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 Top Chef : Season 5

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trubeliver
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 25th 2009, 7:39 pm

Thanks for the reminder, Icecoffee. I can't wait!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 25th 2009, 9:48 pm

Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 25th 2009, 9:59 pm

Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 25th 2009, 10:07 pm

Thanks for the spoiler Tinkerbell. How do ya like that?!
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 25th 2009, 10:21 pm

I knew it was bad news when Carla got Casey
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 25th 2009, 11:09 pm

Why did Carla let Casey influence her?



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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 25th 2009, 11:12 pm

Tinkerbell wrote:
Spoiler:
 

I can't figure that one either, not a fan was in the beginning but as the season progressed.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 25th 2009, 11:25 pm

I am disappointed Carla listened to Casey also. I was surprised she did. She always got high praise for her desserts. Why Carla, why??????

I really wanted Carla for the win but Hosea was second choice of who was left.

Good season!
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 26th 2009, 6:33 am

WTF??? JUST CHANGE THE NAME OF THE SHOW TO TOP DOUCHEBAG ALREADY!




I'm flailing about in a pool of rage omg.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 26th 2009, 7:39 am

I was sooo upset, and felt horrible for Carla...still do. She has a great heart, and I think she could have taken this show, if....aarrgghh!!! As truebeliver said, "Why, Carla, why???"

After Casey talked Carla into the souffle, I just knew it was over. My husband walked into the room, and I said, "Casey just f'ed Carla again!"

I am sure she will come out even stronger, and has great things in her future.

*I was glad that Hosea beat Stefan, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 26th 2009, 5:24 pm

Carla. Carla. Carla. My heart just aches for her, but I knew she was doomed as soon as she agreed to do that "beef in a bag" thing. Top Chef was hers to lose (in my opinion), and she knew she'd lost it before she ever went to Judge's Table. If she'd just stayed true to herself, I'd be feeling a whole lot happier today, and I suspect she would be, too.

I really need a do-over. :no:

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 26th 2009, 5:33 pm

I was so glad that Stefan didn't win, he was so arrogant and smug. I don't know what Carla was thinking, she was playing safe I think and it bit her in the ass. She has such and interesting and unique, with so much love going into her food.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 26th 2009, 11:40 pm

I think the judges new she would have won too. They were disappointed as well.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 27th 2009, 2:13 am

icecoffee wrote:
I think the judges new she would have won too. They were disappointed as well.

You know, I sensed that, too. One good thing I forgot to mention . . . When they showed the vote of who people thought should be Top Chef (before announcing the winner?) . . . Carla won!! Small comfort, but I was happy about that.

I wonder if they'll do a wrap-up/reunion show. Has anyone heard? I missed it last year, for some reason, and just happened to catch the re-run.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 27th 2009, 7:38 am

inky...I think I saw that they are having a reunion show next Wed. I really hope so. I would put money on Carla winning fan favorite. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 27th 2009, 9:16 am

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 28th 2009, 2:43 am

Now that's some scoop!! Hmmmm, wonder who it was. Maybe the Europeans? Hosea? I'm having a hard time remembering some of the people who left earlier.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 28th 2009, 4:06 am

inkydinkydoo wrote:
Now that's some scoop!! Hmmmm, wonder who it was. Maybe the Europeans? Hosea? I'm having a hard time remembering some of the people who left earlier.


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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 28th 2009, 4:31 am



I'm looking forward to the reunion show, especially now that I know this. demon banana Kudos to your daughter and her friend!

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   February 28th 2009, 11:57 pm

Jaime was part of team rainbow. Can't remember who else, I think it was two guys.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 12:24 am

icecoffee wrote:
Jaime was part of team rainbow. Can't remember who else, I think it was two guys.

Team Rainbow was Jamie, Richard, and Patrick.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 4:46 am

Boy! Can you say Bitter Betty? Lots of interesting responses to the article below. If you're interested, follow the link.

http://sidedish.dmagazine.com/2009/02/26/casey-thompson-speaks-out-about-top-chef/

Casey Thompson Speaks Out About Top Chef

Casey speaks! And she doesn’t sound happy, folks. I asked her to comment on last night’s episode, and here’s what she had to say:

Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course.

Wow.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 4:59 am

Just one of many responses to Casey's comments . . . (I'll try to find the source of Carla's comments.)

David @ February 26th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Meanwhile, Carla says:

Exhibit A:

“Carla! What happened with Casey???

I really enjoyed working with Casey. I actually really wanted to work with her,I thought that we would connect. And I did not consider that it was Casey’s fault. You know, at that point we had all just given so much, and I was so emotionally exhausted. Going into that second finale, after winning the first one, I was on a high, but then we’re cooking again the next day. So when they said we had help, I was like, oh my god, I get help, and I just gave her too much power. She didn’t take it from me, I gave it to her. In hindsight, I would have made totally different decisions. I never sold myself on that souflee, and if we had done a better cut of meat, seared it — it would have been really great with my sauce, which was so delicious. I hope people don’t blame Casey. I known that the blogs have kind of been blowing up saying that she ruined it for me. No she did not. ”

Exhibit B:

“I would love to give [Casey Thompson] a call to see how she’s taking all of this. I hate for her to get the brunt of it. If I could get on a loudspeaker and tell the whole world and everyone who watches the show, I would tell them, ‘Don’t blame Casey.’ I take full responsibility.”

I think we can all the difference between the two. Carla doesn’t get into a tit-for-tat

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 5:10 am

Interesting finale article from sidedish.com . . .

http://sidedish.dmagazine.com/2009/02/26/top-chef-its-over/

Top Chef : It’s Over

Posted on February 26th, 2009 10:31am by Sarah Eveans
Filed under Uncategorized
Jump for the recap. I don’t want to write too much here for people who haven’t watched.


