Nicep4finalists_and_alton
So, was I right?  Questions and comments?  I’ll try to elaborate on the food tomorrow answer burning questions.

Monday Morning Update: This was a really difficult decision–Cosentino or Sanchez.  Symon was the clear winner from all of us, for the incredibly juicy salmon (he made a risky decision to finish it in the airplane rather than reheat), but his other dishes were on the money too.  Besh’s asparagus salad was a little lacking, just wasn’t all there.  And he told me why afterward.  In the rush to get all his food into the box he forgot one of his vinaigrettes!  This challenge was indeed really hard–the time, the number of dishes, the unfamiliar kitchen and the cameramen getting in your goddam way.  I personally thought Chris was being kind! And showing uncommon grace under pressure by not ripping the camera out of their hands and mauling them bloody–you have no idea what a drag they are when you’re trying to cook. They are of course required for a show, however.

Nicep4aaron5 Chris’s crunchy cauliflower and Aaron’s nasty fish skin hurt them.  Neither prepared dishes with the muscle Besh and Symon did.  We had an hour between when we actually delivered a verdict and Knowlton argued vociferously, actually taking me by the lapels and slamming me against a concrete wall way in the back of the hangar. He was persuasive. They were so close in fact that I had to take their overall performance into account. In the end, we all wrote down our choices and handed them to Alton, and it was unanimous.  Chef Schmitt did not judge but his comments and opinions were very important to our evaluation.

And yes the editing. It was kind to Knowlton this week. He’s just as much of an ass as ever.  Donatella just as elegant.  (Kidding about Knowlton!)  If anything, I was the snooty one this week, nothing but curled lip and disdain.  The consomme issue is important.  Besh used it to make the dish sound prettier.  But by doing so he’s diminishing the value of the word.  Soon it won’t mean anything. He trailed me in the Charles de Gaulle airport the next day saying, "Consomme was in quotes!"  He even dropped his bags to make quote marks in the air.

For the record, to respond to a grumbler, I do not and never have called myself a chef, because I am not a chef.  A chef is a leader of a kitchen.  I am a trained cook, and spent a very brief and not inglorious time as a line cook at a Cleveland restaurant owned by Marriott (which gave health bennies, thank god).  I make my living as a writer–perhaps the grumbler should check out my new book. Also, I don’t know who said it, but no winner was pre-selected.  We were told repeatedly by the producers to vote from our gut.  And if they had told me anything else, I would have said, f.u.

Now, after a falling out with these producers, I have decided to reveal the big secret from next week’s show:
Cossymonbesh

Besh is in fact an undercover agent for the international police and arrests both Symon (frigging peacemonger, Besh was heard saying, as he put the cuffs on) and Cosentino for illegal foie gras activity, citing an obscure Chicago ordinance as his justification.

Read fellow judge Andrew Knowlton’s comments and picks for top three bottom three dishes, which i agree with.

And the inimitable Amateur Gourmet here.

UPDATE: I put this in the comments, but a reader suggested putting it here and I agree.  I got an email from Cosentino this morning saying this:

thanks for defending me with the camera guys. these guys were german and not understanding of space every time i moved my elbows touched someone. i thought i was going to hurt my self. also i found out later that eytan with this ear piece was telling the camera guys to get closer to me . In kitchen stadium they understand the dangers of being to close and they want you to succeed, in this episode all they wanted was the shot. that is why i got hostile i told them from the beginning to give me space since the kitchen configuration was really bad we had a very small pass way to get to equipment (like bowls, pans )and they were always blocking it and wouldn’t move when we asked them . thats when the hostility came. now that 1/2 the country thinks i am an asshole as some one put it in another blog. life goes on.

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262 Wonderful responses to “Next Iron Chef: Hardest Challenge According to Chefs”

  • Thomas Pantano

    Congratulations to Chef Michael Symon for becoming “The Next Iron Chef”. I think Iron Chef Symon will do a great job and I look forward to watching his battles.

  • L.S.

    To the guy who said that David Myers’ Comme Ca was “horrible” or whatever unflattering term he used to describe it- please try a meal there again.

    Chef Myers is an amazing chef- I know as I’ve eaten at Sona and was thrilled at the tasting menu, wine list, and service, and I know how hard Chef Myers works to ensure that his restaurants are THE best they can be.

    He’s a family member of mine-so naturally, I’m quite biased…lol- but I feel that he’s the most passionate person I’ve ever spoken with or listened to when it comes to food, and I’m a major foodie myself, so I’ve spoken with a few knowledgeable chefs in my time.

    I know Comme Ca is still fairly new, and maybe you hit it on an off night, but I’ve been there as well as to Sona and I know the food isn’t as terrible as you make it out to be. I also know how absolutely crushed David would be knowing your thoughts on his food. So much so that had you said something the evening you dined there, I’m betting he would have been extremely accommodating in regards to repairing the situation and more than likely, comping your meal.

    I wish you would have had a better dining experience and I hope you’ll try Comme Ca again in the future, and that it turns out to be one of your BEST experiences. Take care.

  • Kat

    I am rooting for John Besh. I like his style, and he has GREAT presence. Too bad the judges already seem to have their favorite picked out, it is pretty obvious that MS will win.

  • kiti

    I just watched the Paris episode. Predictable. It was obvious several episodes ago that it would be down to Symon and Besh. This program is a lot of hype. Kudos to the marketing department though.

  • Sakurako

    Thank you for including Cosentino’s side of things. I figured there must be more to it than the editing allowed.

  • Sara

    No, no, no (I mean, yes, those responses are great, but…), I meant when you watch Iron Chef America on TV (not the show on who gets to be an Iron Chef, but the acutal ICA competitions), who do you root for? Do you root for one chef over others? Do you always root for the Iron Chef? Or, like me, do you kind of reserve that judgement until you see their food?

    Sorry if I was unclear… to be perfectly honest, it was late and I was a little stoned…

  • janet

    In answer to “who are you rooting for,” I’m sure this will come as a surprise to some, but at this point my favorite is Symon.

    I started out rooting for Des Jardin, because she’s my local girl, and the only one of the chefs whose food I have tasted. After she got eliminated right away, I didn’t have a favorite for a while — I was impressed with some of the things Cosentino did early on, especially the tripe, but lately he seems to have slipped.

    Symon and Besh seem the obvious finalists — the ones who have most consistently done well. Of the two, Symon’s food looks more interesting and varied to me. As to personality, Besh’s is wearing thin. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m rooting for Symon, but at this point he looks like the best choice to me.

