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Ok I signed up for the mailing list for the Pigs & Pinot event in Healdburg. It's in March. Looks rather pricey but I'm going to try to plan for it. Maybe some of the events aren't so bad...and it's only about 2 hours away so... and Kevin will be there. But I'm just intrigued by the entire event.

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Ok I signed up for the mailing list for the Pigs & Pinot event in Healdburg. It's in March. Looks rather pricey but I'm going to try to plan for it. Maybe some of the events aren't so bad...and it's only about 2 hours away so... and Kevin will be there. But I'm just intrigued by the entire event.

when you go

I want some recaps :)

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I won't spoil the show, because I know the west coast has not seen Restaurant Wars yet - but I don't care how well they cook, the Voltaggio brothers are beginning to act like asses and rude control freaks. Good for Robin for at least rolling her eyes at something, and for turning out a much-praised dish, and one of the brothers was extremely ungracious and petty at the end - to his own brother.

I am tired of them.

And Mike I is an egotistical jerk.

Eli was a lot less of a jerk. Maybe he gave his jerk-cooties to Mike I.

I prolly could have guessed who was going home before the show even started, but I still think someone was v. lucky to have squeaked through to next week; I was surprised.

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I'm beyond sick of both of them which is why I'm rooting for Kevin or Jen. I had my fingers crossed tonight cuz they really both f'd up.

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I'm giving the brothers a pass because, well, they are brothers. They are great chefs so I won't mind if they win. I don't watch these shows for personality since it is well known how they can be edited. I notice on any cooking show where there are really good chefs, it is all about the food. They don't seem to care about bad cooks, no matter how sad the story or poor pitiful me. Robin isn't a great chef, based on previous episodes, so I don't care how pitiful they make her situation on the show. She is a good cook and there are many restaurants that would be happy with her. I was amazed that Mike was willing to share his winnings. I think he had to push Robin along as she kept wanting to change her dish and timing is a big part of presenting a good meal. There is a reason why no one left trusts her.

Now Kevin is usually an incredible chef and seems to be nice also. So kudos to him that he can handle failures and accept them. He obviously deserves to win. I like Jen too but another week like this one with two failed dishes and I'm willing to say bye bye to her.

Top Chef is one of the better cooking shows on TV and I enjoy the challanges presented to them but I really really liked Top Chef Masters. There is a lot of comaraderie at the top level of cooking and expectations are always high.

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I don't think he was pushing her along. He wanted to just take over her thing. She only had 1 thing to do. I don't want a bad cook to win. I want Robin to just outlast Isabella for karma's sake and she can leave.

I won't be upset if either brother wins because they are great chefs. I'm just not going to root for them. I think Kevin and Jen as of now are both worthy winners... especially Kevin who has won a lot of the challenges and been great throughout. Jen seems to have dropped the ball a bit so she needs to pick it back up.

When it comes to reality shows I definitely root for a combination of great and people I like.

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Top Chef is one of the better cooking shows on TV and I enjoy the challanges presented to them but I really really liked Top Chef Masters. There is a lot of camaraderie at the top level of cooking and expectations are always high.

Yep. And that is why I tend to dislike the jerks, no matter how well they cook. I don't feel sorry for Robin any more than I would for anyone else who seems rudely shunned.

I kinda thought Jen might go, but Tom C. explained the whole thing in his blog - one of Jen's dishes was actually really good, and Laurene was not good at FOH, plus she made the mistake - and this mistake will always get ya - she told Tom she would not serve her dish or any dish, that was not looking good. On the other hand, it was Kevin who did not cook the lamb properly, he should not have sent it out, either.

I was not surprised about the money sharing, it was a team effort, and I thought turning the money down was done quite rudely.

If the show comes down to just the two brothers, I won't watch because I just find them annoying, Ghost Hunters is on, so I can watch that, I hate missing it.

I am still looking forward to seeing Mike I. sent home. I figure Robin is next, though, then Eli, then Mike I., and then hopefully Jen will get some confidence back and step up her game.

I really like Kevin, and I was surprised he couldn't cook that lamb, and sent it out so raw, it was like he figured hey it was not his dish.