Wow. Wow wow wow is all I can say today. Last night I was just too confused to type anything. From the very beginning of last night’s episode they made the competition all about Hosea and Stefan. I don’t know if it was just editing or not. But they would show Hosea talking about beating Stefan, and Stefan talking about beating Hosea, but neither one ever mentioned anything about Carla. Did they really discount her so much? Or was that just Bravo trying to make it a more dramatic, “face-off” type ending? Either way, it rubbed me wrong from the beginning…

So here we are in New Orleans again. Padma tells the chefs that for the finale they will be cooking the best three course meal of their lives. At Commander’s Palace. 12 judges and guests. Then they bring in Casey, Richard, and Marcel. We knew Casey would be there, and I was hoping for Richard, but Marcel was a surprise to me. They draw knives, and Hosea gets to pick first. He picks Richard, and Stefan picks Marcel, which makes me kinda go “awwww” for Casey, but then I think, “Oh wait! Casey and Carla together will rock!” (insert premonition here). So the group heads over to the Audobon Tea Room to cook. Hosea and Stefan fight over foie gras and caviar (Hosea has some, Stefan wants some). This is where we see Casey suggest sous vide to Carla. Carla likes the idea. Hosea is confused. Why would Carla do something she’d never done before? We’re all confused, Hosea.

Here comes the twist: the chefs must prepare appetizers before the meal. Whoever finds the baby in the King Cake gets to choose his ingredient (either crab, alligator or redfish) and assign ingredients to the others. Hosea is the winner and gives Stefan alligator. He is very mad. Hosea takes redfish and Carla gets crab. Cooking begins. Menus start coming together. Carla is doing red snapper, meat and potatoes (sous vide), and a cheese course. Hosea is doing sashimi, foie gras and scallop, and venison. Stefan is doing halibut and salmon carpaccio, squab, and a dessert with banana lollipops.

Judges show up. Susan Spicer from Bayona, John Besh from August, Rocco (?), Hubert Keller, Fabio?? And OMG, Toby is back AGAIN, and Gail is there too. Appetizers come and go and everyone likes everyone’s pretty much, even the stinky alligator soup Stefan had to make looks delish. Then the first courses come out, all together. Besh and Branford Marsalis (!) like Carla’s, Fabio thinks Hosea’s is missing seasoning, and Hubert likes Stefan’s. But Carla wins that round someone says. Second course: disaster. Everyone agrees that Carla’s is too tough. It’s the last thing they would expect to see her make, etc. At this point don’t we kind of know it’s over for her? They loved Stefan’s squab, like, they all really couldn’t get enough. And Gail “can’t stop eating” Hosea’s foie and scallop. We head back to the kitchen and see Carla’s souffles are curdled. She forgot to turn the temp down on the oven. They are unservable. So she should probably just go home now. Third courses come out and everyone thinks Stefan’s dessert is totally 80’s! But in a bad way. They fall all over themselves for Hosea’s venison and the winner is becoming more clear.

Judge’s table. They loved the sauce on Carla’s steak but Toby called the meat itself “anemic.” They told her Casey had too much influence. They loved everything about Hosea’s everything. Stefan’s carpaccio was watered down because he froze it before slicing and they just hate the dessert. It’s time for the decision. Stefan says, “I deserve it.” Hosea says, “I’ve got bold flavors.” Carla gets a little weepy and Stefan wants to hug her. She says she “has a lot of heart and flavor” but we all know she’s not winning.

Hosea wins. He kisses Leah on the mouth. Judging by the poll on Bravo, very few people thought he would win (and 66% thought Carla should win). I didn’t care for Stefan’s personality but thought he was very technically good and so confident in the kitchen. Carla stole my heart with her kooky personality and made me excited to watch the show again. Hosea…didn’t inspire much.

Commenters, say what you will. But I don’t think Carla’s loss was Casey’s fault. Yes, Casey made suggestions and Carla took them. But that’s what they wore: suggestions. Carla should have known better than to make something she wasn’t comfortable with for the finale. Or ever. Hosea made the best meal of the three last night and due to the flawed system in place at Bravo, that’s all that counts.

(Responses follow at the link posted above. ~ Inky)

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 5:25 am

From . . . http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/richard-blais/top-sous-chef

Top Sous-Chef
Richard Blais talks about helping Hosea to victory and the dessert controversy.

As it is in the reality of the restaurant world, no one flashed a smile at me in New Orleans and proclaimed me Top Sous-Chef. There was no physical reward. Nothing personally to play for and win. I had never met Josea prior to those moments when we were introduced. Hell, I haven’t even been able to spell his name correctly half the time here on this blog. But, in all honesty there was plenty of incentive. And it’s the same thing that drives every serious chef. Regardless of the challenge, or title, or reward. You just want to do your best and make people happy. It’s a simple driving force. And one that lies within every great sous-chef.

As we entered the yard of the museum, I’ll be honest, I was just really happy to be there. I’ve missed the competition immensely. It’s a thrill to compete, and I was going to drop any ego and push as hard as I could for whomever I got paired with. It didn’t matter to me who that was. And it may sound brash, but I knew I could help any one of them win. I wanted to win.

When Hosea picked me first, I was truly honored. It’s been awhile since I’ve played kickball, dodgeball, or any other schoolyard sports, but no one wants to be the last kid picked. To be the first chosen, that’s both thrilling and unnerving.

I was ready to be a great sous-chef. A partner in the ideation process. An editor. And quite honestly, the blue collar workhorse. As far as I was concerned, and as Hosea and I agreed early on, we were in this together. He encouraged me to contribute intellectually. And I did. He asked me to troubleshoot and consult. And I did. He asked for me to provide entry-level prep work. And I did.

Truth be told. I was ready to physically tackle either Stefan, Carla, Tom, or Padma, upon the order from my chef. Just like any quality sous.

In most professional kitchens, there is an almost military type of bravado necessary. But, it was the very democratic management style of Hosea that had me enjoying working with him more and more as the challenge progressed. At one point we discussed cooking the venison sous vide. And just like Carla, Hosea was willing to risk it, even though it’s not something he has done with regularity. It was easy for us to decide to scratch that idea, even though he was game (pardon the pun). It’s this exact scenario that sealed one team’s unity and unraveled anothers.

It was an interesting dynamic to observe and be a part of. Among the three teams, it was Goldilocks and the three bears: Carla’s team, over-utilized Casey. Too hot. Stefan under-utilized Marcel. Too cold. And Hosea makes chesnut and celery root porridge. Just right!

It’s worth mentioning that most of my off-camera time was spent with Casey and Marcel. Casey, who I’ve worked with a few times, has this untangible quality about her work. It’s what we so often describe as “love” or “soul.” Whatever it is, she’s got it. If you live in NoCal, find her. I’d eat her food every day. And then we have Marcel. He has, what we mostly define as passion in our industry. He’s an engine. He’s a veritable encyclopedia of creative cooking facts, recipes, and happenings. Love him, or hate him. Marcel has done more to surface molecular gastronomy to the masses in our country than anyone else. Put me in the “love him" category.