    Of course, all of this is based on what we are being shown by the editors of the show, who have their own narrative to tell.

  • sailorgrrl07

    Claudia: remember when you say “Lee” to elongate the “L”

    “LLLLLLLamb Chops with LLLLLime and LLLLLovage…”

    Soul of a Chef is on its way to my pad. :-) Can’t wait.

    Cheers

  • Claudia

    Oh, right, Sailor, to remind me. The next flavor in the new Sandra Lee line of “vice cream” ? “Xanax for the Memories.” OK, I’m done.

  • Frances

    I just got The Reach Of A Chef (the celebrity edition) today and can’t wait to dive in. I got Les Halles Cookbook for my husband’s birthday. After reading the preview blurbs, we’re back to cooking chicken with skin and bone. Cripes, if we were idjits before, at least now we are reformed idjits. Overjoyed ones. The raptures of crispy chicken skin are hard to articulate. Fat shmat.

    Claudia, I’d like extra vallium please.

  • Claudia

    Yes, Sara, something like that. Valium Vacation? Pistachio/Pastis and Paxil? I need to have a chat with a few more pharmaceutically-friendly acquaintances, but I think I could have my flavor profile developed by the weekend (!)

    OK, back to TNIC:

    I was sad to see Aaron go and I think his explusion really hurt him. As for rooting for a particular chef . . . well . . . I was initially rooting for Besh, because I’ve seen him on FN plenty of times and I immediately liked his raffish sense of humor – I also thought he had the chops to win. I still do. But Symon is really growing on me – not because he’s buds with Ruhlman, but because he has really proven himself, challenge after challenge, he has a terrific presence and a goofy sense of humor – all of which he never loses, no matter what kind of pressure he’s under. Surely he is demonstrating The Right Stuff for an Iron Chef? To be innovative, creative, technically perfect and to multitask all of that, through the loopiest of circumstances? Hey, he’s redefined the future of inflight food! Besh could still win – and I wouldn’t be sorry if he does – but, come on – who DOESN’T love Symon? (!)

    I know the question of which chef you are rooting for was directed at Ruhlman (now that he’s free to cheer the chefs on, remote in hand, from the safety of his own home), and I’d kind of like to know that, too – but what’s the thinking out there, and why? Besh? Cosentino? Has one got more “chops” and “deserves” to win more? And do you think the one who “deserves” to win . . . will?

  • Stjay805

    Ruhlman,
    What’s up with you pursing your lips when you eat? It looks like you dispise everything in your mouth.
    -Stj

  • sailorgrrl07

    Claudia: I am not worthy. That was awesome. Thanks. :-)))

    Happy Weekend everyone. Hopefully no more shakers here in NoCal.

  • Robert Schoenfeld

    Hey Ruhlman.

    Yes you, Im talking to you asshole.. Pull over the pretentious bus. I assume that your idea of gourmet is Taco Bell.. Maybe you should be a bit more objective and stop picking on the minor minor technical issues. You must be Chef Simon’s biggest fan boy.. Are getting free meals for a year?

  • Claudia

    Hopefully, Sailorgrrrl, the only shakers you’ll have in NoCal this weekend are the kind that have a Cosmo in ‘em (!) Must work on my Sandra Lee-inspired dessert now – I call it Valium Vacation. A vanilla ice cream base with a heavy vodka infusion, candied tangerine and cranberries, and a light crushing of Valium on top – Hel-LO, America! Mix THAT into a sundae, Sandra! A dollop, anyone? Sara? Frances? Robert Schoenfeld? (!!)

  • janet

    Against my better judgement, I check in to see if I’m still being trashed. And what do I find? People trashing Sandra Lee! Now that I can get behind.

    Sometimes, in the late afternoon when I’m tired out from chasing a toddler around all day, I sit down with said toddler and watch either Everyday Italian or Barefood Contessa, because that’s what’s on. But if Sandra Lee comes on, I turn off the TV instantly — I wouldn’t expose an innocent child to that kind of filth!

    The toddler likes Alton Brown best, though.

  • Sara

    Hey, guys, I have a question. A genuine question, kinda OT by this point (considering how far from the original post we’ve wandered), but one that just occured to me about ICA/NICA. Ruhlman, if you feel comfortable answering (not that it’s sensitive, just because this comment thread got so heated), I’d love to hear what you have to say, too.

    Who do you guys root for when you’re watching ICA?

    I’m incredibly inconsistant — I’ll root for the challenger if I’ve eaten at their restaurant, or heard particular things about them or whatever. Or if they intrigue me. I definitly don’t consistently root for the Iron Chef. I like Batali more than the rest, I guess, and I have this weird aversion to Cat Cora even though every time she cooks I think about how much I want to eat everything she’s making. I remember when I first discovered IRON CHEF (capital letters = Japanese!) and how much I love Sakai and Morimoto because they seemed like such *characters* on that show, in that weirdly under-over-the-top way Japanese characters can be (I don’t know if that came out right. You know what I mean, right?) I’m not taken with any of our Iron Chefs like that… but I get really into rooting for *someone* by the end. Is it like this for everyone? I feel like I mostly reserve judgement until they’re serving. But I also feel like if Cosentino or Symon got picked to be an Iron Chef (Besh too, I guess, but I’m really quite lukewarm on Besh) I’d suddenly be rooting for them all the time. [Insert corny, but true, "I shared their journey" sentiment here].

    Am I nuts? It’s late, have I let the day go to my head? Or does anyone else experience this, too?

  • Kalyne

    Talking about Sandra Lee seems to have taken the place of discussing ruhlman’s hair.

    After reading numerous “STFU” comments to people trying to bring up intelligent critical points about NIC I think the SLOP talk finally brought the point home–”Keep Your Critical Thinking To Yourself”.

    So…Love and kisses, hearts, flowers, and a big “thank you” to all for everything!

    Over and out.

  • Sara

    Thanks, Frances. And when you decorate your kitchen completely in red and black, wear a fake kimono and put your hair up in chopsticks, and do a couple somewhat questionable impressions of Chinese people so you can teach people a quick way to make gluey potstickers, I think you can maybe say the color scheme/costume scheme was politically incorrect. Like I said, it’s not blackface for soul food, but some of her choices are, well, a little weird.

  • Claudia

    I just wonder why no one’s thrown a net over Sandra yet and dragged her away for treatment for her little Valley of the Dolls problem. With a cross-addiction like hers, it’s a wonder the network even trusts her with a can opener. Or maybe she’s really secretly empowering other women leading lives of quiet desperation over dinner. (“Sandra can open a can of fruit pie filling and get it to land in the store-bought pie crust after 8 Sidecars AND a fistful of Paxil?! Well, hell, yessssssssssshhhhh – I can, too!”) Hey, it’s a thought. (OK, and a little sarcasm.

