Top Chef New Orleans - Season 11 Blog

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#101 Post by CWun » January 14th, 2014, 2:26 pm

I'm a big fan of Shirley but nina is a tough contender as well. Both of them seem really grounded and self aware. Their cooking isn't pushing any culinary envelopes, but that's not a prerequisite.

If Carlos borrowed my knife and let it sit rusting on the countertop I'd be pissed too, but I'd also understand that in a challenge, one may not have the time to spare to stop and carefully clean and dry the knife.
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#102 Post by Steven Miller » January 14th, 2014, 2:32 pm

Nic doesn't come across as smart & savvy enough to suck on purpose, but regardless it was a brilliant move whether intended or not. He forced 1 of the 4 top competitors remaining out.

Going into last week's episode Stephanie, Nina and Shirley along with Brian were the favorites for the final 4. I still don't think he will last to the finals, but he upped his odds by eliminating Stephanie.


I haven't paid any attention to last chance kitchen so don't know what's happening there.
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#103 Post by Ken Rudman » January 14th, 2014, 3:42 pm

Steven Miller wrote:

I haven't paid any attention to last chance kitchen so don't know what's happening there.
From all appearances, Tom C is trying to help Louis get back into the competition.

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#104 Post by Michae1 P0wers » January 14th, 2014, 4:21 pm

Steven Miller wrote:Nic doesn't come across as smart & savvy enough to suck on purpose, but regardless it was a brilliant move whether intended or not. He forced 1 of the 4 top competitors remaining out.

Going into last week's episode Stephanie, Nina and Shirley along with Brian were the favorites for the final 4. I still don't think he will last to the finals, but he upped his odds by eliminating Stephanie.


I haven't paid any attention to last chance kitchen so don't know what's happening there.
I saw Stephanie as the weakest along with Brian. I would have thought Nina, Shirley, Nic, Carlos for the four since a ways out. Brian's had his moments, but overall I have seen much brilliance there. Stephanie had a good win with the fried oyster, but her lack of confidence is a weakness. To a certain extent it is self-deprecating humor, but there is an actual lack of self-confidence in there as well. I think that will usually lead to cracking before its all done. Of course many weak chefs have made finals, and at least two have won.

Louis comin' on strong in LCK. I'll be very interested to see how that momentum carries if he gets back into the primary competition.

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#105 Post by gene keenan » January 14th, 2014, 10:43 pm

Michael Powers wrote:
Steven Miller wrote:Nic doesn't come across as smart & savvy enough to suck on purpose, but regardless it was a brilliant move whether intended or not. He forced 1 of the 4 top competitors remaining out.

Going into last week's episode Stephanie, Nina and Shirley along with Brian were the favorites for the final 4. I still don't think he will last to the finals, but he upped his odds by eliminating Stephanie.


I haven't paid any attention to last chance kitchen so don't know what's happening there.
I saw Stephanie as the weakest along with Brian. I would have thought Nina, Shirley, Nic, Carlos for the four since a ways out. Brian's had his moments, but overall I have seen much brilliance there. Stephanie had a good win with the fried oyster, but her lack of confidence is a weakness. To a certain extent it is self-deprecating humor, but there is an actual lack of self-confidence in there as well. I think that will usually lead to cracking before its all done. Of course many weak chefs have made finals, and at least two have won.

Louis comin' on strong in LCK. I'll be very interested to see how that momentum carries if he gets back into the primary competition.
I agree with this: never saw Stephanie making the Final four.

Louis is really kicking ass in LCK. It would be great to see him make it back into the competition.

I really like Shirley but Nina has consistently been strong.
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#106 Post by C. Grimm » January 15th, 2014, 11:09 am

Nina seems like the person to beat, with Shirley just behind.
Nicholas is too personally weak - he'll crack. He huffs and puffs and huffs and puffs... and then he just sulks - what a wuss.
Brian started slow and then picked up steam, but seems to have come back to earth (or maybe it just seems that way because of the Christmas break).
Carlos also had a nice run, but now seems like a less bona fide contender.
Louis has looked much more comfortable on LCK than he did on the show.

Depending on who might get knocked out, I would think the final three would be Nina, Shirley, and Louis - if Nina or Shirley suffers from a bad week and wins LCK instead, I'd guess Brian makes it to the final.
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#107 Post by Steven Miller » January 15th, 2014, 5:59 pm

I tend to judge the competitors based on the simple idea of do I want to track down their restaurant and dine there.

