City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Top Chef All-Stars recap, Episode 11: Betrayal, a dish best served deep-fried

Credit: Bravo TV

Credit: Bravo TV

Spoiler al….ah, screw it. You know the drill.

In what has become typical fashion for this season, we open with the chefs in the stew room going through their normal “oh my gosh, I can’t believe that so and so went home. He/She was such a great chef. Man, none of us are safe” routine. In this case, that he/she was Angelo.

Because the sun is coming up, the chefs miss their regular decompression at the bar, and hit the hay. The next day, Mike and Richard are pouring over Blais’ notebooks. “Preparation is everything. I’ve filled up two notebooks already this season with plans, and they are detailed, with pictures.” Pictures of liquid nitrogen.


The chefs enter the Top Chef kitchen and IT’S PAULA YAAALLLL!!! HEEEEYYYYYY!!!

Carla and Tiffany, being from the south, are both uber-pumped, while Antonia knows that she is probably in for a “fry me something, roll it in butter, and dip it in some mayonnaise kind of a challenge.” For those that don’t know, when she isn’t filming cooking shows or signing cookbooks, Paula spends her evenings on a dingy mattress with a rusty syringe of liquid butter stuck in her arm.

Not surprisingly, this challenge is all about southern cooking.

“I don’t know if you can tell by my (grossly exaggerated for television) accent, but Southern cookin’ is very near and dear to my heart.” I’m trying to place it Paula….Minnesota, maybe? Ah, I’m no good with accents.

For this Quickfire challenge, the chefs must come impress Paula with a fried dish. Mrs. Deen advises them to let their imagination run wild: “If you can eat it, you can fry it…no calamari sprinkled on a salad…come on.” Some of the chefs take Paula’s advice to heart, and some don’t. The point is to make something creative, not something that you see fried all of the time.

Mike’s approach is to make fried “oysters” – using the oyster of a chicken, a little ball of delicious dark meat where the thigh attaches to the body – and serve it from an oyster shell. Of course, he got this idea straight out of Blais’ little black book earlier this morning, where Richard had the exact same idea sketched out, pictures and all. Even Mike, with a $#!% eating grin on his face, admits that he took the idea from Richard. Except he calls it “inspiration.”

Richard drops coffee and lime flavored mayonnaise in liquid nitrogen so that it forms a little ball of frozen mayo, and then deep-fries it. Yup. Liquid Nitrogen. Again. However, in this instance, I think it is a necessary step. Without it, he wouldn’t be able to do this dish at all. Deep frying mayo would be pretty difficult unless it would hold its shape in the fryer.

Carla whips up a dish that I have honestly never heard of anyone frying before. Seriously, it is genius: Catfish and hush puppies. Tiffany, in another original move, makes fried chicken wings and fried pickles. Seriously Tiffany? You even used the line “It’s what you would find any place that serves fried food.” Paula didn’t tell you to pump your imagination full of horse tranquilizer, she said to let it run wild.

Mike’s arrogance has hit about a 9.5 in this episode, especially while discussing the Quickfire challenge. After smugly brushing off the fact that he blatantly stole his dish from Richard, he also knocks the complexity of everyone else’s dishes – “At the end of the day, less is more and simple is better.”

So is coming up with your own ideas you shadeball.

Padma and Paula – That could be a great name for a TV show…you paying attention Bravo? – approach Antonia, the first chef up for the Quickfire tasting. Antonia has put together a delicious fried shrimp salad, with fried avocado, fried jalapeño, grilled corn, tomatoes, and fried herbs. Paula seems to love the dish. Except for the minor detail that Antonia only made one plate between both judges…she completely forgot to make a second plate. Whoopsy.

When Paula gets around to Richard, she can’t help but take a crack at his Jersey shore super spiked hair, which he takes in self-deprecating stride, saying that it is “one part duck fat and one part liquid nitrogen.”

Although, now that I think about it, he could have easily been referring to his food and not his hair. But, they never told us that he used duck fat for the fried mayo when he was cooking, so it is tough to tell. I’ll chalk that up to omissive editing.

Just when we thought it wasn’t possible for Richard’s hair to stand up any straighter, he stares DAGGERS at Mike when he hears him describe his dish. Mike knows full well what he did, avoiding eye contact with Blais, and using the cop out that he has seen other chefs do it before. While I agree with the notion that, in cooking, very few dishes out there are truly original and that chefs take inspiration and ideas from each other all the time, I’m not buying that Mike had ever heard of doing a fried chicken oyster on the half shell before.

Despite all of her over-the-top syrupy Southernness, I like Paula’s frankness. She doesn’t pull any punches, and I bet that she cusses like a sailor off camera.