As the challenge wraps, I make sure I taste Stefan’s food. BTW, I want to thank Bravo for giving me the fat kid edit. My main screen time consisted of asking Stefan to eat a bowl of his cabbage. It’s my thing! Huh?

Padma says it best when describing Stefan’s food. He exhibits an elegant classicism. The guy's very talented. The pigeon was the best thing I tasted that night. Sometimes, the best team doesn’t win the game.

And then we get into the dessert controversy.

At first, and even at the sous-chef’s judging table (did you know there was such a thing?). I expressed that Hosea should have done a dessert. But then, last night, as I was tossing around in bed (I never sleep well), I came to the conclusion that dessert is just a tradition. Possibly as silly as fermented grape juice being the the only beverage to be paired with fine dining. Or the notion that food can only be eaten with knives and forks, and presented on bone china. So I take back what you never heard in the first place. I don’t have a problem not presenting a dessert. Break the rules, or at least question them.

Hosea is our next Top Chef. And I like what he had to say about it. A small town chef. An employee. A guy who, self-admittedly, may have never gotten to where he wants to go without this show, now has the opportunity to push off the pier and explore his dreams. Good luck Chef!

and BTW. I’m Top Sous-Chef!

Please check out my new writing gig for the Creative Loafing. Atlanta Edition. Omnivore.

Creative Loafing <-- link

See you soon!

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 5:36 am

From . . . http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/gail-simmons/the-fifth-tough-decision

The Fifth Tough Decision
Gail Simmons goes into depth about the judges' final decision.

Our fifth finale, our fifth fabulous location, our fifth tough decision. And at the end, a fifth winner to make us proud. How fitting that this season’s last episode took place in New Orleans, a city as diverse as it is historic — recently overcoming enormous challenges to rise from adversity wiser and more triumphant than before. In some small way, I feel the same about all three of our final contestants (even Stefan seemed to have lost some of his arrogance). Reflecting on the entire season, I now realize how much pressure they were under in New York, how exasperated they all became and how much they had changed — reinvigorated and ready for the tests ahead — when we faced them one last time. For our New Orleans final dinner we certainly threw them a few curve balls, and they in turn served us food we could never have anticipated, both to our delight and dismay.

Sazerac cocktails (a New Orleans specialty made with whisky and absinthe) and three flavorful hors d’oeuvres started our meal off on the best possible note. This was the surprise course thrown at our chefs at the eleventh hour. We were all impressed with how sophisticated and subtle they were, from Stefan’s creamy Alligator Soup to Hosea’s Blackened Red Fish on a Corn Cake and Carla’s Blue Crab with Chayote (or, in New Orleans, mirliton, as explained to me by world-renowned musician and my new favorite foodie, Branford Marsalis). We were hard-pressed to pick a true winner among them, as they were all so strong.

I hope it is clear from what you saw of Judges’ Table just how painstakingly difficult it was to reach our verdict. As much as we were rooting for dear Carla, her last two dishes were not of her own inspiration, and for this reason lacked the balance and simplicity we had come to expect. Her Sous-Vide New York Strip Steak (Carla cooking sous vide???) was totally off in texture and her Blue Cheese Soufflé did not even make it to the table. She relied on the advice of sous-chef Casey, and second-guessed her original plan. I was so incredibly sad for her, not just because these errors put her out of the running, but because it was clear how disappointed she was in herself. If only she knew how very proud of her we are. Although she did not win, we all agree her soulful food and colorful, generous personality will take her far.

Once we all agreed that Carla was no longer in the game, the real deliberation began. And it lasted long into the night. How do you devise a fair method to judge two completely different meals against each other? How do you not take into account how many challenges Stefan or Hosea won, bringing them to this point? Did the choice to prepare dessert or not work for or against each of them? These are the questions we tackled for hours on end, while the sun set and began to rise again over NOLA. We agreed that although beautiful to behold, Stefan’s Smoked Salmon and Halibut Carpaccio, because of its watery consistency, finished slightly behind Hosea’s Trio of Black Bass, Tuna, and Hamachi with Fennel Oil and Citrus. We were divided on the middle course, as we all enjoyed both a great deal. Hosea’s Seared Scallops with Foie Gras on Pain Perdu was playful and decadent, rich and inviting. I could have eaten it at any time of the day or night and been entirely satisfied. That said, Stefan’s Pan Seared Squab with Braised Red Cabbage was the perfect expression of his European roots: comforting, classic, and deceptively complex, prepared with his well-established and exacting technique. After some discussion, we agreed that the squab took the lead in that round. So it came down to the final course of the night. Stefan’s Stracciatella Ice Cream, Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Syrup, and Banana Lollipops on the side, although prepared with attention to detail and a competent hand, was lacking in presentation and in fact came off as outdated and somewhat generic, as if prepared for a banquet in a hotel ballroom. There is no question that Stefan is exceptionally talented, but as the last thing we tasted from him in this grueling competition, his dessert left us wondering if he had given up the fight somewhere along the line. A disappointing finish, to say the least.

Although I did not care much for those crazy little Carbonated Blackberries, Hosea’s Pan Roasted Venison Loin on Chestnut and Celery Root Puree with Mild Mushrooms tasted like a walk through the Colorado woods — earthy, robust and bold — just as we hoped it would. It proved that he not only has the skills required to be Top Chef, but indeed has that rare and vital ability to read his customers and cook exactly what they want to eat; no ego, no excuses. Just good, honest food. Congratulations, Hosea! I cannot wait to show you off at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and beyond!

Edited to add: There are some really interesting responses to this article, posted at the link above.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 6:04 am

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/29412932/

Hosea: I thought Carla would win ‘Top Chef’
The cook who won dishes on his kiss with Leah and his $100,000 prize

He sweat it out in New Orleans — and on Wednesday night Hosea Rosenberg, 35, was named Top Chef after beating finalists Carla and Stefan. His secret? Quiet confidence, says the Boulder, Colo.-based chef, who celebrated his win with a rooftop viewing party. “I didn’t get much sleep last night,” he says the next morning. Calling before he begins his official media tour, the “Top Chef” winner takes on his fierce competitors, explains what happened after his infamous kiss with Leah and tells us what he plans to do with his $100,000 prize.

Q: Congratulations on winning. How hard was it for you to keep it a secret?