That said this is a competition and winners often are those who don't screw up by innovating too much. Hence I think Brian will not make the finals. Nic screws up left & right. He's only still here because others have screwed up worse at the right moment.

I liked Louis and he clearly has the skill to make a surprise return and compete for the finals. If he were to make the finals he could easily win. Nina & Shirely are good, but it's not clear they have the potential to be great. Brian & Louis do have that potential IMO.
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#108 Post by Eric LeVine » January 15th, 2014, 9:14 pm

Wow, it is getting intense now!
Click to see spoiler:
Nick dodged a bullet again. And Louis with the dish of the season so far. That guy is in the zone. I am hoping for a final four of Shirley, Nina, Carlos and Louis. I think the top 3 are clearly Shirley, Nina and Louis, and I have no idea which of them will take it. (Of course Louis needs to beat one more to have the shot.)
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#109 Post by Steven Miller » January 15th, 2014, 9:26 pm

Eric LeVine wrote:Wow, it is getting intense now!
Eric's spoiler deleted.
How are you getting Top Chef? West coast hasn't even aired yet.
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#110 Post by Eric LeVine » January 15th, 2014, 9:27 pm

Are you sure? I just watched it on DirectTV on Bravo at 7pm.
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#111 Post by Steven Miller » January 15th, 2014, 9:31 pm

ah... DirectTV gives you east coast airing.
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#112 Post by Eric LeVine » January 15th, 2014, 9:34 pm

Ooops...

I tossed mine into a spoiler tag, but you quoted my whole post...
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#113 Post by CWun » January 16th, 2014, 1:39 pm

Looks like Shirley used a Togiharu Santoku last night.
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#114 Post by CWun » January 16th, 2014, 2:50 pm

Still a fan of Shirley and Nina. I probably would like to eat Shirley's food more at this point since she throws in familiar Chinese tweaks.
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#115 Post by Jim Brennan » January 16th, 2014, 5:08 pm

Definitely need more Asian influenced cuisine to win. ;)

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#116 Post by Steven Miller » January 16th, 2014, 8:19 pm

Brian again made an odd choice, I thought he had learned. Guess not. I despise boneless chicken breast to the extent that I was shooting him from my living room.
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#117 Post by Steven Miller » January 16th, 2014, 8:20 pm

In the next episode I would so much love it if Carlos walks up to Nic and says "let's take it outside". The next scene with Nic the pric going home in an ambulance and Carlos leaving in cuffs with a huge smile on his face.
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#118 Post by Steven Miller » January 16th, 2014, 8:27 pm

Oh... and if anyone has no theory of why Nic's stove was set to 500. look no further than Carlos saying FU
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#119 Post by Eric LeVine » January 16th, 2014, 8:32 pm

Steven Miller wrote:Oh... and if anyone has no theory of why Nic's stove was set to 500. look no further than Carlos saying FU
Oh please, no chance that was sabotage.
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#120 Post by Steven Miller » January 16th, 2014, 9:33 pm

Why? because you wouldn't do it?

the reality producers certainly left that interpretation open by starting the episode with Nic ordering Carlos around and then disaster happening.
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#121 Post by CWun » January 16th, 2014, 9:51 pm

Where is my damn pea puree?!?
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#122 Post by Mel Hill » January 16th, 2014, 9:53 pm

CWun wrote:Where is my damn pea puree?!?
has been replaced by "how did my oven get to 500˚???"

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#123 Post by Eric LeVine » January 16th, 2014, 10:02 pm

Steven Miller wrote:Why? because you wouldn't do it?

the reality producers certainly left that interpretation open by starting the episode with Nic ordering Carlos around and then disaster happening.
Actually if you re-watch, they show Nick put the sheet pan in the oven. Then they immediately zoom in to show a closeup of the knob at 500 degrees RIGHT THEN. And just next to the 500F it says 250C. Nick just misread the dial...
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#124 Post by CWun » January 16th, 2014, 11:58 pm

Eric LeVine wrote:
Steven Miller wrote:Why? because you wouldn't do it?

the reality producers certainly left that interpretation open by starting the episode with Nic ordering Carlos around and then disaster happening.
Actually if you re-watch, they show Nick put the sheet pan in the oven. Then they immediately zoom in to show a closeup of the knob at 500 degrees RIGHT THEN. And just next to the 500F it says 250C. Nick just misread the dial...
Actually if you re-watch it Eric, it's not a one-shot zoom. There is a cut and then an immediate close up to the dial.