First up are Paula’s least favorites.

Dale’s steak wrapped fried oyster didn’t have any flavors that wowed her, and she likens Carla’s hush puppies to spitballs. When Paula explains to Carla what hush puppies are like in the south, we get our first taste of the point that Carla HAMMERS home for the rest of this episode: She is from the South.

Carla, here is some advice that you won’t follow for the rest of this episode: Don’t remind people that you are from the South if you are going to continually screw up Southern cuisine.

Paula drops her fair share of fantastic quotes this episode, not the least of which is when she tells Antonia that she “could come over there, put you over my knee, and whip your cute little BLEEP.” Paula makes no bones about the fact that Antonia’s fried salad was the best dish, by far, but she has to rule her out on a technicality, costing her the $5K prize. That leaves Richard and recipe-stealin’ Mike as her remaining favorites. Not surprisingly, given Mike’s cocky attitude in his interviews, he wins the challenge and the money with his stolen dish.

Elimination Challenge

Our second guest judge of the week is a serious culinary heavyweight: James Beard award winning John Besh, Chef/Owner of August in New Orleans.

Personal Side note: I’m heading to New Orleans this weekend for my Bachelor party, and watching this episode makes me resent the fact that there is no way that my drunkard groomsmen are taking me to August. If I don’t make it back in one piece and this is to be my last Top Chef recap, know that I went out having a good time and I love you guys.

Besh is hosting a benefit in New York for the Greater New Orleans foundation, a charity that helps prop up fisherman whose livelihood has been impacted by the Gulf oil spill, and the chefs are preparing the food. Each chef must choose a different Gulf seafood and prepare a dish based around it for 300 guests.

If you hadn’t noticed, we are down to only six chefs. And if you have ever watched Top Chef before, you know what that means: It’s time to bring back some of the losers!

To help the remaining cheftestants, Tre, Marcel, Tiffani F., Fabio, Angelo, and Spike walk in, carrying trays of seafood. The chefs get to pick their protein, but they must take the sous chef holding the tray with it. Of course, the producers were smart enough to give Marcel the platter that all of the chefs want: The huge white shrimp.

Because he won the Quickfire, Mike gets to choose first. Despite his attraction to the white shrimp, he doesn’t want to deal with Marcel, so he picks Tiffani and the brown shrimp. In the only semi-respectable move Mike makes, he gives Richard second choice because he inspired his “winning” dish.

Hmmmm…now let’s see here. Who will Richard pick? As he said, “I’m chef, I’ll cook anything. I’m not really concerned with the protein at all, I’m concerned about who I’ll work with.” Rationalize it all that you want Blais, everyone saw you making googly eyes at the swarthy Italian as soon as he walked in the room. He picks Fabio and the snapper. Blais: “I’m just lucky to have Fabio as a sous chef. He’s charismatic, he’s hospitable…”

You forgot “dreamy” Richard.

Tiffany just can’t resist the temptation of his shrimp, and settles on Marcel. This gave a great opportunity for the double entendre of the night: “The white shrimp.” Get it? Because Marcel is short?

We aren’t done with the puns yet, are we Antonia? “I’ll take Spike and his crabs.” HAHA. See, he is holding a tray full of crabs, but she could also be referring to the sexually transmitted disease! COMEDY!

Carla takes Tre and the red grouper, and Dale is left with the broken Angelo and his amberjack.

During menu planning, we find Mike once again propped up by a fellow chef. Tiffani used to live in New Orleans for a few years, and when he suggest doing shrimp and grits, she comes up with the idea to use the grits as a crust.

Carla about has a stroke when she finds out that Tre is a “city boy” and knows nothing about cooking southern food. WHA-WHA-WHAAAAT? Then she suggests taking away his NAACP card since he didn’t grow up eating collard greens.

As a white guy, I’m inclined to not touch this one with a ten-foot pole, but wasn’t she operating on a bit of a stereotype there? Just because he is black and raised in Texas, he should know how to make collard greens and chow chow?

The chefs have a total budget of $700 for their meal for 300 people, with $200 of that to be spent at Restaurant Depot. We get to see our reunited bromance of Richard and Fabio as they go shopping together. Aren’t they just so cute when they are being all domestic together?

Back at the house, we get one of our first “Real World” type moments – Antonia, Carla, and Tiffany are sitting around their bedroom, whispering about Mike’s thievery of Richard’s dish. OH NO YOU DIDN’T!

As Carla so aptly puts it: “There is Man law, and there is Chef law. You don’t take another chef’s idea…that’s a no-no.”