A: It wasn’t that hard actually. It was this cool secret and I wanted everyone to find out at the same time. I couldn’t let it get spilled. It sounds weird but it was easier to keep this secret than it was when I got back from New York and knew I was going to the finale. That was actually a harder secret to keep.

Q: You didn’t seem rattled at all during the final challenge — even with the twist. How confident were you?

A: My attitude was just different in New Orleans. When we were in New York a lot of stuff happened, including the Leah incident. It really rattled me. For the last few weeks there, I really wasn’t feeling like myself — and it showed in my performance. I started out in the beginning of the show doing pretty well. [But then] I was just kind of flipping by. I felt like I barely got into the finale. I was the underdog going in there. But I had some time off and I got to re-collect myself. And for me, going into anything in life with a good attitude … you’ll perform better. I was just thrilled to be there at all.

Q: Are you and Leah still good friends?

A: I consider Leah a good friend. We definitely connected in New York. Although I regret crossing that line with her, it didn’t make us hate each other. We talk often. I feel like I’m going to be good friends with her for a long time.

Q: What was it like watching your kiss play out on television — and what happened when you got home to your girlfriend?

A: It’s just awkward. I think it’s awkward for everybody that watches that. What happened happened. I got through it. I told my girlfriend as soon as I got home. We tried to work it out. She was obviously very upset with me. It affected our relationship. After that, things were just different. And I still feel terrible about that.

Q: What was the rivalry like with Stefan?

A: It’s absolutely a friendly rivalry. I liken it to going out and playing one on one basketball with a buddy of yours. There’s smack talk. You’re ribbing each other. You’re totally trying to crush the other guy — and when you do beat him, you’re laughing in his face. But it’s healthy and I have no vindictive feelings toward Stefan. I have a lot of respect for him.

Q: When — if at all — did you realize that Carla was having serious problems with her food?

A: I didn’t notice any problems with Carla until she told me … she had missed at least one component on every course. I just felt so terrible for her because before we started plating and she told me what her menu was, I thought she was going to win it. Her menu sounded the best to me. I knew I would have to do a perfect job even to have a chance [at winning].

Q: How much do you think sous chef Casey Thompson hurt her chances at winning?

A: I can’t comment too much on that. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t in their conversation. I know that Casey made some suggestions that Carla regretted later just because it wasn’t necessarily the way she cooks.

Q: What are your plans now? What are you going to do with your money?

A: My immediate plan [is that] I’m staying at the restaurant I’m at, but I’m working toward opening a restaurant. Eventually my long-term goal is to have a number of restaurants. I’m also working with a local group to do a food line that will be in Whole Foods, among other stores. I’m going to use the money to forward my career. It’s less about the money and more about the exposure. The money’s great — but the fact that I won will open some doors.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 6:07 am

LOL - those foodies are just as explosive, critical, and nutty as other reality fans are. Love it!
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 12:46 pm

http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/burning-questions/stefan-no-regrets

Stefan: No Regrets
The Season 5 runner-up reveals his true feelings about Hosea and whether he would ever compete again.

Bravotv.com: OK, cook the meal of your life: What was the inspiration behind each dish?
There are some issues with cooking the meal of your life. There was not enough time to produce the meal of your life. The kitchen is not yours and the produce and proteins are not the ones you were thinking all along. And they give you four-inch plates to plate it on. I truly believe, if you ask Hosea or Carla they would answer the same.

Bravotv.com: Did you know before you came what you would cook?
I had no idea what i was going to cook. Top Chef is different then anything I have ever done before and like you have seen last night alligator. Ha! We don't have alligators in Finland, Germany, or anywhere else i have lived. Oops!I had one as a child, but it was rubber.

Bravotv.com: Of course there was a twist (there always is), were you kicking yourself that you let Hosea choose his knife before you?
No — why would I kick myself? He is a great guy. I thought I was just being respectful and let him pull first.

Bravotv.com: Were you worried about cooking the alligator?
Did I look worried? I swear when I cut the tail off, the meat looked like seabass, tasted like chicken, crumbled like tuna, and the skin could be a purse or a pair of Fabio's shoes.

Bravotv.com: Were you happy you got Marcel to help you? How much influence did he have on the meal?
It was my meal and not Marcel's meal. I picked Marcel because I looked in Carla's eyes and she was freaked out if she would have been paired up with Marcel. And let me tell you one thing, and that is to all the Marcel haters out here that he is maybe a little wierd sometimes but the guy can cook and I'm happy I had him as a sous-chef. Thank you Marcel.

Bravotv.com: What did you think of the other chefs’ menus?
Can't really say but believe me we all could have cooked a much sexier meal.

Bravotv.com: What was it like cooking for that table of esteemed chefs and others?
All season we have cooked for people I respect and admire and that just made everybody's day.

Bravotv.com: You and Hosea got into a bit of a scuffle over the foie gras, etc. What happened?
The problem with the foie gras was that he took all of them and I said it would be nice to share some of the proteins.

Bravotv.com: Do you actually like Hosea because sometimes you seem actually kind of playful.
I love Hosea. He is a sweet guy and I can't wait to kick his ass skiing or do a cook-off in his restaurant. Hosea, get ready for Boulder mid-March and get all the things ready we have talked about.

Bravotv.com: Did you agree with the judges’ comments about your dishes?
Can you disagree?? We all know how that goes sometimes. Ha!

Bravotv.com: They seemed really stuck on your dessert. Do you wish you had done something different?
Honestly when I walk in a kitchen and I see four-inch plates I'm f---ed off, lost my creativity. I was bored by Top Chef in the last episode.

Bravotv.com: What went through your mind when they announced Hosea’s name instead of yours?
I was happy for him. He deserved it. He made one better dish. I won 10 challenges and people will always remember that. The winner gets a 100K egg. The runner up lays eggs. That is a Richard Blais saying. Thank you Richard. Cockychefclothing.com and my book Dirty Dishes will be coming out in May.

Bravotv.com: How would you describe your experience overall? Would you do it over again?
If you tell me today to go right now and do it again, I would say absolutely NOT. But ask me again in a few months when everything is relaxed, absolutlely. I had a great time on TC5. The peeps I met were fun and I made great friends.

Bravotv.com: What was your best/worst moments from the season?
Best Moment on TC5 besides all the great chefs I have met: I got to talk to Padma and Gail after the finale and shook Tom's hand.

And no regrets — hold on, I have one: My WORLD DOG was great. Ha!