BUT, if you look at the previous shot when he is putting the tray into the oven, one can kinda guess and make out the dial and it does look like the oven was originally set at 500.
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#125 Post by Eric LeVine » January 17th, 2014, 12:04 am

I watched it 4 times in a row. The guy screwed up. It is fun that he wants to blame Carlos. He should own up and blame himself.
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#126 Post by TimF » January 17th, 2014, 7:29 am

If I heard "find my voice" one more time during this episode, I was going to throw up. The dressing down Roy Choi gave them was beyond brutal. I don't remember anyone being quite that harsh. It was so bad I thought he was joking at first. How bad could those sandwiches have been?
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#127 Post by Steven Miller » January 17th, 2014, 10:58 am

Every sandwich looked tasty to me.
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#128 Post by todd waldmann » January 17th, 2014, 12:53 pm

TimF wrote:If I heard "find my voice" one more time during this episode, I was going to throw up. The dressing down Roy Choi gave them was beyond brutal. I don't remember anyone being quite that harsh. It was so bad I thought he was joking at first. How bad could those sandwiches have been?
And his criticisms were full of trite, meaningless phrases, to boot.
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#129 Post by Ken Rudman » January 17th, 2014, 2:40 pm

TimF wrote:If I heard "find my voice" one more time during this episode, I was going to throw up. The dressing down Roy Choi gave them was beyond brutal. I don't remember anyone being quite that harsh. It was so bad I thought he was joking at first. How bad could those sandwiches have been?

I think Roy's a little bit (actually, a lot) full of shit. I really wanted him to stop and teach Carlos how to make al pastor...

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#130 Post by CWun » January 17th, 2014, 2:51 pm

I interpreted Roy's criticisms that he wanted to be smacked in the face with some unique and strong flavor or texture. That would have satisfied him as a "voice". So I probably would have let him bite in a slice of sauteed ginger in my poboy and tell him that's my voice as an American Born Chinese. He was being an ass on TV. Maybe that's what he wants as his public personna.
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#131 Post by D. Wirsig » January 17th, 2014, 3:29 pm

I think that's how Roy wants his persona to be. I've seen him make constant references to how he is from the hood and is a tough guy you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.

I've had Kogi Truck plenty of times and there's nothing subtle about Roy's food. Guess that's just what he likes.
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#132 Post by Andrew Gold » January 17th, 2014, 3:31 pm

Roy's criticism made me wonder if he's ever had a po-boy... Basically all of those sandwiches looked pretty great to me.

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#133 Post by Brad B a l l i n g e r » January 17th, 2014, 6:58 pm

CWun wrote:I interpreted Roy's criticisms that he wanted to be smacked in the face with some unique and strong flavor or texture. That would have satisfied him as a "voice". So I probably would have let him bite in a slice of sauteed ginger in my poboy and tell him that's my voice as an American Born Chinese. He was being an ass on TV. Maybe that's what he wants as his public personna.
This is what I thought as well. Roy wants it all over-the-top. Probably drinks Aussie Shiraz.

In the quickfire, I was surprised that no one hollowed out some of the bread. Those were some thick slices.
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#134 Post by Leonard Maran » January 17th, 2014, 8:13 pm

Unrelated to the current season but about a future one. I've no idea what to think.

http://tamaratattles.com/2014/01/16/top ... r-of-2014/

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#135 Post by Steven Miller » January 17th, 2014, 8:48 pm

I'd love to see more actual cooking. Every season it seems they show less cooking and more made up drama. If the new series actually does that I'd be okay with it.
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#136 Post by CWun » January 18th, 2014, 12:11 am

Steven Miller wrote:I'd love to see more actual cooking. Every season it seems they show less cooking and more made up drama. If the new series actually does that I'd be okay with it.

??? this has been a really tame season
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#137 Post by gene keenan » January 18th, 2014, 12:24 am

Ken Rudman wrote:
TimF wrote:If I heard "find my voice" one more time during this episode, I was going to throw up. The dressing down Roy Choi gave them was beyond brutal. I don't remember anyone being quite that harsh. It was so bad I thought he was joking at first. How bad could those sandwiches have been?

I think Roy's a little bit (actually, a lot) full of shit. I really wanted him to stop and teach Carlos how to make al pastor...
IMO, he was hypercritical because he was facing real chefs and felt the need to bring them down to his level. His critiques were meaningless and with out substance. Although I think it is the first time I have ever seen a judge basically say all the food sucked. Roy sells himself as the inventor of the food truck but that also is total bull shit.

