When she’s good, she’s outstanding but her dishes fail just as much as they succeed, she just can’t seem to maintain any kind of high standards.
If Vegas had odds, I think Richard has to be the favorite to take home the crown but don’t count out Angelo, Carla or Dale just yet.
Chef Tom’s blog has been posted, he is very straightforward about Marcel and summed it up nicely, while Marcel seemed to think his only problem was choosing the wrong team, Tom was clear that there was much more to it than that:
Don’t miss Anthony Bourdain’s blog, he’s genius as always and as if he was speaking directly to Kelly Bensimon, he defines the “Chef” as opposed to “Cook” debate and noting that Marcel fits into the later category.
Proving to all that Marcel still doesn’t “get it”, his exit interview makes him look like a bigger dope than ever, then stick around and play the videos that follow, the extended judges table and Eric Ripert talking about his fish butcher Justo:
Tonight Bravo airs the final episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, a quick preview:
As we come into the home stretch of the Beverly Hills Housewives, we learn even more about the ladies in the finale and at the two episode reunion shows. Bravo has released some shocking footage of the reunion that includes Lisa’s husband talking about someone who has betrayed his family, most likely that person is Cedric.
Is Kim Richards an alcoholic?
Is Cedric Martinez a scam artist?
Was the whole season set up to make Camille look bad?
Is Kyle just a bully?
All signs point to Cedric being a complete scam artist. Can you imagine how hard it must have been for Lisa to watch this entire season keeping quiet about Cedric as fans asked her questions about him and he had the public sympathy? If this all turns out to be what we all assume it is, Cedric is about to become the most hated man in Housewives history.
Is it true that Kelsey Grammer encouraged his wife to become a Bravo Housewife? If he did, it was a brilliant move. The public got to see the real Camille Grammer and had very little sympathy for her when he left her, in fact many asked why he stayed with her as long as he did. Camille is now playing the “Bad editing” card, it is one that fans of the shows never buy into, and it is only making her look worse. These shows don’t put words in people’s mouths and the producers don’t make them do anything that they don’t want to do (Yes Kelly Bensimon, that was for you). No one forced Kelly to go to St John and no one forced Camille to say all those hateful, insecure, unstable and elitist comments.
Camille was actually very secure when the season started, her comments were spoken with a definite assurance in her relationship with her husband. She may have been insecure in other areas of her life but when it came to her marriage, she had no doubt that her marriage was solid. When Kelsey threw the bomb on her, she was then blaming editing. She had been gushing over her long-time husband and never dreamed that he would leave her.
Camille watched the episodes and continues to support her psychotic friend Allison, even after seeing what happened again so obviously the edit was exactly what happened. Bravo doesn’t have magicians on their payroll so they weren’t able to edit in real unpaid friends for Camille. Her talking head interviews were vicious attacks on the other ladies, mostly Kyle and included Camille saying that the other housewives were just jealous of her. Camille admitted on Watch What Happens Live that she would like to take some things back and that she said things out of anger, how can you regret what you said and did yet still blame editing? You can’t have it both ways.
I’m looking forward to tonight’s episode, I hope you’ll all watch as well and then join me right here tomorrow as we snark our usual snark awaiting the reunion coming up next Thursday night.
Tonight’s Watch What Happens Live airing immediately after the Beverly Hills housewives will feature Taylor and Adrienne joining Andy Cohen in the clubhouse.
Many of you have already heard the big news, Simon VanKempen of The Real Housewives of New York has snagged his own show, a web broadcast on Bravotv.com that will air simultaneously with the Real Housewives of New York.
Simon’s web show is explained here by Rob Shuter of Popeater, Shuter calls Simon’s comment about his new show a “Dig at Bethenny” when in fact nothing could be further from the truth, Simon’s comment was just Simon trying to be funny, it was certainly not a “dig“. Leave it to Shuter to try to find something to stir the pot…
I think that was a great idea and I can’t wait to see what Simon has for us, I’ll bet he got congratulatory flowers from Jill Zarin. Our very own Quincy has already agreed to blog Simon’s show while I’ll handle the Real Housewives of New York, Quincy is going to become our resident “Simon expert” I can tell!
Bethenny’s season two which has been named, “Bethenny Ever After” will begin to air February 28 and The Real Housewives of New York starting February 15. Finally in February, Million Dollar Listing minus Chad Rodgers will begin to air on February 3rd. Way back in April of last year in a brief tweet, Madison Hildebrand of MDL told me that Chad had been eliminated like a Top Chef contestant from the show.
You can find that tweet from Madison here:
The Real Housewives of Orange County will begin to air March 6th with a much anticipated final season party that will include an attempt to push someone into the pool and drinks being thrown… sounds like fun!
Join me here tomorrow for a full recap of tonight’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and then on Friday, a discussion of Watch What Happens Live featuring Taylor and Adrienne of Beverly Hills along with a preview of Sunday’s Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Until Next Time…..