Thank you to all of my fans and friends and TC cast, producers, sound guys, PAs, camera guys and the last but not least HOGAN the man (TUI DIRTY PEOPLE ). That is an inside joke. Thank you to Bravo, the Elves and whomever else wants a thank you.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 12:53 pm

http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/tom-colicchio/on-picking-the-top-chef


On Picking the “Top Chef”
Tom Colicchio defends Hosea's win and make a suggestion for future finales.

I think it fitting that renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis was one of the esteemed guests at our Elimination Challenge dinner for this, our season finale, the meal that would decide who became Top Chef. Gathered were some of the most respected chefs not only in New Orleans but in the country: Ti Martin, owner of Commander’s Palace; the aptly named Susan Spicer, executive chef/owner of Bayona; John Besh, executive chef of Restaurant August, who has been a great spokesman for New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina; celebrity chef and author Rocco DiSpirito, and Hubert Keller, chef/owner of Fleur de Lis in San Francisco, as well as our usual band of judges and this season’s Fabio Viviani. And Branford, who is also a foodie and, like John Besh, an ambassador for and real force in the rebuilding efforts of New Orleans. I will come back later to why I find it fitting that Branford participated in our season finale.

But first, let’s examine this season’s finale. The twist of throwing in a last-minute appetizer, while distracting, should not have been that much of a problem. The finalists had an extra set of hands. And, in fact, while it may have rattled them, it didn’t seem to throw them too much off of their game. Stefan made the right choice to downplay the alligator in his, making it a minor ingredient in a very satisfying soup. It was a smart decision. All three apps were very good.

Although it would be easy to blame Casey for Carla’s loss, I’m afraid the blame lies squarely with Carla, for abdicating the decision-making and control. She may have wanted to be collaborative with Casey and respectful of her input, but at the end of the day, Carla needed to assert her vision, and the two times that she didn’t proved calamitous and put her out of the running for the title. Casey was right to make suggestions, particularly when Carla was as vague as she was (“I want to make meat and potatoes.” Um …yeah … could you be more specific? No? OK, I’ll start riffing, then). Richard and Marcel put out ideas as well, and you even saw Stefan reject one of Marcel’s outright; it just didn’t comport with what he wanted to accomplish. Come to think of it, Carla’s other spectacular loss, earlier in the season, was for similar reasons, when she let Eugene and Daniel run roughshod over their team meal, with disastrous results. Both times, Carla displayed a lack of confidence. If I can give her one piece of professional advice, it would be to stick to her guns.

Stefan went in very confident and, for the most part, he did nice food, but while his squab course was terrific, his other two fell short. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether the squab was the best course of the night (which is arguable, anyway). The challenge was to create the best overall three-course meal.

I didn’t love Stefan’s first course. The idea of taking fresh fish and freezing it to create an effect was a bad decision from the get-go. OK — Chef Stefan sees salmon, he sees halibut, he decides to put them together with microgreens and a vinaigrette. Fine. But when you freeze fresh fish and defrost it, you create cell damage. Water will seep out of the fish. As a result, the fish will be less hydrated (and, thus, lesser than it would have been), while everything else on the plate will be watered down with fishy water. How unappealing. Stefan did it for effect, and the food itself suffered for it.

Ditto, the ice cream in his dessert course. Stefan’s interest in creating something visually appealing was at odds with his coaxing the best flavors and textures from the ingredients. While one certainly does not wish to serve unattractively presented food, a chef should never select presentation over taste, as Stefan did twice. If one needs to be chosen over the other, pick taste. But I’ll go a step further and say that a top chef needs to find a way to solve that dichotomy and achieve both. And aside from my comment, above, about the ice cream, don’t even ask me about Stefan’s dessert course. I don’t even want to discuss that train wreck.

Hosea, on the other hand, did not go into this challenge with confidence. He sweated it out and gave it his all. While diners commented that his first course was a bit bland, it just lacked salt. It was a fresh plate, not overly messed with, and I appreciated it. Carla’s deconstructed bouillabaisse worked well, but I actually liked Hosea’s dish the best of the three first courses. We know Carla’s tough meat wrecked her second course. Hosea’s second course was terrific. Yes, we’ve seen scallops and foie gras before, but we’ve seen Stefan’s squab course before, too. Both dishes were strong, and it was a close call between the two.

Of course, Hosea’s venison blew both Carla’s nonstarter dessert and Stefan’s dessert course away. Hosea’s was not the most inventive, but it was a solidly executed, very good dish. And while some of the diners wished for a dessert course, we expressly stated that the chefs did not need to do one, so there was no penalizing Hosea for his choice to showcase another savory course.

End score: All three made good appetizers; Carla made one strong course and self-destructed with her other two; Stefan made one strong course and two problematic courses; Hosea made two extremely strong courses and one that would have been great with more salt. Of the three cheftestant finalists, the winner was clear.

Some people have expressed indignation at the result, insisting that Stefan was clearly the stronger chef. Perhaps, perhaps not. Irrelevant. This is a competition, and Stefan blew it. Were it about who is the stronger chef, they needn’t have cooked anything for the finale — we could have sat around and discussed the merits of their work and just handed one of them the win. In last year’s Super Bowl, the New England Patriots, with their 17-0 record, were clearly a better team than the Giants, but do you stop the game in the third quarter and just hand the trophy to the Patriots or do the Giants need to win by 20 points to win the Super Bowl? No. The team that plays best in the Super Bowl wins. Plain and simple. And often the sportscasters comment on how one team did not play up to their potential and actively lost the Super Bowl. Here, people can be as upset as they like, but Stefan blew it. He didn’t earn the win. Even his guy Fabio clearly commented that Stefan did not cook up to his potential. No one will argue with the fact that Carla actively lost this challenge. Well, so did Stefan, regardless of how he played the rest of the season. How you played the rest of the season might get you to the Super Bowl, but if you lose the Super Bowl, you don’t bring home the trophy. If you are one of those who are up in arms at Stefan’s loss because you believe he is the finer chef, by all means, please go patronize Stefan and enjoy. One of the things I truly appreciate about Top Chef is that it provides great exposure for all the cheftestants and connects food lovers with chefs they have come to appreciate.