I do realise everything is edited, but those words we see come out of mouths are still a bit hurtful and rude.

Heh, imagine a show with Mike I. and that beeyotch Irina from Project Runway.

I don't think he was pushing her along. He wanted to just take over her thing. She only had 1 thing to do. I don't want a bad cook to win. I want Robin to just outlast Isabella for karma's sake and she can leave.

Exactly my feeling. And he was really quite quick to step in and take credit when Tom or Padma said everybody liked your dish, that was pretty tacky.

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I do have to stay I'm loving Top Chef. This is the first time I watched it and I definitely love it more than The Next Iron Chef.

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Oh, Top Chef is very entertaining - the judges AND the cheftestants.

Next Iron Chef is sort of grim or something, plus it just seems like a Chopped with more chefs.

Although those folks will be expected to cook on camera, on cue - and within time limits. (waves to Fear....)

I watch reruns of Top Chef too, and the blogs on the Bravo site, especially Tom C's blog, are always enlightening and give a lot of behind the scenes info.

TwoP forum for this is entertaining - they were sure Padma spent the first few seasons being high or something.

Everybody loves Gail, and everybody hated Toby and loves when that travel channel guy is a judge - he does not mince words (haha, get it? Mince! sorry.)

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I'm torn between Kevin, Jen and the V. bros.

Of the borthers I like Bryan much more but think Mike has a more creative and edgier approach to good food.

I'm TORN I tell ya, TORN!!

Thanks Tribeca. I enjoyed the read.

Me too! Especially this part -

What’s the best thing about filming in Las Vegas?

It’s been absolutely great. I’d love to move there. I brought my family out and it’s actually surprisingly kiddie friendly; there’s so many things for children to do there. But I guess my favorite thing was being taught how to play craps by Tom [Colicchio]. After Judges’ Table we wouldn’t go home; we’d just stroll over to the nearest casino and play craps. I have to say, I lost virtually everything I made from participating in Top Chef this season. Tom was very sensible; he would walk away. But by 2 a.m., I was absolutely determined to stay at the table until I’d lost every cent in my pocket.

Bwah!

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Here's one of the guest judges Todd English at his restaurant here in CT

making pulled mozzarella

http://bit.ly/2drswI

been wanting to try his restaurant for a while but thought it was out of my price range. Just read online they have a lunch buffet for $20.00 so maybe......

New episode of Top Chef tomorrow night :) with Natalie Portland. They way that Mike I was making goo-goo eyes at her in the preview was pretty hysterical.

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where are my peeps! YES!

Take your arrogant butt home. That felt good.

My Kevin keeps plugging along..making good food -- not trying to showboat and act like he's the best cook ever put on earth.

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Well couchie, maybe I'm a poor judge of character, but Mike I. didn't really bother me, at least he was a decent cook. Why they are keeping Robin around who hasn't had many great dishes I'll never know. I hope Jen shapes up next week. She started out great. It should end up with Kevin, the two brothers and Jen. But I suppose any of them could have a bad week.

One nasty comment: Gail, don't wear your food i.e. the cabbages on her dress.

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Ooh I thought Isabella was nasty. So I'm glad he's gone.

I look at it like this..There can only be one winner. While I always hope for a strong worthy top 4 -- in most reality shows..it doesn't matter to me who goes home 5-8. Robin doesn't deserve to win and she won't win. But if you make inedible dishes, like Mateen did, for instance -- I mean the host actually took the food and threw it in the trash -- then you deserve to go home. So how dare the rest of the high school girls --oops I mean chefs act like he had been robbed of his rightful place. Robin is just lucky in that someone always cooks a little worse than she does. And while I do think they take all of their performances into consideration -- like Jen has been living off her reputation for the past 2 weeks -- I think for the most part -- the worst dish should pack their knives and go. That woman hit the nail on the head though.. Isabella acted like..well oh well I messed up but I'm good so I know they won't send me home attitude.

Robin was silly to try to make 2 dishes she never made before. She should have done better on a vegetarian challenge.