  • Uncle hulka

    Politically incorrect color schemes!?!?!?!?

    Are you kidding me!?!?!?!?

    Ruhlman, will you please do us all a favor and blow up this damn blog?

    This is ridculous.

  • Frances

    If it’s ridiculous to you, just laugh. Unless you’re kidding. But either way, I’m laughing because it’s what I do.

  • Uncle hulka

    No, I’m not kidding. Wish I was.

    Ascribing politcally correct/incorrect motives to color schemes is insane.

    But then again, last night, I could have sworn my garage door opened in an offensive manner when I got home from work. I think I’m going to send it to sensitivity training classes.

  • Suzette

    Call me crazy, but I’m of the opinion that one should act on a blog, even an anonymous one like this one, the way one acts in personal conversation. That is, it is not polite to jump all over every comment made that one doesn’t agree with. If someone says something you find silly, or wrong, you CAN just ‘let it pass.’ N’ext pas?

    I enjoy reading this blog, and I post occasionally, but I think the quickest way to ruin this “Good Thing” Mr. Ruhlman has so kindly set up is to forget our manners. And I’m referring to a few people on this thread. It’s not necessary, or polite, to make snarky comments to other posters just because you disagree with what they have said.

    Just my two cents! I know they weren’t asked for, but you’re getting them anyway! Thanks, Mr. Ruhlman, for letting us all come here and discuss TNIC and all things foodie!

  • Frances

    I never had watched the show enough to notice whether her cultural themes are offensive or not. I’m more put off by the taco-seasoning-in-a-pouch approach and the message that “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” atmosphere. I won’t even say “offended” because, really, that show is not worth anything other than a good laugh.

  • Sara

    Her Asian, Latin and, essential, International meals are themed in the colors most closely related to the racial/ethnic stereotypes that have been perpetuated over the years, and her outfits while she’s cooking are almost like costume parodies of the cultures she’s apeing her shit food from (I’m sorry, those recipes are *terrible*). It’s not like she’s wearing blackface while making soul food, but it’s enough to make you (or, at least, me) slightly uncomfortable.

  • Frances

    I’m curious now. How can a color scheme be politically incorrect?

    I forgot to mention another thought – with all that liquor going around, do the grownups drop their keys in a basket on arrival?

  • Sara

    I remain creeped out by the way Sandra Lee’s set morphs to fit whatever color scheme she’s using on her “tablescape” (the word makes me gag a little bit), and how those colors are kinda, well, politically incorrect sometimes…

  • JG

    Well, Sandra Lee’s “cooking” might be some f-ed up 1950s dream of appetizers for meals and basically a TV dinner lifestyle, but the lady does make some good drinks. And given how much she appears to like them (she giggles and gets most excited about the inevitable accompanying cocktail for her “tablescape” – gag) you’d think she would work hard on making them tasty.

  • Frances

    Speaking of Sandra Lee, does vodka and orange liquer served over ice IN A TUMBLER really equal a cocktail? I mean we all know that for some people liquor is where babies come from, because you have to get good and drunk before anything will happen, but still… Lollipops for the kidlets and 12 ounces of liquor for the grownups. It’s so…Valley Of The Dolls to me. Disturbing.

  • allie

    “I think most people like the posters here can watch the show and realize the judging is fair but I don’t think most people who watch the Food Network are like us. If they were, Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray wouldn’t have shows.”

    but do you really think anyone who watches sandra lee is going to read “soul of a chef”? I’ve watched her on a few occasions, for the same reasons people slow down when they drive by car wrecks, and then I quickly change the channel because I’m paranoid that the food network can somehow tell I’m watching and might think people actually like her. anyway, I’m guessing the average FN viewer views this just another reality show, like “so you think you can dance” with cooking. they’re unlikely to be interested enough to even find out about the symon/ruhlman connection.

    the only people I’d expect to maybe have a problem with it are 1) big fans of john besh and 2) people who take reality tv way too seriously (see above posts).

  • Kansas City rube

    To answer a question from above, there is no email address or phone number provided for the Food Network or The Next Iron Chef on their Web sites. And unlike the accessible and gracious Ruhlman, I doubt they’d respond even if I did find their contact info.

    Claudia, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Ruhlman ever did respond to questions about whether the Food Network talked with him about his relationship with Symon or whether they foresaw that some people might object to the connection. I also wondered what their explanation would be those who did object.

    I think most people like the posters here can watch the show and realize the judging is fair but I don’t think most people who watch the Food Network are like us. If they were, Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray wouldn’t have shows. And that is why I was so surprised that they weren’t more concerned with the appearance of impropriety. As you can see from some of the posts from people who don’t regularly post here, some people did object to Ruhlman judging regardless of what happened on the show. Maybe the Food Network assumed its viewers can’t read or wouldn’t read “Soul of a Chef”?

  • Sara

    So I’m taking a trip in December, to London and Amsterdam, and I have to say — between NICA and Top Chef, I’m going to be paying more attention to airline food than ever (not that I’m flying first class or anything, but stil…)

    I will report back on the ability of United feed passengers without making them sick.

  • Claudia

    Kansas City -

    It was not the asking of tough questions that was at issue. It was the REPEATED asking of the same tough question, again and again, when it had been asked, answered, re-answered and answered again, ad infinitum.

    RMW -

    Like anyone else, I only “have the floor” when I post – and until someone posts after me. Free speech and democracy at its finest, as usual, on the Ruhlman blog.

    And Len – yeah, the sequence of all four chefs racing each other with their food carts, staged or not, whether they actually had a deadline to make or not, was priceless – Symon was also racing just for the satisfaction of beating Besh to the cooler/cold room, which wss the funniest part of it all. Such boys! Competitive to the end! I hope those two go down to the wire. The smack-talkin’ alone would make the entire finale.

  • cookie

    For those of you that are actually paying attention to the show and not just bitching about the MR/MS thing i have a question. Did anyone else notice that when the chefs voted on each other Symon won. When the corporate chef picked the winner he picked Symon and according to Knowltons blog he had Symon as the winner the past two weeks. MR must truly be a jedi to convince all these people that they must vote for Symon

  • Skawt

    ruhlman:

    As I’ve said before about Knowlton – if you don’t want the dimwits at Triage to use the worst possible shots of you, don’t give them ammo. This week it seemed like all they wanted from you was making faces like you just smelled fermented cat piss.