So — back to Branford. Branford is not only a jazz musician, he is also accomplished at performing classical music, pop, R&B, hip hop … you name it. This type of versatility is rare, even among world-class musicians. I’m making this point for a reason. Most musicians, even the most brilliant, are not as multi-faceted as Branford; they have been trained as befits their genre and have honed those particular skill sets their music requires. As with musicians, some chefs are stronger at “improv”-ing on the spot, while others are stronger at planning out a menu, testing it and tweaking it. As with classically-trained musicians, the chef that needs prep time to create fine dishes is not a weaker chef than the one who, like a jazz musician, is more comfortable creating on the fly. I love to do both, personally, but I also know that however successful it might have been, a dish that I created quickly can almost always be improved with more thought.

Our season finale, in which they have very limited time in which to create a three-course meal, asks of our chefs that they be jazz musicians. If you recall, in our first and second seasons, we narrowed the field down to two finalists, who prepared five-course meals. I, personally, think that the suspense is more heightened and interesting when viewers choose between only two contestants. Season Two’s finale ratings were the highest of any season’s finale — clearly, we were doing something right. Whether we return to the two-finalist model as I, for one, would prefer, or keep it at three, I would love to try to find a feasible way for us to challenge future finalists to create a five-course meal. I’d require that one be a dessert (I have always believed that one of them should be a dessert. These aren’t my rules; I just play by them!) And I’d permit them to plan and prepare two of the courses in advance. It would be great for viewers to see them in their home/restaurant environments developing those two courses. I think this would provide a great balance between the “classical” and “jazz” chefs among the finalists and would even the playing field.

Congratulations, Hosea, on your Season Five win. Congrats, too, to Carla and Stefan for making it to the finale and for all of their hard work and fine dishes. And thanks to you, for watching with such enthusiasm and for your heartfelt and thoughtful comments.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 2:34 pm

inky...Thank you so much for posting the blogs and interviews. I love reading all that stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 4:27 pm

It is fun, isn't it, hbs23? After reading a lot of the comments, I'm really looking forward to the reunion show. I wonder how much of the "Hosea doesn't deserve the win" they'll air.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 4:34 pm

Carla: "I Do Not Consider My Loss Casey's Fault"

http://www.yumsugar.com/2864310

In an upsetting turn of events, Carla lost her cool during the final challenge of Top Chef. Like many people, I was totally disappointed! It was tough to see the normally cheery chef get teary-eyed during judges' table, but you'll be happy to know that when I spoke with her yesterday, "Hootie" was back to her fabulously spirited self. The passionate chef had a lot to say about her experience, and to find out her thoughts on Casey and the competition, read more.

On her "cooking with love" style: I don't know if I was the first contestant who ever cooked with love. Other chefs may not describe it the way the way that I describe it, but it's just the way I am. I'm very passionate about what I do. In any discipline — art or music — if you love what you do, you do good work because you care so much about it.

I know Gail definitely got it, and Toby mentioned it in the finale. A chef isn't just about throwing out a dish that's technically sound. When there are people busting their butts to get you a good meal, you have to understand that there is a piece of me in every dish I make. That's what cooking with love is about.

On Bravo's portrayal of her: Well I think I'm weirder than they made me seem! My friends were like, are you sure you want to show people that side of you? Sometimes I'm really quirky, sometimes I'm introspective, sometimes I'm speaking on a soapbox, but I think they pretty much captured the essence of myself. I wasn't a one-dimensional character. I think they did a good job portraying who I really am.

On Casey being her sous chef: When I was there and afterward I really enjoyed working with Casey. I wanted to work with her. I thought we would connect personality-wise. I do not consider my loss Casey's fault. During the competition you give so much. It's emotionally exhausting trying to think of things. Going into the finale after winning was great, but it was the next day. All of a sudden you have help and you have help from someone who has already been through this. I made the mistake of giving too much power away to Casey. I am prepared to take full responsibility. When you are exhausted, you make a different decisions. I hadn't sold myself on the soufflé dish or changed my idea of the tart. Really it wouldn't have worked anyway because I was still in my head creating it. I know the blogs are blowing up, saying "Casey did her in," but no she did not. I haven't spoken to her and I would love to give her a call. I would love to get her number. If I could get on a loud speaker and say "please do not blame Casey." I just hope she's not getting beat up for that.

On Stefan comforting her at the final judge's table: I think it was really sweet. We had been standing in front of the judges for hours, so it wasn't until the end that I started to break down. After three hours of being badgered, you could tell that I was trying to hold it in and my voice started to quiver. I was really touched because you are so into what you're doing, Stefan and Hosea didn't realize I was falling apart during the service.

They didn't know what happened until judges' table. I really like Stefan. I know he's portrayed as a villain, but he's not a villain. He does not want to win by screwing someone up, he wants to win by doing a good job. I applaud his technique. He was awesome with the alligator! I like the guy.

On Hosea's win: I think he made the best meal. I am so happy for him. He's a really good guy and I am very happy for him. Everyone worked really hard. Should it be cumulative? I'm going to say no because if it was, Hosea would not have been there to win. It's like real life. You get to mess up and if you are still there you get to have a fresh start and you can win the next day. I think that's a really good message in life.

On what's next: I will continue to cater. I don't know what's coming down the pipes. I don't know what will happen. In my own little world, I will continue to cater. I really want to start a sweet and savory petite cooking line and have a chef's table where people can taste my food. I'm teaching a couple of classes in DC. I would love to do more TV. I look at myself and am amazed that I'm able to be myself in front of the camera. My personality seems to have radiated with people. The biggest joy I can get is to inspire people by being myself, so yes I would love to do more television.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 4:58 pm

Top Chef Exit Interview: Carla Is Cut, Takes Full Responsibility, Doesn’t Want People To Blame Casey

Source: Fancast

After getting off to a slow start - which she attributes to not being completely comfortable in her own skin (see below) - Carla Hall started to pick up major momentum this season on Top Chef. Once the group of 17 started boiling down to fewer and fewer cheftestants, the Carla express train seemed bound for “Hootie Hoo-ville” (no, that’s not an actual place) station.

Sadly, the Carla train stopped short last night when she failed to trust her gut on two major dishes, winding up with a sunken soufflé and a blown sous vide steak. In an interview this morning, the DC-local discussed her progression over the season, why she’s cool with Hosea’s win, and how she’s actually “much weirder” in real life than what we saw on TV.

So what happened with Casey last night?

