Minxeats on an annoying sous chef: "The next day, the chefs finalize their work. StoneTylerStone - who, I just realized, is dressed like an evil dentist - has been a huge pain the whole time. Grayson in particular seems annoyed. She tells us that the girls will 'jam out with their clams out,' (and this is why we should be thankful that chefs wear pants and aprons, for both safety and hygienic reasons) while StoneTylerStone does his own thang. Which just so happens to be chopping celery, the only thing Sarah trusts him to do."
Jordan Baker on truth: "(seriously, it’s like the different departments at Bravo are in cahoots to drive me away from this show. The production end makes a lackluster program, designed to destroy my interest. The casting folks pick a punch of bland chefs with midrange talent. And the web interns just go on fucking strike and refuse to do their job, making putting aesthetically pleasant recaps together an impossible dream)"
A Just Recompense on choosing sous:
"Paul picks Barbara Lynch; he’s thrilled, but worried about being able to treat her like a sous chef.
Sarah picks halibut with green lentils and pomegranate, and gets Nyesha. Sarah’s happy, because she can do sauces. We don’t hear much from Nyesha.
Paul picks buckwheat noodles, and gets Ty-lör. Also good.
Sarah really wants Heather, and she sees dumplings and knows that’s Heather’s dish but she also sees scallops with raisins and citrus, and thinks she recognizes it as something on Heather’s menu so picks that… except it isn’t Heather, it’s Tyler Stone. Thank you God. Someone mutters, 'That’s unfortunate.' Actually, I think Sarah can handle him (meaning squash his ass); he’d undo Paul. Sarah says, 'I’m not letting you butcher.' Me, I’d send him out for pizza. No, no, that isn’t fair, give him a chance.
Paul likes the lamb with blueberry mustard and crispy parsnips and gets Malibu Chris, who intentionally used Asian flavors to lure Paul. Sarah had said she wasn’t sure she could work with him because he’s so hot, so this works for both of them.
Sarah takes chicken with black pepper and dumplings, and that’s Heather like she knew it was in the first place. Sarah’s glad because she’s a pastry chef and she can run a kitchen. Wait – isn’t that supposed to be Sarah’s job?
Paul picks dungeness crab and gets Keith. I guess having him go to Sarah, who he butted heads with in his only episode, would’ve been too much to hope for. Just don’t send him out to buy shrimp.
Sarah chooses pasta carbonara with fried brussels sprouts and it’s Grayson. Grayson takes the high road and has very nice things to say about her."
Max the Girl on Stone, Tyler Stone: "First, Tyler shows up in the kitchen in dress pants and shoes. (Hey, you never know if a Hollywood casting agent is watching the show, people! You can all have your bandanas and drawstring pants and comfortable shoes. Stone, Tyler Stone, is a sharp-dressed man.)Then, his mise en place skills are mise en whack. Seriously, I can chop celery faster than he does. And I have the knife skills of a particularly adroit monkey. Later, he assures Sarah that he knows how to whip up a white-chocolate ganache better than she does. 'It’s going to be super smooth like me this,' he says. 'You’re going to have the perfect texture.'"
Eater on issues at the grocery store: "Everyone heads to the Farmer's Market and to Whole Foods to shop. Tyler's the worst and seems bent on Sarah doing things she's not comfortable with, so she tries to corral him by giving her simple tasks. 'Tyler, can you count how many aisles there are in the store, then can you find a man with a red hat and ask him what his favorite ice cream is? If you can count backwards from a thousand real slow it'll really help my dish.' Paul says his parents were disappointed when he failed out of college. Did we know he failed out? To hammer the point home that he did not finish college, they show him counting money at the register and looking a little confused. He must have trouble keeping track of figures."
Entertainment Weekly on a class act: "The first group of judges got a taste of Paul's 'nice and jiggly' chawanmushi (egg custard) with edamame, pea shoots, and spot prawns — and they loved it. But when it came time to serve the second group of judges, Keith overcooked the batch. Paul didn't bite Keith's head off, as Sarah undoubtedly would have. He said he couldn't get mad at Keith because he trained him in cooking the chawanmushi. (Hear that, Lindsay??!!)"
Gail Simmons for PopWatch on picking the Top Chef: "[We started deliberation] at 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. [and] I think we were there until 5:30 a.m. or 6 a.m. There was a breakfast taco truck waiting for us when we finished. It’s never cut and dry. We all saw great sparks of talent in both menus [and] none of us could deny that both were great. It’s always a back and forth. What’s interesting about this judges table is that it was the first time ever in nine seasons that we had five judges. We were basically squishing in at judges table. It changed the balance of things a little bit and I thought it was really productive actually to have an odd number because it really does create a different dialogue, a different conversation.
"How do we [decide who's Top Chef]? We talk, we talk, we talk. We go through every element and we go through them again. There’s so many things to be said about every course and there’s so much that I may think when I eat something but then when I talk to people who ate it and experienced it differently they bring up things I hadn’t thought about. I learn from them, they learn from me. We discuss elements and often someone will have a really convincing argument that you understand and that makes sense. So it’s just a process from beginning to end. That’s why it takes so long. We talk it out, we really do. Sometimes to the point of exhaustion, where we turn to our producers and say, 'Please come on, help us out here.'"
My Monkey Could Do That on wine tasting: "Tom and Emeril meet Sarah and Paul to pair wines with their dishes. This is also stupid. There are like, maybe 8 wines there. And they’re all the same winery. You can probably pair them, but a real restaurant wouldn’t restrict the options like that. Emeril tells them to take a snapshot of Restaurant Wars. Yeah, seriously. Paul regrets that, because he should have been team leader and expedited, but he was afraid to step on people‘s toes. Sarah says nothing about regretting Restaurant Wars."
Posted on AllTopChef.com