In the kitchen, Jersey Mike can’t keep his trap shut, talking smack to the other chefs while Tiffani cooks his dish for him. Though things seem hunky-dory with the shrimp and Ms. Beaumont, we finally seem the overbearing Marcel that we love to hate. “Use the shrimp heads, are you sure you don’t want to use the heads, cook these with the heads on them.” Tiffany can only take it for so long, and quickly shuts thuggy-smurf up.

Apparently, according to Dale, all you need to put Marcel in his place is a 5’10” Southern black woman and three snaps in a z formation.

Everyone scrambles to finish prep, and head into the dining room with 30 minutes before service. The sheer volume of diners overwhelms almost everyone. Once the diners start coming, they just don’t stop. This is the most that Fabio has cooked in seven years and Dale is ready to blow his brains out.

As the judges approach Richard and Fabio’s table, the get to listen in on the star-crossed lovers’ first tiff of the evening, however short lived. Dale and Angelo have to stop their line because they didn’t get enough cooking done in the kitchen, and Dale is becoming more and more frazzled by the plate. Carla manages to tell every person that will stop and listen that she is from the South, and that everyone expects her to knock this one out of the park. Except, I never heard a single person other than her say that or agree with her.

Here is the breakdown of everyone’s dishes:

Mike - Grit-Crusted Gulf Shrimp, Sour Cream & Chive Potatoes with Pork & Lobster Sauce.

Richard - Crispy Gulf Snapper with Pulled Pork & Citrus Grits.

Carla - Fried Grouper with Collard Greens & Chow-Chow Pico.

Tiffany - Honey Glazed Shrimp, Grits with Jalapeno & Cheese, Shellfish Sauce.

Dale - Amberjack Stew with Andouille Sausage & Potatoes, Creole Mustard Crouton.

Antonia - Blue Crab Cake, Corn, Jalapeno & Andouille Relish with Crab Broth.

As service ends, we get one last bromantic moment, as Fabio cradles a worried Richard’s face and assures him that everything is going to be OK.

Judge’s Table

First out of the stew room are Antonia, Richard, and Mike. Based on the judge’s comments, it is no surprise that these are the favorites. Blais gets high praise for his restraint and his unexpectedly successful combination of the pork and fish. Paula thought it was genius that Mike coated the shrimp with the grits – not his idea – and his sour cream and chive potatoes got her all nimbly-bimbly. John Besh compliments Antonia’s balanced dish, but thought that the hint of andouille sausage – also not her idea – really took the dish over the top.

And the winner is….Richard! He wins a 6-night trip to Hilton Barbados, plus $5K for airfare. He plans to spend a week lounging in the Caribbean with Fabio…oh, and his family too, I guess…

The winners send the remaining chefs to face potential doom. Oh, and we find out that Mike has a tendency to burp, fart, and flick boogers at people in the stew room. How exactly does a 13-year-old schoolyard bully get on this show anyway?

Even though she wanted the white shrimp, Tiffany made the mistake of letting Marcel over cook it for her. Dale is called out for serving undercooked potatoes, which he admits and blames on being rushed and “in the juice.” Tom suggests that he should have finished cooking them and just made them wait. Yeah right Tom, I’m sure you would have been completely fine with that. Potatoes aside, his mustard-bomb of a crouton still overpowered the rest of the dish. Carla’s hot sauce and mustard soaked fish didn’t impress anyone, and her combination of components flat out confused Paula.

Even though he crushed the last episode, post-anger management Dale heads home. I wasn’t happy about this one, because he was killing it this season, but it only takes one bad dish. If you still didn’t like him because of his antics in Season 4, his genuine and teary departure should have melted your icy heart a little.

NEXT WEEK: Padma steps into the lion’s cage, and we get to meet the families.

Notes and quotes:

I had to rewind my DVR three times just to make sure that I was right about this: We just went AN ENTIRE EPISODE without a weed reference!

Since when can you chug beer in the middle of Whole Foods? It must have been a Sunday and they couldn’t actually purchase the beer, so they had to sneak it…oh wait. They are in a normal state.

Did Crystal Hot Sauce sponsor this episode, or do Richard and Carla just freakin’ love it?

“I’m a BLEEP about my collard greens now, I’m sorry” – Paula Deen

“I know I’m gonna be suckin’ that head.” – Paula Deen

- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog


- Jon Watson writes about Popular Eats for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Live To Feast

60 comments Add your comment


February 24th, 2011
8:12 am

Fried mayo aside, I enjoyed watching this episode for the different dishes produced. In past seasons I thought that the chefs were not allowed to bring recipes in, so I was curious about Richard’s notebook of recipes. Did he bring his little black book with him to the show? Mike remained true to his porcine form as he snorted about his stolen quickfire ‘win’ using Richard’s dish and laughed at Antonia when she talked about her plating error. Dale cracked and he was humbled and devastated. I wish Dale could have stayed and Mikey gone home! I think Antonia will win it all in the end.