    Symon:

    I don’t know if you’re reading all of this, but I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide some input here. I think what made this particular contest so difficult was the combination of having to create three courses based on certain criteria due to altitude and cabin pressure; added to that was the necessity for fitting them into what is normally considered institutional cooking.

    For those of you not familiar with institutional cooking, it’s typically the method of cooking and packaging for things like Meals on Wheels, and here in the SF Bay area, Project Open Hand – and schools, hospitals and airplane food. When I went to CCA, one of the courses was a stint at Open Hand. Cooking huge amounts of food in huge kettles and tilting bins that can hold a hundred gallons of food. If you’ve never experienced it, it’s very different from normal restaurant cooking.

    As for Cosentino getting pissed at the cameramen – don’t think CC is like that all of the time. I noticed right away that the camera guys were out of line and didn’t move. It would have served them right if a huge pot of boiling water got spilled all over a cameraman. Sending one of them to the hospital with 2nd and 3rd degree burns would have taught them a lesson.

  • Spatlese

    On a side note, Mr. Ruhlman, you must’ve LOVED playing the Ron DeSantis role, if for only a fleeting moment, when Chef Besh dubbed his soup a “consomme”!

  • rmw

    everyone go to bed….not one of you listen to me…why does claudia have the floor….slow down…Tony… Help we think along the same lines..Ruhlman???

  • IGIF

    Damn! “knowledgeable” of course… (should have previewed before posting)

  • IGIF

    Thank you, Frances! You’ve got my vote…what are you running for again? Oh yeah, one of the best bloggers on this site…enjoy your input. :)

  • Stephen

    Yes apparently everyone wants Bourdain’s opinion on this matter.

    *cough*YOUHEARTHATTONYCHOPCHOP*cough

  • mikenmolly

    OK, Everybody breathe. I’m going to go out on a limb and as an overweight purchasing agent I’m going to tell all of you what to do. But first:

    1. Mr. Ruhlman should admit that there is some validity in the APPEARENCE of partiality in regards to Chef Symon. Though there may be no “darkness in your heart” judging Michael Symon, surely you must admit that the average person could fear some bias in your opinions. This is not some wacko, out of the realm of possibility – it just isn’t.

    2. There is equally just as much of a possibility that Mr. Ruhlman, fearing such a appearance of bias, will be EXTRA HARSH on Chef Symon, holding his food to a HIGHER standard. This is as much of a possibility as he giving a nod to the food. Surely, Mr. Ruhlman has eaten Chef Symon’s food often, and Chef Symon, wanting to go that extra mile for a very good friend, served him BETTER food than the average diner at Lola received. A comparison to this food would only HURT Chef Symon in a rushed, Iron Chef challenge.

    So, what to draw from this? Who knows!! Have fun!! If Ruhlman is holding Symon’s hat and control’s all judges through some kind of Jedi mind trick, than so be it; Symon and that silly laugh will be a GREAT addition to Iron Chef. If he’s extra harsh on Symon and Symon loses, you can be sure there will be Ex-Lax in Ruhlman’s next chocolate gateau at Lola’s – and won’t Bourdain love that! If everything is above board, then that’s what we want, right?

  • Frances

    So, if Ruhlman was a judge and Symon not a contestant, nobody would have a problem with any fringe benefits he would stand to gain by this gig? And if Symon was a contestant, and Ruhlman not a judge, nobody would have a problem with any fringe benefits he would stand to gain by winning (or even competing)? Take either person out of the picture and you have the same benefit for the remaining person no matter what the outcome.

  • IGIF

    The dead horse has finally been given (or so it seems) to Cosentino to make something wonderful out of all the “offal”ly negative comments on this blog. Love the 1st Amendment, love Ruhlman and Bourdain, love thoughtful comments, especially from those of you who are far more culinary-schooled than I am, and am very happy to see that Mr. Ruhlman is at least being given props for #1, providing this blog no matter what, #2, giving us the background missing from the edited show, and #3, being such an intelligent, witty, talented, knowleageable writer (with great hair). Wouldn’t miss a day of it! Including all of your individual comments, whether I agree or not.

  • Spatlese

    Gotta hand it to the Food Network for creating a show that stirs up such passionate feelings about what is, essentially, a spectacle of camp. Of course, IC wasn’t their brainchild, but they’ve certainly taken the idea and run with it. As such, like logicalmind, I find it disingenuous of some of you who think the contestants here are simply in it for the sake of the competition. Mario Batali did NOT have an “empire” at the time he got his Molto Mario gig. When TVFN found him and put him on TV, his “empire” consisted entirely of a sliver of a restaurant called Po in Manhattan’s West Village. No Babbo, no Lupa, no Otto, no line of jarred spaghetti sauces, just him in a tiny little spot on Cornelia Street. Do you REALLY think Mario would’ve become the worldwide celebrity he is today if TVFN hadn’t given him a TV vehicle through which he could expand his audience? I’m sure Po would’ve remained successful (I ate there many years ago, shortly before he started appearing on TV, and I loved every bite), but let’s be serious. There’s “talented chef making tasty Italian food in the Village” successful, and then there’s the Mario-as-media-behemoth successful.

    Certainly chefs like Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, or Eric Ripert hardly need the exposure of an IC:A gig to earn a comfortable living or put their names on the lips of serious foodies everywhere. But that hardly refutes the idea that media exposure on the level of Emeril or the current Iron Chefs would boost that earning power and recognizability into the stratosphere.

  • sailorgrrl07

    Len: wholeheartedly agree. 99.5% is so genuine that I would forgive a little staging for that last one…but in my heart of hearts I actually believe it was genuine.

  • Francesca

    Well, I have to hand it to Ruhlman. I have a new found respect for him since he has not deleted any of the comments on his blog.

    Well, I am not going into everything thst has already been discussed.

    I think Cosentino will be next. As far as Besh and Symon go, well, I think Symon will win.

    I am finding that I like this blog.

  • Christie

    One Question:

    Those of you who are upset about impartial judging (or whatever your beef is), have you written or called The Food Network about it?

  • Len

    “Firstly, there is NO WAY that each of the 4 chefs got done with their meals at EXACTLY the same time and ran EXACTLY the same speed down the hallway and made it into the room with 0 seconds to spare. This was obviously just a drama building point in the show, but I do not buy it for a second.” (AgentZer0)

    Even if it *was* staged, the shot of all 4 chefs coming around the corner almost side-by-side was hilarious, and as good as any similar auto racing photo I’ve ever seen … I think it would even make a terrific screen background :-)

  • Penelope

    Well, I have 10 copies of all of Ruhlman’s books, and have pre-ordered 1000 copies of the new one, and I’m the next Iron Chef, and I was all the other ones too, and I can win with a tuna sandwich on whole wheat when the secret ingredient is tuna, or mayonnaise. Or whole wheat bread, I won many times with just the crust.