When I was there, and afterwards, I really enjoyed working with Casey. I actually really wanted Casey. I thought that we would connect, personality-wise, which is really important. Richard Blais is really nice too. I did not consider that it was Casey’s fault. The way I guess I have to explain it is that doing the competition you give so much that it’s just emotionally exhausting trying to think of things.

Going into the finale you’re exhausted, and then all of the sudden you have help. You have help from people who have already been through it. So I think I just wanted to exhale and say thank God I don’t have to bear it all on my own. I don’t have to do it all. But I probably gave too much power away. She didn’t take it, I gave it. I am prepared to take full responsibility for that.

In hindsight yes I would have done something differently. When you’re exhausted and tired you make totally different decisions. She was standing by me. I think I hadn’t sold myself on the soufflé dish, and I hadn’t completely changed my idea of the tart. I never really did a proper soufflé and then I didn’t turn the oven down. It wouldn’t have worked anyway, because I was still in my head creating it, while I was trying to get my dishes out.

I wasn’t even present doing my meat dish. If we had done something else, had a better cut of meat, and seared it, using the sauce that I’d prepared - which was really delicious - I think I would have been in the game. Not presenting something on the last plate definitely tripped me up.

I would not blame Casey at all. I hope people understand that and they don’t give her a hard time. I know the blogs are blowing up saying she did me in. No she did not.

Have you had a conversation with her since the finale?

I haven’t spoken to her. I would love to give her a call. I don’t have her number. I want to see how she’s taking all of this because I would really hate for her to get the brunt of it. If I could get on the loud speaker and say to whoever watches the show: please do not blame Casey. I take full responsibility for it. I just hope she’s not getting beat up by it.

Everyone knows you’d been building up momentum all season, you even said so yourself last night. What was that progression like for you, starting off less strong and then building each week?

The progression wasn’t necessarily in my technique. Whatever technique I had going in, that’s what I had. I think the progression was to become comfortable in my own skin, and comfortable with myself in that environment. You saw that sort of fall apart in the finale last night.

Every day when I got centered, my whole thing was to just step in and not be so tense and afraid of messing up that I couldn’t do what I knew I was able to do. The turning point for me was Restaurant Wars, where you think you’re going to go home, and that’s your biggest fear. So then I thought OK that’s out of the way, so now I can cook. Then when I was in the moment things worked out. I was exactly where I needed to be. I needed to not be afraid of not doing a good job, which stifled any disappointment. So I continued.

The disservice that I allowed for the finale was to not be in that flow, and I used Casey as a crutch. So that’s what happened.

Can you talk about cooking with love?

I am sure that everybody on that show who loves what they do - they may not describe it the way I describe it - cooks with love. It’s just the way I am. I think in any discipline, if you love what you do, you do it with love, because you care about it. When you care about something it comes through, and the people who you are delivering it to know it, and they respond to it. They may not know what the thing is, but what we’re responding to is the fact that you care about it.

There was one episode where Tom seemed to not understand that concept. Did he eventually get it? Did the other judges get it?

I think they did. If they didn’t get it, they respected that it was my perspective. I know that Gail definitely got it, and you know Toby mentioned it. Honestly that was a piece of winning for me, too. Just to show people we’re not here just to pull out a dish that’s technically sound and it tastes good; there’s a little piece of us going into every dish that we make. That truly is reality when you go to a restaurant; there are people busting their butt’s trying to get a good meal to you.

Sometimes when you’re doing the challenges and don’t have a lot of time, what ever we put out, whether it succeeds greatly or fails like I did last night, there is a piece of me in that dish. I just hope that comes across to the judges. It doesn’t mean that I’m a failure as a person. I mean, shoot, we all have a bad day. Sometimes our bad days are small and no one sees them, and sometimes our bad days are in front of millions of people. But that’s life.

What did you think of the way you were portrayed on the show?

I think I’m weirder than they made me seem, so they did a great job! My friends went oh my God, you’re just like that! Are you sure you want to show people that side of yourself? So I’m going to be me. Sometimes I’m really quirky, sometimes I’m introspective, sometimes I’m probably on a soap box somewhere. I think they pretty much captured it all.

Last night the moment when Stefan comforted you at judges table was really touching, can you talk about what was going on there?

I think it was really sweet. We’d been standing in front of those judges for hours! Obviously you don’t see that. It wasn’t until the end, after three hours or so of being badgered like what the Hell, Carla? that I was trying to hold it in, but then my voice started to quiver. Then Stefan walked over and I was really touched. I think both of them were just feeling it.

Because you’re so into what you’re doing…they didn’t realize that I was falling apart when I was putting out my dishes; they were so focused on their own. So they too, were learning about this as we were standing in front of the judges.

I really like Stefan. I know he’s been portrayed as the villain, but he is playing the game. He is sussing out his competition and playing the game. He’s not a bad person. He doesn’t want to win by choking someone up. He wants to win by doing a good job and being a good competitor. I applaud his technique and his abilities as a chef. I think he was awesome with the alligator. Granted, I snickered when Hosea gave him that alligator, but he pulled it out. He was like look you cannot trip me up!

Where did you watch the finale?

I went out with 90 other people: family, friends, students from my cooking class. I am teaching a class at Culinary, which is a recreational cooking school in downtown DC. So, the students that are in my class watched, I had clients there, and lots of family and friends. We all were there together and they were all rooting me on. So then I was like I hope none of you all are crying out there, alright? People get so choked up!

People always seem to stray away from doing dessert, which was your strong suit this season. What did you think about Hosea’s decision not to do one last night?

I think that a chef’s decision has to be based on their strengths. We’re there to show our strengths. Interestingly enough, I like doing desserts, and I did desserts in the beginning, but I kind of got pigeon holed because I wasn’t afraid to do them. Doing desserts in my regular day-to-day is something that’s a treat for me, so I can relax. So I started doing them just to relax. Then it took on a whole different meaning when I found myself doing them until Restaurant Wars, and you know how that ended. But I think that I didn’t want to do a dessert because I was kind of gun shy after restaurant wars, and I didn’t want to be pegged as a dessert chef, which I’m not. So I did a spin on a cheese course with a really good crust.

As for Hosea, I think he made a good decision. If he doesn’t do desserts well, then why set himself up like I did? I don’t do sous vide and then I did sous vide, and that wasn’t a very good decision. He was smart. Me, not so much, right?

Do you think Hosea deserved it?