February 24th, 2011
8:16 am

“Since when can you chug beer in the middle of Whole Foods? It must have been a Sunday and they couldn’t actually purchase the beer, so they had to sneak it…oh wait. They are in a normal state.” BAA-ZIIING! :)

Great recap, as usual – great episode, as usual – great jealousy, as usual, for your pending NOLA trip (happy hitchin’, btw). Think maybe your buds would take you to the Culinary Museum? I went before it moved over to Riverwalk (we’re big NOLA yearly visitors) so again, jealous if you get to go.

Oh, but this is a bachelor weekend – probably not going to be big on the museums. The all-night Krystal on Bourbon St, probably so.

Carla Roqs

February 24th, 2011
8:28 am

okay, here we go. as a card carrying member of the NAACP, i will go there, jon- carla was right and she was wrong. she should not have stereotyped him, much less have gone there– but come on: he is bragging about being a city boy and eating greens out of a can??? and he is a chef???? come on Jon, they both deserve boinks on the head. (and i knew you were going to get paula for her sucking the heads on the shrimp statement, she wanted bravo to go there, but fortunately top chef was apparently afraid to-yayyy.) aaand, as much as i dearly love carla, (carla roqs!!!) and am tolerant of tiff, dale should not have been sent home last night. carla girrrl, you messed up fried fish, hushpuppies, and collard greens???????????????? for real, girl? even though paula was dead wrong for her comment of not understanding carla’s elimination dish- ever been to Blue Willow, ms deen? last night should have been carla’s or tiffany’s curtain call.


February 24th, 2011
8:31 am

There once was a chef named Mike
Whose toolish behavior rates an “unlike”
He blatantly stole from Blais
Cementing his piggish ways
And only proves he’s worse than Spike!

Carla Roqs

February 24th, 2011
8:37 am

also, i saw paula’s show the day she fried butter, it was not her recipe- a viewer provided it. but as she did not give the viewer credit when she stated she’d fried butter, etc., maybe that explains giving recipe stealing mike the win, when we all know she HAD to have liked the fried mayonnaise better. go home mike, just go home. if dale and angelo learned humility, if carla and tiffany have cried, (and did i see antonia shed a tear for her girls or was it the glare of my tv?) then goodness knows it is time for the overly cocky mike to just go home.


February 24th, 2011
9:20 am

The only way Mike could win was by culinary plagerism. No eatery ethics. He is probably that chef who drops a fish on the floor and replates. You have to steal when you have no talent and fly under the wire.
I wanted to slap Richard for reading his book in fron of everyone – but his talent will taken him there.


February 24th, 2011
9:27 am

I would be upset too if were headed to N.O. and not able to eat at August. I went to a rehearsal dinner there last summer and it was one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had (2nd only to fabulous meal at Rathbun’s). We had a 5-course tasting menu that include a salad, gnocchi, fillet, redfish (which was my fave) and desert. Sorry to make you resent it more …

Voice of Reason

February 24th, 2011
10:04 am

Hi Jon, I’ll tend to the matter for you….. as a black woman….. from Connecticut.

Yes, some people still assume that ALL black people have grown up eating SOUL food which is pretty much interchangeable with southern food. There’s always a bit of a surprise when they find out differently. I grew up in Connecticut, my mom was a Navy brat and was raised all over the world. We never ate southern/soul food and I can’t cook ’southern style’ collard greens to save my life. We also don’t suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension and our skin has always been as clear as a sunny spring day even through puberty.

Score one for the Black Yankees.

Voice of Reason

February 24th, 2011
10:22 am

Did anyone else notice that Richard Blais said that Georgia was part of the gulf?

Jai Mack

February 24th, 2011
11:00 am

Surprised that neither Carla nor Tiffany were eliminated. Carla errors were repeated in both the quick fire and in the elimination. One of the two will probably be eliminated next. The final will probably be a competition between Richard and Antonia. Dale’s exit mirrors when he was originally a contestant in season 4. He was eliminated after winning in the previous episode.


February 24th, 2011
11:09 am

Point of fact: It was potatoes not shrimp that were undercooked in Dale’s stew.
Despite the fact that Dale could have won this contest (he is that good), he has shown incredible foolishness. Doesn’t he learn from his and others mistakes? Hasn’t he noticed that he has to taste his food? Didn’t he noticed that the creole mustard was too strong on the crouton? Doesn’t he know how long it takes to cook potatoes? Remember, he was one of the chefs who didn’t boil noodles correctly. Didn’t he figure out that he had so overspiced the stew that the fish got lost to the point that Tom commented that it tasted like a hot dog? By the way, Angelo striked again. He is shown reassuring Dale that this mistake called a stew was fine.
@Voice of Reason: It’s a cooking contest, not Jeopardy.