    And my hair has an agent, and we announced we’re not re-signing with Breck during Next Iron Chef AND The World Series.

  • sailorgrrl07

    Every time Emeril says “I wish you could smell this” I think of Chef Tell.

  • Kansas City rube

    I don’t think logicalmind is asking questions to amuse himself. I know I’m not. Despite this being “just a TV show,” these are good questions worth asking. Though some of you think that this will not make a chef more successful, I respectfully disagree. I think you will see the income of the Next Iron Chef grow at a rate well beyond the runners-up. In addition, I don’t think many people would watch the show if they thought the judges were being influenced by anything, whether it be producers or personal feelings. People don’t like the idea of the outcome of competitions being predetermined. Just ask the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

    Again, I don’t think the judging is partial in the least, but I do think there are interesting issues at play here and they’re worth discussing. We are all adults here and if anyone reading this is genuinely offended or upset over these questions, then you are probably the one taking this too seriously and you need to lighten up. If this conversation is really so awful, I suggest that you stop reading the comments on this entry and wait until Ruhlman posts another before you chime in again.

    And if Ruhlman is such a First Amendment kind of guy, I’m sure he welcomes spirited debate on the issue. A First Amendment fan would never come out like so many of you and say, “I don’t like you asking tough questions, so please shut up.” If anything, this kind of debate can bring in tons of extra traffic to his site and I hope some of these people will click on his amazon links and buy his books. They’re excellent.

  • Claudia

    No, Logical Mind – YOU think these guys are actually fighting for something. And it doesn’t matter that “random” people know Mario from “Molto Mario”. Mario had his empire going BEFORE Molto Mario, so it would not have mattered whether he ever did MM or IC. You think Thomas Keller needs Iron Chef? People seem to know who HE is, and he doesn’t have an FN gig.

    Chefs of Keller’s caliber (and Flay, and Batali) do not need to have EVERY single last person in the U.S. know who they are. They had thriving careers and reputations, locally AND nationally, before TV came a-knocking. Symon has a burgeoning career, too – he opened Lolita well before he got the TNIC competition gig. If anything, Ruhlman as a writer (and Bourdain) have given him more exposure.

    These chefs are not out of Top Chef – young cooks and chefs still trying to make their mark – they are seasoned pros. They are competitive and are taking the competition seriously (and, no doubt, would LIKE the added exposure), but if Besh goes home tomorrow he will not be cloudy-ing up his not-so-clear, not-so-consomme by shedding salt tears (or sweat) into it. The man has five freakin’ restaurants – ka ching! The chefs all probably got together after the taping, laughed their asses off and had a few brewskies, and razzed each other. (“How ’bout when Knowlton nearly made you cry like a baby, Papi? You know all of New York was watchin’!”)

    And Ruhlman does not delete any posts, however negative. He will delete vile obscenities and death threats, but being a staunch First Amendment kind of guy, he has never removed, shall we say, “dissenting opinion.” I believe he has deleted exactly ONE post to date. And he has “defended” himself – repeatedly – over several weeks, over several boards, no matter how repetitive the posts. It seems that whatever GENUINE questions anyone might have had about any TNIC issue have been asked – and answered – ad infinitum so it’s not about defending Ruhlman. It’s about some people not just beating a dead horse, but refusing to get off it, stop trying to ride it – and WALKING ON. Taking a contrarian position just for the sake of amusement (your own)is . . . not. Amusing.

    Yes, we all realize the FN is a business (as is the food industry – what a shocker), and no, none of us “dense fanboys” thought for a moment that Ruhlman was judging it for free, however many human head-sized steins of beer were involved.

    PS: Sara, no, I didn’t think you were a b____ (and I can’t believe I was still laughing so hard to myself about steins the size of human heads that I actually typed “Munich in Austria”, not Germany – to quote Heather on Rock of Love, “Oh, my HELL!”)

  • sailorgrrl07

    Frances, thanks …a red wall too?….good lord, I’d be a goner

    To paraphrase Tony: Good food might lead to sex…in fact it damn well should :-)

  • logicalmind

    I’m sure rulhman appreciates his fanboys defending him. And I’m sure you wish I would just drop it and return to discussing his hair. But if you forgot, this is ruhlman’s blog. He has the power to do whatever he wants. This is his turf. He can edit or delete anyones posts here, including mine. He specifically said yesterday “happy to answer any genuine questions about this.” So that is what myself and other people are doing. Believe it or not, I like ruhlman. I bought all of his books. I pre-ordered his new book. But that doesn’t mean I have to swoon over him and defend him. He’s a big boy, he can take care of his own business. He can handle it just fine when someone calls him out. How dare I judge a judge.

    The topic of this blog post is “The Next Iron Chef” and my posts are relevant to that topic. And like I said, if ruhlman doesn’t like it he can simply delete my posts. I really don’t care as much as everyone thinks I do. There are some people who care much more than I do. Particularly the contestants involved. But that will all play out in the end. Believe me, investors (including myself) are watching.

    And I never said that losing this show was gonna break anyone. But I absolutely guarantee that the winner will be made by winning. That includes significant increases in income and celebrity. And all that entails. If you don’t realize that the food network is a business and the food is secondary you are a bit dense. Just watch a few shows (ray ray, sandra lee, etc.) and tell me it’s about the food. Ruhlman ain’t judging this show for free my friends.

    And Mario Batali and Bobby Flay may have been known in new york before being on the food network, but the reason that people around the country know them and buy their books is because of the food network. You ask any random person throughout the country who Mario is and they’ll say “yeah, the guy from molto mario”. Then you ask them to name one of his restaurants. Unless they are a serious foodie or live in new york, they can’t answer that question. He has food network to thank for that celebrity.

    You guys think these contestants are simply fighting for the title “Iron Chef”? Really?

  • latenac

    I’ve been enjoying the show. I thought Costentino would be the one going though. I wish the show did show a little more of the judging but that’s my favorite part of these cooking shows.

    I know the challenges aren’t in Kitchen Stadium but I thought the show has done a good job in linking the qualities they look for in an Iron Chef with the challenges (see the episode titles). I don’t think you’d be able to link the qualities as concretely with a typical Iron Chef challenge. Frankly they’re also more interesting to watch than just a series of Iron Chef challenges.

