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Old 02-06-2014, 08:51 AM   #121
Big Deficit
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It looked like there were many inconsistencies on both sides allowing Nina's stubborn insistence to include a desert to cost her in the end. When she found out she couldn't make the one desert that she knew she could execute? She should have 86'd the desert.

Congrats to Nick, who managed to hang around and get hot in the end. Well, you gotta be in it to win it! When will the Top Chef All-Stars come out to give Nina the title many think she deserved alla what they did with Blais?
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:55 AM   #122
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Padma looked angry that people were not agreeing with her.

How is Gail able to eat all of these dishes while pregnant? There was raw fish and other things traditionally not permitted...
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:57 AM   #123
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Padma looked angry that people were not agreeing with her.

How is Gail able to eat all of these dishes while pregnant? There was raw fish and other things traditionally not permitted...
Because some people think that is all bs?

I'm sure a couple bites (of probably the highest quality on the planet) of fish isn't going to hurt anything.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:59 PM   #124
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It looked like there were many inconsistencies on both sides allowing Nina's stubborn insistence to include a desert to cost her in the end. When she found out she couldn't make the one desert that she knew she could execute? She should have 86'd the desert.

Congrats to Nick, who managed to hang around and get hot in the end. Well, you gotta be in it to win it! When will the Top Chef All-Stars come out to give Nina the title many think she deserved alla what they did with Blais?
But without something to replace it, she was kinda screwed. She was missing a course and had to make something with what she had on hand.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:44 AM   #125
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But without something to replace it, she was kinda screwed. She was missing a course and had to make something with what she had on hand.
I believe they mentioned that she did more (2?) courses than the required 4. Even If she had thrown together some sort of savory course, it was bound to be better than a thrown together desert. She admits deserts are a weakness of hers as do most savory chefs. I still think that when her desert plan fell through? Her plan to make desert should have fallen through too.

I think she'll be back for the next All-Stars and she'll likely win it. She should hook up with Blais on a project, they have a lot in common!

All in all, an enjoyable season with a really strong field of chefs.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:44 AM   #126
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I think those two extra courses hurt her. They were well received by the judges, but then the dessert course didn't work. That was definitely ending with a whimper and not a bang.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:05 AM   #127
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I believe they mentioned that she did more (2?) courses than the required 4. Even If she had thrown together some sort of savory course, it was bound to be better than a thrown together desert. She admits deserts are a weakness of hers as do most savory chefs. I still think that when her desert plan fell through? Her plan to make desert should have fallen through too.

I think she'll be back for the next All-Stars and she'll likely win it. She should hook up with Blais on a project, they have a lot in common!

All in all, an enjoyable season with a really strong field of chefs.
Anything's got to be better than that joke of a show he hosted in HLN!

Don't get me wrong, I like Blais - and Flip Burger Boutique is well worth the trip (can you say Krispy Kreme milkshake?), but that show was laughable - and not in a good way.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:31 AM   #128
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I believe they mentioned that she did more (2?) courses than the required 4. Even If she had thrown together some sort of savory course, it was bound to be better than a thrown together desert. She admits deserts are a weakness of hers as do most savory chefs. I still think that when her desert plan fell through? Her plan to make desert should have fallen through too.

I think she'll be back for the next All-Stars and she'll likely win it. She should hook up with Blais on a project, they have a lot in common!

All in all, an enjoyable season with a really strong field of chefs.
Her two other courses really weren't much in the wa of courses. One was fruit that was cubed and slightly seasoned, and another was a mouse to go with baked breadfruit. I don't know that she could have substituted those.

I have a feeling that they have to state what they are doing ahead of time (the menus have to be printed among other things) and ended up being locked in to do a dessert. She didn't purchase enough of the other items to use them as a substitute, and 2 appetizer kind of ideas weren't going to work on a 4 course meal.

It also seemed like they didn't give her any credit for doing those 2 other things, and I think they kind of should have. She did do more, and those 2 were good. Nick did scream all over his restaurant, which should have dinged him more.

I have a feeling that those several hours were them deciding if the 2 extra bits of Nina's should be part of her review and which restaurant, overall, they wanted to go to (which, I have a feeling, those 2 extra 'courses' were enough to tip the scale in that direction). Without those 2 extra courses, it's possible that they really didn't want to go to her place.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:00 AM   #129
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If you don't show up to the finale with at least a couple of KILLER dessert recipes in your folio....then you deserve to lose.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:21 AM   #130
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Padma looked angry that people were not agreeing with her.
Especially with Tom, who IIRC preferred Nick in 3 of 4 courses. Ultimately I think he drives the bus on who wins. The good news for me is that Nick will be probably opening a place in Philadelphia so I can go and eat there, moreso than Nina in Miami. (And there's the mothership Scarpetta in NYC anyway). We went to Kevin Sbraga's (Top Chef winner in I think in S07?) place in Philly a few months ago, and had a delicious and not over-priced meal.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:28 AM   #131
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I thought Padma was going to slug Tom at one point!

Emeril - "I think we have a tie with the dishes"
Tom - "Do we???"

Padma - DEATH STARE at Tom!
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:54 AM   #132
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...The good news for me is that Nick will be probably opening a place in Philadelphia ...
http://www.restaurantlaurel.com/

He opened in November 2013. It's getting good word-of-mouth on Chowhound, etc. Craig LaBan's review will be in the Sunday Inquirer.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:02 AM   #133
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Yeah...Padma didn't look very happy at times...then again who knows what time and how long they had been deliberating by the time they announced a winner.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:12 AM   #134
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Laurel looks really delicious. My wife has a conference in Philly in a few months... I'm going to encourage her to go there!
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:23 AM   #135
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Tom is the HEAD Judge. He throws that weight around when he feels he needs to.