His comment about Carolos al pastor had me on the floor laughing: "I'm from LA." hahahahahahahahahaha What an idiot but Carlos to his credit called him out on that during the cameo.
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#138 Post by Steven Miller » January 18th, 2014, 7:13 am

CWun wrote:
Steven Miller wrote:I'd love to see more actual cooking. Every season it seems they show less cooking and more made up drama. If the new series actually does that I'd be okay with it.

??? this has been a really tame season
Season is tame, but they still show a lot less of the cooking than they used to
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#139 Post by Eric LeVine » January 18th, 2014, 7:52 am

BTW, amazing recovery by Nina!
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#140 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » January 18th, 2014, 9:46 am

Ken Rudman wrote:
TimF wrote:If I heard "find my voice" one more time during this episode, I was going to throw up. The dressing down Roy Choi gave them was beyond brutal. I don't remember anyone being quite that harsh. It was so bad I thought he was joking at first. How bad could those sandwiches have been?

I think Roy's a little bit (actually, a lot) full of shit. I really wanted him to stop and teach Carlos how to make al pastor...
He may be full of shit, but I actually didn't mind his criticism -- however clumsy and affected it may have been. Food trucks are often about finding (or creating) and extravagant niche and I didn't feel the chefs made food to meet the judge's standards. A lot of those sandwiches seemed ok for a cafe, but when cooking for a food truck chef, over-the-top flavor is more appropriate. I even mentioned to my wife that the sandwiches looked boring to me and none of them would IMO create a food-truck buzz that would make me seek the truck out for food. Roy Choi ripping them seemed fine as I find this crop of chefs rather boring.

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#141 Post by Ken Rudman » January 19th, 2014, 8:01 am

Karr!ng M o a n wrote:
Ken Rudman wrote:
TimF wrote:If I heard "find my voice" one more time during this episode, I was going to throw up. The dressing down Roy Choi gave them was beyond brutal. I don't remember anyone being quite that harsh. It was so bad I thought he was joking at first. How bad could those sandwiches have been?

I think Roy's a little bit (actually, a lot) full of shit. I really wanted him to stop and teach Carlos how to make al pastor...
He may be full of shit, but I actually didn't mind his criticism -- however clumsy and affected it may have been. Food trucks are often about finding (or creating) and extravagant niche and I didn't feel the chefs made food to meet the judge's standards. A lot of those sandwiches seemed ok for a cafe, but when cooking for a food truck chef, over-the-top flavor is more appropriate. I even mentioned to my wife that the sandwiches looked boring to me and none of them would IMO create a food-truck buzz that would make me seek the truck out for food. Roy Choi ripping them seemed fine as I find this crop of chefs rather boring.

k.
I guess you're right, although I don't recall them being instructed to make a food truck sandwich--I heard "make a version of the po' boy that speaks to your background/passion". Sadly, most of the food trucks around LA these days are just knock offs of the originals or mall food stands made mobile .

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#142 Post by Marshall Gelb » January 19th, 2014, 9:41 am

Brad B a l l i n g e r wrote:
CWun wrote:I interpreted Roy's criticisms that he wanted to be smacked in the face with some unique and strong flavor or texture. That would have satisfied him as a "voice". So I probably would have let him bite in a slice of sauteed ginger in my poboy and tell him that's my voice as an American Born Chinese. He was being an ass on TV. Maybe that's what he wants as his public personna.
This is what I thought as well. Roy wants it all over-the-top. Probably drinks Aussie Shiraz.

In the quickfire, I was surprised that no one hollowed out some of the bread. Those were some thick slices.


I have eaten at Roy's restaurants plenty of times and really enjoy his food. Nonetheless, I found his criticisms harsh and totally non constructive. All of those sandwiches looked really good to me and were all interesting takes on the Po'boy. I am not quite sure what he was looking for but his comments were over the top and unfair. In all honesty, not sure why he was even there as a judge. Top Chef has a " list" of media darlings that it likes to use and I think they should use more New Orleans judges and fewer "celebrities."