Back to Jen..see I can't say she deserves to be top 4 because she is one of the best chefs. Yes I think she is terrific and have her as my second fave this season. But nerves, handling the pressure, not making mistakes is part of it. She's had two pretty bad weeks -- although I think they liked her food this week but just thought it was uninspired and more of a garnish -- so I think they believe she has lost focus. I hope she can pull it together because I do think she is a great chef. But you have to prove it every week.

I love this show!!

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I read somewhere that Jen was sick, and since they actually shoot the whole season in a straight shot, no off days, until the finals, she has not got a chance to rest.

I highly recommend reading Tom Colicchio's blog over at Bravo - he says they have no idea what goes on in the kitchen or anywhere else, while they are filming the shows, and that Mike I went because he had the worst-tasting dish.

The leeks were not cooked very well, no one liked it. Jen's dish was praised, it was just not very much food. Robin's dish was good-tasting and cooked well, just didn't all go together.

Tom also says don't get all impressed with the V. brothers' techniques, they concentrate too much on blowtorches and not on taste and/or seasoning at times.

I love Kevin, and am still hoping for Jen to perk up.

If it comes down to the V brothers I prolly won't watch because I won't care.

I have a feeling Jen won't make it to the finals, because it looks like from the previews someone surprising goes home.

Everyone has the flu or something here.

Dang.

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I have a feeling Jen won't make it to the finals, because it looks like from the previews someone surprising goes home.

I was thinking maybe one of the V. brothers was sent packing their knives after seeing a nanosecond of that clip. LOL

Probably not. I just hope Jen get's past her insecurities soon. She appeared so very confident in the beginning and seemed like one of the most talented and consistant women ever to be on the show. But I think my favorite has to be Kevin. I really think he deserves to win this big time!

I too thank the board goddess for no edit counter. Whew!

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Here is what Tom says about the bottom three.....

As for the bottom three dishes, while Jennifer gave us what amounted to a side dish or an appetizer, it was very well crafted and an overall competent dish. In light of what her colleagues in the bottom three gave us, Jennifer wasn’t going to be sent home for that dish.
 
Robin’s dish was a poor dish. It was what we might get from an accomplished home cook who says, “Oh, I like this … and I like that … and this would look pretty with them, too….” The elements were not in harmony, there was no cohesive vision, and it missed the mark. It wasn’t very good, but Michael Isabella’s was terrible.

Before we even discuss the leeks, let me confirm for those of you who weren’t there to taste the dish that while the leeks may have been the primary problem, they were not the only problem. Natalie was right to say that the rest of the dish underwhelmed. As for the leeks themselves, they were butchered; they were horribly cooked.

The reunion show looks v. interesting. Evidently Mike I. figured no matter how bad his dish was, they would never send him home before Robin.

Snerk.

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Yes, this week is just the reunion dinner, Bravo will show as many previous Top Chef episodes as they can cram in, then the reunion dinner is on at 10 pm and repeated at 11 pm EST.

And that show will be repeated 2054 times after that, at odd intervals. Then, next week, they will show all the episodes from the beginning of Top Chef Season One, and then the next competition episode, which is called Strip Around the World.

I am hoping they are referring to a cut of beef, or perhaps gambling and fun cities around the globe, because I don't really want to see everybody strip.

Maybe a couple of them.

I'll get back to you on that.

Spoiler alert!!!!!!

Okay - the challenge is the chefs making breakfast in bed for Padma and Nigella Lawson, who are shown in bed in a hotel room - separate beds, stop that! - or else someone has taken HGTV home staging advice too literally and made their bedroom look like an actual hotel.

Or maybe it is an homage to the Dick Van Dyke Show, I dunno. Oooh, maybe the cheftestants will open kitchen cabinets and walnuts will spill out!!! And they will have to use walnuts in dishes that they have to cook at the North Pole, with nothing but a Bunsen Burner and a fish hook! No, wait, that gives the Brothers V. the advantage.

But I digress. Sorry!

After they have eaten and judged the breakfasts, Padma and Nigella both strip, while Tom and Toby judge them. Bravo is not going to let any of the expertise the judges have acquired in Las Vegas go to waste.