Personally, I like that Nina added in some extras in there. They were both well received and both add to making a more complete dining experience. The criticism was that the effort put into those could have better been put into the dessert. Or some other final savory course.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:47 AM   #136
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The breadfruit course wasn't all that unique, IMO. I had breadfruit in a similar preparation in Maui when I was there (different thing to dip into, though). I think it's fairly common. They gave her too much credit for that.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:16 PM   #137
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It wasn't the breadfruit that got her the credit, though. It was the foie gras mousse that went with it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:27 PM   #138
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It wasn't the breadfruit that got her the credit, though. It was the foie gras mousse that went with it.
I don't remember it that way, but it makes more sense. My recollection was that they (Nina and the judges both) kept talking about the bread course and the judges thought it was a clever bread course. Not really all that clever. Hopefully I am not remembering it correctly.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:34 PM   #139
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Tom is the HEAD Judge. He throws that weight around when he feels he needs to.

Personally, I like that Nina added in some extras in there. They were both well received and both add to making a more complete dining experience. The criticism was that the effort put into those could have better been put into the dessert. Or some other final savory course.
Which I think is a fair critique.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:42 PM   #140
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Nina definitely should have had more dessert recipes in her wheelhouse before she went to Hawaii. She should have been more prepared for that. If not, she should have done a cheese and fruit course or another savory course. Assuming that they would have an ice cream maker and not have another option to make it if they didn't was a poor decision on her part. Maybe she could have planned for a mousse or a custard if the ice cream maker wasn't there.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #141
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Nina definitely should have had more dessert recipes in her wheelhouse before she went to Hawaii. She should have been more prepared for that. If not, she should have done a cheese and fruit course or another savory course. Assuming that they would have an ice cream maker and not have another option to make it if they didn't was a poor decision on her part. Maybe she could have planned for a mousse or a custard if the ice cream maker wasn't there.
Yup.

She had ice cream. And that's it.


So many Top Chef contestants have been done in by dessert. I wonder if her ice cream would have been enough to win it.

OF course, I have had donuts for dessert before. And it satisfied me.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:59 PM   #142
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Yup.

She had ice cream. And that's it.


So many Top Chef contestants have been done in by dessert. I wonder if her ice cream would have been enough to win it.


OF course, I have had donuts for dessert before. And it satisfied me.
This. Or actually this or insert some other part of the meal.

Think of it as the Fire Making Skill on Survivor. Come to the competition with at least 3 variations of each of the four courses. Then you have options.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:35 AM   #143
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http://www.restaurantlaurel.com/

He opened in November 2013. It's getting good word-of-mouth on Chowhound, etc. Craig LaBan's review will be in the Sunday Inquirer.
I drove right by there a couple of weeks ago on the way to Pat's.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:58 AM   #144
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Yup.

She had ice cream. And that's it.


So many Top Chef contestants have been done in by dessert. I wonder if her ice cream would have been enough to win it.

OF course, I have had donuts for dessert before. And it satisfied me.
Except that she didn't need to make a dessert at all. Oh, and from watching these shows? You don't make ice cream, you make semifreddo! As in "I wouldn't touch awful mayo, but this is an aioli"!
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:22 AM   #145
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There was even a challenge while they were still in Nola where someone had planned ice cream and there wasn't a machine in the kitchen. I think it was restaurant wars because I's sure I remember an conversation where two chefs were talking on the phone, one in the kitchen and the other still shopping in Whole Foods.

Can't remember if it was Nina's team, but I feel sure it would have come out in their discussions, so she should have been prepared.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:22 AM   #146
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Except that she didn't need to make a dessert at all. Oh, and from watching these shows? You don't make ice cream, you make semifreddo! As in "I wouldn't touch awful mayo, but this is an aioli"!
Not sure if you were implying this or not, but semifreddo is substantially different than traditional ice cream. You can't just make an ice cream and call it semifreddo -- though you could make an ice cream and then turn it into semifreddo I guess. Actually, semifreddo would have been a good choice because it doesn't require an ice cream maker for all variations. The French Laundry version which I've made just needs a stand mixer.

Aioli is "supposed to" be substantially different than mayo, but it has long since abandoned such pretense, it seems.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:22 PM   #147
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Yeah. I'm well aware of the differences, but after saying she had this great ice cream recipe, Nina later mentioned she had planned to make a semifreddo. I was just commenting on how those terms have become ubiquitous of late and are used as a "hip" description of what otherwise might be viewed as an ordinary item. Add gastrique to that list.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:56 PM   #148
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or "deconstructed"
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:49 AM   #149
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Semifreddo is not a hip description of ice cream, though. If I ordered semifreddo and got standard ice cream I'd be confused and/or angry. Maybe ice cream is a non-hip description of semifreddo, though.

Gastrique, on the other hand, I just mostly assume they mean sauce.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:17 PM   #150
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or "deconstructed"
I've told my wife many times, I we go out to eat and they have "deconstructed" on the menu? I'm leaving! Hasn't come up as of yet and I might be less than strict on that one. Of course, if the place smells like garbage and has deconstructed on the menu? I'm leaving!
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