  • The Professor

    Words are powerful. Harsh remarks can cause a destructive chain reaction, like a match in the forest during a drought. Kind comments feel like a light summer rain that brings relief from the heat of the day.Don’t be a hater…be a congratulator.

  • Auralais

    Ay Yi Yi,

    You people endlessly whining about judge impartiality really need to get a life! It’s a TV SHOW, for craps sake!

    Thanks for the blog, Ruhlman, nice to get the insider perspective. Especially because given the editing a lot of the decisions don’t seem to make any sense. Sanchez’s food was great but he still got booted?

    I wish we could see more of what goes into the judgment decisions and less of the FN fluff. I know they’re trying to up the drama and all, but after hearing your commentary on the food, the decision still didn’t make sense.

  • Sara

    Christie: WORD.

    Claudia wrote: “Sara, I’m well aware that Munich is Austria. But if they have steins bigger than a human head in Austria, chances are (as Ruhlman stated) they have them in Germany, too. Danke.”

    Eep! Sorry! I’ve checked these comments so many times (and so many people have had so many things to say) that I didn’t even realize Ruhlman had said Austria. I’d hazard to say they have beers larger than the human head in a lot of parts of Europe. I hope I didn’t come off as a Mega-Mega Bi-Atch (TM Cartman).

  • Claudia

    Seconding both Christie and Mirinblue. Time not only to stop beating a dead horse, but to climb off it and stop trying to ride it.

  • Christie

    Posted by: logicalmind [& others] / [multiple dates & times]

    “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ruhlman, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Symon, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ruhlman, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Symon, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ruhlman, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Symon, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ruhlman, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Symon, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ruhlman, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Symon, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

    Please remember people:

    This is Ruhlman’s blog, not The Food Network’s.

    The Next Iron Chef is The Food Network’s show, not Ruhlman’s. (Consequently, they hired him to be a judge, he didn’t hire himself!)

    If you have a problem with the integrity of the show take it up with THE FOOD NETWORK. Ruhlman doesn’t deserve this sh*t in his personal blog. Jesus Christ!

  • mirinblue

    PEOPLE!
    This is a television show…ENTERTAINMENT!! This is not a court of law, no one is on trial for murder here, Symon is FAB, Ruhlman deserves to judge, everyone knows everyone, who the hell cares if Cleveland breaks into the NYC market, and on and on and on!
    Food is fun, people, food is love! Stop taking this to court and RELAX! AB, MR, MS-love you all. Rock on Brothers~~

  • Frances

    I’m glad you liked the pictures of Lola sailorgrrl07. :) You’ve given a very apt description of the mood conveyed in the photos! I forgot to include this one, which I think is the most striking one:

    http://www.surrealstructures.com/Lola/Dining_04.JPG

    When Chris Schramm was showing me progress photos of the plaster finishes (which I can’t lay my hands on, argh), I saw that red wall and my immediate thought was “REDRUM!” Of course I told him and of course he laughed.

  • stephanie

    Completely off topic…

    I visited my local Borders during lunch today, all excited to buy your new book, only to be disappointed to find it’s not being released until next Tuesday???!!!

    But, then I remembered, you had made mention of selling autographed copies thru your site…

    Is that still a possibility?

  • sailorgrrl07

    Francis, thanks very much for those photos. As a designer, the visual aspect of a restaurant is a huge part of my experience. Look at the lighting, the only word I can think to describe it is “seductive”. Like, sex is about to happen all over the place. Only it’s eating, not the other thing. I would love to experience this place. The ambience paired with Symon’s wicked laugh… what a special evening. Thanks again.

  • Claudia

    Sara, I’m well aware that Munich is Austria. But if they have steins bigger than a human head in Austria, chances are (as Ruhlman stated) they have them in Germany, too. Danke.

    And logicalmind – while IC might raise a chef’s profile a bit, it will NOT make or break them. Seriously. Do you think IC “made” Bobby Flay or Batali? They were both NY superstars well before IC, and already had their own nationwide “empires” in the works. Do you seriously think Traci des Jardins’ career is going to crumble because she got booted? The chefs may take the competition seriously – they may even want the IC gig for a while – but chefs like Cosentino et al. not only will do JUST fine if they don’t win, but will almost certainly have plans afoot to expand, to get into merchandizing, to Pr themselves heavily (by doing gigs like SoBe, for instance, not IC), without having a weekly show or their favorite cutlery flogged through the FN store.

    Here’s an even more startling thought – RUHLMAN’S career, too, will survive TNIC! (And this blog, the way it’s going this week.)

  • NOLA source

    logicalmind asks a good question–

    “Ruhlman, in all honesty it doesn’t really matter what I think. I’m just some random poster on your blog. The people that this should matter to are the contestants in the competition. If they feel they’ve gotten a fair shake then that is really all that matters. Do you talk to the other contestants on the show? Are they aware of this issue and do they care. I have a feeling that it will all depend on who wins.”

    word on the street in New Orleans is that some people saw it as a problem during the competition. i’m sure that camp is too professional to say anything publicly.

    given how professional the contestants are, anybody else wonder if the producers decided to make the judges the evil ones? maybe the producers knew about the possible issue and thought it would be fodder for drama? did Ruhlman get set up?

  • jsmeeker

    Michael,

    Thanks for these blog entries. I’ve really enjoyed reading them and have pointed them out to friends of mine that are also enjoying “Next Iron Chef America”. You provide a lot of good insight. I’m also glad you are able to share some comments from some of the contestants (Chris and Michael)

    I too trust your judging. You’re a respectable guy. The show is on commerical TV and is mostly (or entirely) about entertaining the audience. I think it delivers on that count (eventhough it suffers from some of the same elements that plauge other reality shows with eliminations)

    I’ll be in Cleveland on Friday, and you have pretty much everything to do with it. I have some friends up there, but probably wouldn’t be visiting if I didn’t know about Lola and Chef Symon and Velvet Tango room. Add in Bourdain’s visit to Cleveland for “No Reservations” and you made a guy get really jazzed up to visit Cleveland. Been looking forward to it for weeks!!

    (too much ass kissing here? Hmmm OK… Ruhlman.. Get a haircut!! ;) )

    Jeff

  • Kansas City rube

    None of the chefs are going to complain. There are class acts and I’m sure all friends with each other by now. Complaining would just make them look worse and bring even more negative press to their restaurants. Their fans (whose dollars Food Network advertisers are targeting) will do their complaining for them. So I would think FN would be very worried about the public perception of the integrity of the judging. Again, I don’t think fair judging has been an issue at all but I’m surprised that FN didn’t foresee people raising an eyebrow. Ruhlman, how much did they talk about it with you before the show? Did they seem concerned about public perception?