I think he made the best meal. I’m so happy for him and think he deserved it. He’s a package. I wasn’t reading the blogs about Hosea, well, my husband would read them to me, but he’s a really good guy and he’s gotten kind of a bum rep.

Anyone who would have gotten it deserved it. We worked really hard. I think sometimes people don’t think about how hard it is. Stefan has done a beautiful job throughout the competition, and people have asked me whether it should have been cumulative. I’m going to say no to that. If it was cumulative, then Hosea wouldn’t have been there; he wouldn’t have gotten that shot. He ended up winning by cooking the best meal that night.

So everybody gets another chance. You can mess up, and if you’re still there, the next day you get up and do it all over again and win, and have a fresh start, which is great. I think that’s a really good message in life. You messed up today? Don’t worry about it. Brush yourself off and get up and do it over again tomorrow.

Did your husband and stepson enjoy the Super Bowl?

They were so excited! They didn’t find out until we watched the show. My husband couldn’t understand that I was sitting there with these two fabricated tickets, saying ‘you’re going to the Super Bowl!’ He was looking at me like what? They had a wonderful time. Hearing the story about it made me really excited. My treat was that then I didn’t have to actually watch the Super Bowl!

Did you also have to keep the car a secret from everyone?

Yeah, no one knew about that either. My sweet, sweet husband, true to form, cried when I won. He was so happy because I actually won, and then the fact that I won the car, he was over the moon. So he was a little teary!

You mentioned on the show that you used to be a model. How long were you doing that for, and at what point did you decide to consider the idea of cooking professionally?

I modeled only for three years. I mostly did runway modeling. At 30 I went to culinary school after falling into a lunch delivery service. So I was doing that for five years. I really cut my teeth, so to speak, doing that, the day-to-day grind. After that I still wanted to do it, so I said OK I’m ready to invest in myself. I’d had the experience, so I went to culinary school to get the theory. After putting the theory and the experience together, I loved it. I found a passion about it that was exciting to me. My biggest thing was being 40 and hating my job, so I was willing to do anything to figure it out. I think a lot of what you all saw was my passion about stuff. I hope everyone gets to experience that; if you have a passion for taking out the trash, then you do a really good job.

Are you still in touch with everyone from the show?

I talk to Ariane a lot. She came down here to DC to help me with an inaugural event, and I went up to her restaurant, which is really good. So I talk to her a lot. I talk to Jamie, and I talk to Stefan quite a bit.

Interestingly enough, it’s so funny, when we were going through the competition he’s like I’m not here to be friends, I’m not going to talk to these people! Then he calls all of us. He is like the paternal grandfather keeping all of us together and calling. It’s great. Inky's Note: Interesting about Stephan, and she's not the only one to say this. I've seen similar comments from others. I think he probably has more heart than I gave him credit for, during the show.

What’s next for you?

I will continue to cater. I don’t know what’s coming down the pike. I really want to start a sweet and savory boutique. I’m opening up a place hopefully in downtown DC where I can do catering, and also have a chefs table where people like yourself can actually taste my food without having to cater. But it will be pretty small so I’ll probably wind up pissing more people off than making them happy. Maybe a couple of classes in that space.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 5:26 pm

inkydinkydoo wrote:
Boy! Can you say Bitter Betty? Lots of interesting responses to the article below. If you're interested, follow the link.

http://sidedish.dmagazine.com/2009/02/26/casey-thompson-speaks-out-about-top-chef/

Casey Thompson Speaks Out About Top Chef

Casey speaks! And she doesn’t sound happy, folks. I asked her to comment on last night’s episode, and here’s what she had to say:

Carla was not prepared and in over her head. The show did not talk about how the first course (crab) took her half of the friggin’ cooking time that day, I was left to work the rest of HER dishes.

She also did not have a plan. The ONLY thing she had in mind was a cheese course! I would NEVER do a cheese course. And where in the hell did french come from!? She is not even classically trained! It (the show) didn’t talk about how I worked on a sauce for 2 days and Carla forgot to put it on the plate… It didn’t show how the 2nd course (fish) was MINE. It didn’t show how she took the sous vide idea and decided to GRILL it last minute causing it to be tough… And it didn’t show how she WANTED to do the souffles which she does not even know how to make! That was HER food, because it certainly was me asking her how she wanted to do this and that while she was busy picking crab the entire time and making a souffle that didn’t rise!

I am done with TC. I did not influence her. She has NO ideas of her own, oh, except a cheese course.

Wow.

Yikes! I can understand Casey wanting to tell her side of what happened, but did she have to trash Carla like that in the process? doh If she doesn't like that she's getting the blame for Carla's loss, she should blame the editing not Carla.

And I thought Carla was classically trained in french cuisine? Didn't she say that during the ep where they had to recreate Eric Ripert's dishes? I thought it was Casey that wasn't classically trained and was self taught, but maybe I remember wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 5:30 pm

btw, thank you inky for bringing all of these articles here, I'm enjoying reading them. It's nice to hear good things about Stefan, I did think he could be iritating at times, but I always kind of liked him. He never annoyed me to the degree that Hung did in his season. I loved seeing his sweet side come out towards Carla in the finale. I wanted him to be the winner if Carla wasn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 1st 2009, 5:57 pm

Wow. Casey is a bit upset at the press she is getting. After reading the other interviews, it seems like the other sous chefs were more accomodating to their TC contestants.

Thanks for keeping this thread going. I've enjoyed reading it every week. I'll probably catch the show on the rebound... which is when I usually get to see it
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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 2nd 2009, 5:12 am

Yeah. When I read Casey's comments, "Methinks thou doth protest too much" kept running through my head. Her comments were just W A Y over the line . . . and UNtrue, when she talked about Carla being in over her head and untrained.

I thought her comments might have come, at least in part, from a feeling of guilt. A guilty feeling that she might have been partially responsible for Carla's poor showing. For whatever reason, it was Casey's suggestions that did not work, and she probably thought that made her look bad. The funny thing is that it's her response that really makes her look bad (IMO).

It was Carla fault for going with Casey's suggestions, when she knew they weren't what got her there, and she'll be the first to admit it. Carla is much more of a class act than Casey can ever dream of being.

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 4th 2009, 7:03 am

Reunion Show tonight should be good.

Bravo at 9pm and midnight

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PostSubject: Re: Top Chef : Season 5   March 4th 2009, 8:14 pm

Bravo goes with the premiere of Make Me a Supermodel after the Top Chef New York Reunion Special.


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