There is a minor squabble at the end of the show when the producers tell Padma and Nigella that they were only supposed to strip the beds; the producers don't know why Tom told them to take their clothes off, but it was such great TV they left it in.

They repeat the breakfast, bed, strip routine in four other fine hotels around the world, and the chef who has the most winning breakfasts wins a toaster and a dumpster full of little tiny hotel room toiletries that the judges have been stashing in their suitcases for years. Bravo is trying to save money - the judges all flew around the world first class, but the cheftestants had to ride in the cargo hold. On the first leg, they let the cheftestants up into the passenger area so they could cook the little tiny snacks and such, and work off their airfare, but then they refused to go back down and it got ugly.

Okay - the results:

(Bear in mind that all the cheftestants huddled, and after they shoved Robin out, they decided that "strip" meant "bacon", because Tom Loves Bacon!!!!)

Robin is not sent home, she made the crispiest bacon by mistake - she was talking about how the others didn't shove her far enough away, and, hobbling back, she heard the bacon strategy! - and she forgot to check on it.

Jen makes perfect bacon and duck sausage (from scratch) and organic free-range chicken eggs over easy with croissants (also made from scratch) and lingonberry jam (she picked the berries in the hotel garden), and a perfectly emulsified Bearnaise sauce, but cries and begs to go home so she can get her hair conditioned.

The Voltaggio brothers turn on each other with blowtorches, dry ice, and a liquid nitrogen gun, it is not pretty, but is v. entertaining. They freeze AND char each others' dishes. Since that was what they were going to do anyway, no one notices, but hey! no one likes bacon-chocolate-cauliflower ganache to begin with.

Eli starts to make bacon and eggs Benedict, but then he over-thinks his dish and decides to make an asparagus-banana-mushroom-smoked kale omelet. Which guarantees his loss.

Kevin wins with a repeat of his Bacon Jam and a perfectly cooked mushroom omelet with Gruyere, with home-fried potatoes and leeks on the side (waves to Mike Isabella!). This causes one of the V. brothers to spontaneously combust; that's the surprise departure. But they still make Eli leave because, as Gail says, that omelet sucked.

The winner of the strip contest (Nigella or Padma) then has to judge striptease acts performed by Tom and Toby and all the losing chefs.

From the previews, it looks like neither woman wants to do that, but hey, they signed a contract. Tough noogies.

The winner of that competition gets free counselling, as does the judge. And anyone who can prove they were watching on TV.

Oh, and I guess I may as well spill this - at the reunion dinner, the lights suddenly go out!!!!

When power is restored, Marcel is bald, Hung has made the entire meal into foam - and I won't spoil the rest of it!

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Hey, it could happen! Um, I just happened to see a pic of Padma and Nigella in beds, receiving breakfast trays, and everything sort of sprang from that.

They really should let me write for them, or at least script a parody.

I am really looking forward to the reunion dinner and the next challenge - now that I have read the spoilers. :-)

I wonder if they will have a little slide-show of great moments - like Dale bitching about Lisa winning a trip for two to Italy - "She won with BACON?????!!!!!"

I love that stuff.

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bwah..fan fiction for cooking shows? I think she's delirious!

I did go up my dial hoping there would be some former seasons fo Top Chef on but alas..they are too busy showing marathons of the Housewives of Atlanta and of all things old seasons of Project Runway. I've only seen this season and last season.. thanks to a marathon before this one started. How many seasons has there been.

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This is the 6th season.

I was kidding about them showing all the seasons and shows at once - but they do love those reruns.

They will for sure run all of season six.

It looks like you can watch full episodes of the other seasons at many places on the net.

And the TwoP recaps are a hoot, as are the TVGasm recaps.

Yeah, Bravo runs a lot of Project Runway reruns. Maybe that is why Heidi is bitchy this year on Lifetime - maybe she does not get residuals. I like the reruns of both shows, because the contestants are talented, for the most part, and I see stuff I missed, or stuff that got snarked on at TwoP and TVGasm, and I missed the first time.

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