  • syoung68

    chadzilla mentioned it in a previous post, but I was actually a little surprised that none of the chefs used the sous vide method for fish. It is PERFECT for airline food and is delicious. The one caveat is the texture is not the normal “flaky” fish.

  • logicalmind

    People keep saying this is “just a show”, but to these chef’s I don’t think it is. The winner is going to have a pretty big change in their life. I would expect additional income from being on iron chef regularly, the ability to promote their restaurant during their appearances, the possibility of getting their own show, book deals, increased tourism dollars to cleveland/new orleans for people wanting to visit their restaurants, etc. Not to mention the acclaim of being a food network celebrity. The difference between one of these chefs winning and losing means a lot to their career, the city in which they work, and the authors who have written biographies about them. It’s the difference between being just another competitor and being the next Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, etc.

  • Sara

    “I’m REALLY glad to hear there are beer steins bigger than a human head in Austria – talk about the “VOW” factor.”

    EINE MAß, BITTE!!!

    (one small point — Munich is in Germany, not Austria)

    For the non-German speakers (and I include myself in that category) “Eine maß, bitte” translates roughly to “A liter of beer, please.” Those are the ginat steins, the ones the Haufbrauhaus is famous for, the kind you get all over Munich and Germany that are dangerous and unbelievably delicious. I was in Munich for about a week last summer (Ruhlman — did you guys get time to explore? Munich is one of my favorite places, ever) during the world cup, and I drank so many liters of beer I’m shocked I survived. There are several awesome pics on the intarwebs (on FACEBOOK, so no searchin for you guys!) of me holding four, five, six, a thousand of those delicious, delicious beverages.

    Even the hangovers felt good.

  • logicalmind

    Ruhlman, in all honesty it doesn’t really matter what I think. I’m just some random poster on your blog. The people that this should matter to are the contestants in the competition. If they feel they’ve gotten a fair shake then that is really all that matters. Do you talk to the other contestants on the show? Are they aware of this issue and do they care. I have a feeling that it will all depend on who wins. But it’s not going out on limb to say either besh or symon will take this. I would particularly like to hear how besh feels about it all. I would venture to guess that if he wins he won’t care in the least.

    P.S. how are “Soul of Chef” book sales lately? ;-)

  • Claudia

    I’m REALLY glad to hear there are beer steins bigger than a human head in Austria – talk about the “VOW” factor.

    The only thing funnier than Cosentino apparently understanding The Chairman’s last bit of instructions in German or John Besh’s drawled good ol’ boy German, was Symon’s crack to Chef Schmidt – “the VOW” factor. (“[[My] food has it], yes, Chef?”) Aside from being terrific chefs, the first-class riffing by and among chefs of this caliber (as well as the boyish competitiveness and trash-talking) is a riot. They are under such pressure but they are all such pros (and obviously buds) that it’s pleasure to watch just what kind of crap Besh and Symon might pull on each other. THOSE two need their own show. Right up there with the Clooney/Pitt ratpack. Or Sinatra/Martin/Davis et al. Or the Ruhlman/Bourdain rat pack. BTW, Symon posted this on Cleveland.com:

    ******

    This was the most difficult challenge so far. I have a whole new found respect for chefs that work at airlines, it is a brutal job. The thing that made this challenge so hard wasnt the actual cooking of the product but the packing of it and thinking ahead to the reheat. After watching the battle i am certain that Chris undercooked his cauliflower thinking it would finish on the refire but you have to reheat everything in the same vessel, so if he finishes his cauliflower he overcooks his venison. Which is why you really had to think about reheating in advance and how things would react to it. The way it worked was we had to cook everything and then pack it. It sat in a chiller for 24 hours and then we recooked it. That is alot of time for something to go wrong (its not like reheating Thanksgiving leftovers!!!>>lol) The strangest thing about watching these though is the editing. John and i were in seperate kitchens from Aaron and Chris for this battle so we couldnt tell what the other chefs were doing or their stress levels(Chris is really a great guy even it it seemed as if he was going to kill a cameraman!!)..its so interesting to see it all come together..The other thing that was hard to tell is that we were all completely exhausted at this point. Filming for about 18 hours sraight plus jet lag, etc..made this battle exceptionally difficult. In the end I was really bummed to see Aaron go he is one of my closer friends in the bussiness and a great chef. No one does Nuevo Latino better!!…So off to Paris we go, sleep deprived and ready for the next battle which dear I say was even harder than this one!!!…live to cook, ms

    ********

  • Tom H

    In any competition, when the outcome isn’t going the way someone wants it to, their first refuge is always to blame the referees.

    I speculated last year on eGullet that the winner was pre-judged on Cooking Under Fire, and Ruhlman set me straight in a convincing and respectful manner. I’ve been a fan ever since.

    I completely believe he is judging this fairly and honestly, like the others. In many cases, having a relationship with a contestant will cause a judge subconsciously to actually be a little more harsh on a person than if they didn’t know each other. So, “Lighten up, Francis’es”.

    That of course was not an A380 in the hanger, esepcially since only Singapore Airlines will be taking delivery for the next year or more. The A380 is twice as tall as that jet with a pronounced bulge above the cockpit.

    And there ARE beer steins larger than a human head in Austria. I know… I’ve partaken from them many times! Made the poor choice to chug 2 liters of Kloster Muelln festbier from a giant stein on a dare once.

    Hang in there, Ruhlman. Don’t let the trolls frustrate you and cause you to lose interest in this blog. This is where I go first when I log on every morning and I appreciate the effort you put forth to keep it fresh and informative.

    And try the Bauernschmaus next…

    GO BROWNS!

    Tom H
    .

  • Kalyne

    From BiteNotBark above, in support of the Ruhlman/Symon connection:

    “The day Ruhlman was forced to use the ladies room near my office because all of the contestants were mingling in the hallway he would have to walk down to get to the mens room, and he told my colleague ‘No, I can’t walk down there. I can’t interact with them, it’s not appropriate.’”

    ROFL. If those of you who keep telling anyone critical of this show to STFU don’t see the…uh…irony…of that anecdote, what can I say?

    (Hint: It’s highly compromising to one’s ethics to pee at adjacent urinals, but not to be close personal friends away from the show.)

    And controversy is mother’s milk to blogs. Don’t worry about it!