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#143 Post by Michae1 P0wers » January 20th, 2014, 4:56 am

Once again, I feel the correct chef went home. They have gone very much according to what I have seen as skill level this season, not a lot of upsets. I would be happiest with a Nina, Shirley, Louis final and that looks quite doable. Carlos has faded but early I thought he was quite good, so maybe he will shine again yet. Nic has been unexceptional for several episodes, but I also think that his constant whining and acting put-upon has made many think worse of him than he really is. He hasn't wowed, but I don't know that he is the screw up some here seem to assume. I give a nod to editing and storyline as far as that goes. I also think Carlos did an excellent job of subtly getting under his skin without being an overt villain. Between Nic and Carlos I think Carlos flavors seem more inventive, owing in part to a rich cultural palette to draw from, but his technical skills are lacking and he doesn't give that enough respect. That has been quite evident the two times that he has tried cutting sushi. Those type of mistakes can easily cost at this stage.

I was surprised that some here thought Brian would make it. He seemed fair enough, but he also seemed like the kind of guy that makes boneless skinless chicken breast on Top Chef.

Roy... WOW, what a D-bag. If he was truly some thug in an earlier life saved by food, then he should shelve the tough guy bit and embrace the life he leads rather than the one he left. In other words, I'm not impressed. My first thought was "really, he invented the food truck movement?" I live in flyover country and the food trucks and carts were going strong well before that. No one individual invented that movement, it was an organic growth. I found the "LA" comment to Carlos particularly amusing. However, the one thing that I considered is that it may be hard to generate proper al pastor-style flavors in such a short time. Anyone can grill some pork and add some pineapple, but without the time do the flavors really add up to more than the sum of their parts? Regardless, I am sure that Carlos knows the flavor profile and managed something proper.

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#144 Post by Steve Manzi » January 20th, 2014, 12:53 pm

Brad B a l l i n g e r wrote:
In the quickfire, I was surprised that no one hollowed out some of the bread. Those were some thick slices.

I kept saying that to my wife as we were watching it. Take a bite of anything they tried to make, and you were going to be disappointed by a big mouthful of bread.
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Top Chef New Orleans - Season 11 Blog

#145 Post by Steve Manzi » January 20th, 2014, 12:55 pm

todd waldmann wrote:
TimF wrote:If I heard "find my voice" one more time during this episode, I was going to throw up. The dressing down Roy Choi gave them was beyond brutal. I don't remember anyone being quite that harsh. It was so bad I thought he was joking at first. How bad could those sandwiches have been?
And his criticisms were full of trite, meaningless phrases, to boot.

It seemed like he was trying to make himself look better or something. I think he came across like an *sshole.
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Michel Abood
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Top Chef New Orleans - Season 11 Blog

#146 Post by Michel Abood » January 22nd, 2014, 8:37 am

Steve Manzi wrote:
todd waldmann wrote:
TimF wrote:If I heard "find my voice" one more time during this episode, I was going to throw up. The dressing down Roy Choi gave them was beyond brutal. I don't remember anyone being quite that harsh. It was so bad I thought he was joking at first. How bad could those sandwiches have been?
And his criticisms were full of trite, meaningless phrases, to boot.

It seemed like he was trying to make himself look better or something. I think he came across like an *sshole.
+1 to everything said above. We were really surprised by the comments and felt he was just trying to show how street legit he is, which was BS.
Guess what? I'm ITB-> Vinotas Selections

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Ken Rudman
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Top Chef New Orleans - Season 11 Blog

#147 Post by Ken Rudman » January 22nd, 2014, 11:05 am

Michel Abood wrote:
+1 to everything said above. We were really surprised by the comments and felt he was just trying to show how street legit he is, which was BS.
Well, he might be the toughest celebrity chef out there, but I'd like to see him throw down with Cat Cora--she looks like she has mad skillz in a fight, yo.

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Karr!ng M o a n
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Top Chef New Orleans - Season 11 Blog

#148 Post by Karr!ng M o a n » January 22nd, 2014, 11:15 am

Ken Rudman wrote:...I don't recall them being instructed to make a food truck sandwich--I heard "make a version of the po' boy that speaks to your background/passion". Sadly, most of the food trucks around LA these days are just knock offs of the originals or mall food stands made mobile .
That is true. I guess the real challenge was just getting bent over by Roy and abused. ;)

k.

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Kenny H
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Top Chef New Orleans - Season 11 Blog

#149 Post by Kenny H » January 22nd, 2014, 12:00 pm

Louis is a STUD. A goddamn stud.
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Ken Rudman
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Top Chef New Orleans - Season 11 Blog

#150 Post by Ken Rudman » January 22nd, 2014, 9:34 pm

Bit unexpected at the end there. And LCK looks to be a bit of a toss up. Should be interesting next week.

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