  • Claudia

    Hey, sportsfans:

    TNIC is TV. It’s a SHOW. It’s supposed to be entertainment. It’s supposed to be FUN. Can we finally lay off the the International Court of Justice at the Hague crap, and leave off the Ruhlman/Symon issue once and for all? It was thrashed to death last week and the week before – Symon knows all THREE judges – and I really wish those who are weighing in on it now had bothered to read all the other posts from the last week and the week before that) before dragging this up again, ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

    I don’t care if Ruhlman and Symon are buying each other jewelry and exchanging pinky promises. I don’t care if they’re sipping bacon ice cream milk shakes together. If you have a problem watching Ruhlman judge, then – hey! – don’t watch the show.

    Personally, I think the dynamic you should be watching is not whether Ruhlman can judge a Symon dish without wanting to go grab a pig trotter sandwich with him, but whether this will be the week that 6’4″ Michael actually bench-presses Pissypants Knowlton over his head and into a giant panini press. Croque Piss’iuer, indeed. Now THAT would be some damn fine TV, folks, don’tcha think?

    Somebody PLEASE tell Knowlton that whipstitching is SO 2 years ago, and white whipstich on a navy jacket is not whimsical, but tacky. Looks like his bespoke haberdasher did not finish the jacket before Knowlton picked it up . . dear God. He isn’t making a fashion statement – he’s a mess!

    Oh, and yes – as dmbfanmd said, could they please focus on the goal of terrific chefs trying to produce fabulous food on the fly, until tight time constraints, in Kitchen Stadium? Or were they too busy taping IC in it?

  • dmbfanmd

    Here is the bigger question.

    Isn’t the whole point of this show to find the next Iron Chef? Every episode of Iron Chef America that I’ve seen has been shot in Kitchen Stadium. While making these chef jump through rediculous hoops like making airline food is “fun”, wouldn’t a NCAA style tournament be better? Making them suffer through these challenges is like training a basketball player by putting him in a batting cage. Sure, basketball and baseball are played with a ball, but the basketball player should focus on making jumpers. These challenges are still cooking, but Iron Chefs should focus on their main goal of decimating challengers in Kitchen Stadium.

  • Jeff

    When is this going to end? Why trash and try and tarnish the integrity of two well respected individuals in the culinary world? Who really cares that Symon and Ruhlman know one another, who went to whose wedding, who wrote about who and what ever else there is to dredge up on a couple of guys who live in the same town? The only ones who can bitch about this whole situation is FN and they knew about the relationship when when they picked Symon and Ruhlman to do the show. So if you’re offended by this relationship, don’t watch the show. It’s still just entertainment.

    P.S. Bourdain, time for you to weigh in on this and help put an end to this!

  • Peter

    A few stray thoughts on reading this (wouldn’t want to be left out!)…

    I’m absolutely shocked that people have such difficulty believing that someone in their capacity as judge, has the inability to remain impartial despite their relationships with the contestants; especially when under the scrutiny of television, and their fellow judges.

    In fact, you could argue that these judges might be tempted to over-compensate for that familiarity and judge too harshly! Whatever! I quite like the mix at the judges table as it stands. How many times have I cringed watching “celebrity” judges (and I use that term loosely) on shows such as ICA, etc…

    I wouldn’t like to believe that the competition is rigged, but whoever picked the chefs that appear on the show is exerting an undeniable influence. From the first episode, both Besh and Symon came across as the most polished and charismatic of the group (w.r.t. food and TV persona), as many people have noted.

    As to comments on judging the food in the last episode at ground level, and not at cruising altitude – a bit of a storm in a teacup. Surely the judges are smart enough to adequately take that into account, and the Lufthansa chef was there to offer his expert advice / opinion. I doubt he does a trans-Atlantic flight every time his team develops a new recipe :)

    My wish list… less host time / more cooking time; more focus on what the chefs are doing, their thought processes, and techniques; clearer and more eloquent comments and judgments on the food at elimination; and get rid of the “Chairman” and his messages by video – what a joke!

  • AgentZer0

    I’ve got to call shenanigans on a couple of elements of this show.

    Firstly, there is NO WAY that each of the 4 chefs got done with their meals at EXACTLY the same time and ran EXACTLY the same speed down the hallway and made it into the room with 0 seconds to spare. This was obviously just a drama building point in the show, but I do not buy it for a second.

    Secondly, and more importantly, why all the drama about the difficulty of this challenge? And not the diffculty of the airplane re-heating, or the difference in tastebuds at altitude, but the diffculty of the time limit.

    Preparing a 3 course meal for 5 people in 90 mins is something any line cook at Ye Olde Waffle House could pull off. Simon was asked point blank how this could possibly be as difficult as a “200 cover Saturday night” and he just blubbered about how hard the challenge was. Puh-leeze.

    And no, I’m not saying I could do it. I’m not saying it’s not hard to cook world-class cuisine on a strict time limit. I’m saying that it IS easy for professional chefs to do it. It is in fact, the very DEFINITION of a chef to do it, every night. Hell even you could do it Ruhlman! Unless they made you wear a hairnet, don’t suppose you’d stand for that, eh pretty boy?? (kidding! much love!! french laundry 4 evah!!!)

  • rmw

    Thanks lovethe show…I on FN, like Chef MC, “Easy entertatining” the best…NEVER heard aything bad about him…he cooks…what everyone lost is… FOOD IS FUN…not politics…ya’all get your head out of your A@@ and ENJOY
    LOVE to all…rmw

  • Lovetheshow

    Frist off…Love the show.

    I agree with rmw…Breath folks, Ya have the actual people from the show blogging in. Some of you all have far too much time to write a book about the show, just enjoy, you’re not in entertainment, editing..whatever goes into the production of an actual SHOW..and if ya’ll did I’m sure it would fail cause you don’t know what it takes, so just CHILL. I’m from an entirely different profession, however it’s amazing how people are the same, they sit behind their computer’s and blog in but have no clue, or don’t want even understand what’s really going on. Great job to all the chef’s…I like all of them, it must be such a hard gig! Good Luck men!!

    BTW..I’m NOT saying I know what is going on, but I think I’ll listen to the people who ARE there…

  • rmw

    fun…you lost it long ago..if it were not for fun and laughter in life where would we be…some of you are LOST. It is not racial, sexist, YOU want it to be so you have purpose..not me…it is FuN…cooking, frenzy, cool “locks of hair” whatever…just enjoy it for what IT IS….man, I am glad I am not next to any of you in rush hour traffic!!! By the way where I live we have 3 stop lights …now that’s LIVING :)