February 24th, 2011
11:28 am

Technical error not going to August…I had maybe the best meal I have ever eaten there last summer.

Food 4 Thought

February 24th, 2011
11:34 am

As a long time viewer of TC (have watched every season, every episode since inception); I have to comment on a trend I’ve picked up on. Noone ever wins when cooking shrimp. Perhaps it’s too difficult to cook correctly/consistently in a 300 person catered event, or harder to match flavors with – but I cannot recall anyone ever winning a QF or EC with a shrimp dish. Mike’s, err – I mean Tiffany’s, grit crusted shrimp is the first one I’ve even noticed to make the top three.

Also worth noting, Richard and Kevin both lost in the finals with mis-understood pork belly dishes…hope RB learned from the past.

I’m still very surprised to see both Tiffany and Mike in the competition. They are both 2nd tier, at best. So I’m looking forward to the finale with Richard, Antonia and Carla competing for the final prize. Not how I thought I’d see it play out, but still 3 of the better chefs still cooking.


February 24th, 2011
11:35 am

To Voice of Reason; As you are from Connecticut, and admitted that you know little about the South, let me tell you where Richard’s comment about the Gulf comes from. From early times Georgia folks have relied on and enjoyed seafood from the Gulf of Mexico as a regular part of their diets. Many fishermen from South Georgia fished then and fish now in Gulf waters. Way before refrigeration, fish (mostly mackerel) was salted and packed in barrels and shipped north throughout Georgia. Today, much if not most of the fresh seafood served in Atlanta restaurants comes from the Gulf of Mexico. I grew up in the panhandle of Florida (you can look it up on a map), and I consider that Georgia is part of our Gulf states even though it doesn’t border the Gulf of Mexico. FYI collards are one of the healthiest foods you can eat, cooked Southern style or however you would do it up north. Finally, Voice of Reason, why do northerners always feel the need to score points over Southerners?

inman parker

February 24th, 2011
11:43 am

August sucks and is overrated and way overpriced. Go to a Donald Link restaurant instead. Get some kurobuta bacon from Butcher. You’ll thank me, and so will your friends’ wallets.


February 24th, 2011
11:43 am

Seriously dude, your recaps are better than the show.

Jon Watson

February 24th, 2011
11:46 am

@Voice of Reason & Carla Roqs – Thanks for stepping in there ;-) I wouldn’t have thought anything of it if Carla’s surprise was just about him being from the South and race hadn’t been a factor. But I agree, black/white/purple, doesn’t matter….growing up in the South and buying collards in a can is a travesty. So, yes…they do both deserve a whack upside the head (or, at least Tre’s momma does).

@Carla – I’m impressed with your objectivity…I’d expect most people with a specific chef’s in their commenter name to defend them, regardless of how they cooked.

Carola Von H.

February 24th, 2011
11:54 am

Jon– your coverage of “Chef” is the best. Congrats on the upcoming wedding. On to the show: Mike is definitely this season’s pond scum. As for collard greens, I cook ‘em often. With ham, or double-smoked bacon. And I’m a white non-shrimp from the northeast.

Christi J

February 24th, 2011
12:22 pm

@Voice of Reason – I noticed that as soon as he said it. In fact, I think I said…out loud…”Richard, honey, Georgia doesn’t touch the gulf.” LOL (And, for the record, I’m NOT a northerner.)

@Jon – I look forward to reading your recap the next day as I do watching the show each Wednesday night. Awesome, as always, and thank you SO SO MUCH for using “and three snaps in a z formation.” I assumed I was the only person to still quote that. :)

Christi J

February 24th, 2011
12:23 pm

*as MUCH as I do

Native Atlantan

February 24th, 2011
12:25 pm

Ugh….and someone had to mention Rathbun’s….nasty….

You heard it from me first...

February 24th, 2011
12:40 pm

To be anywhere close to good, collards have to be cooked for SEVERAL hours. Even though Carla can pat herself on the back for freshness, the fact that she thought she could prepare collards in such a short amount of time shows that she’s not as in-the-know about southern cuisine as she’d like to think.

And to the “Black Yankee”: An overconsumption of ANYTHING can lead to ailments. I’ve seen plenty of overweight, diseased folk in a variety of places and in a variety of cultures. The South does not have a lock on that. Maybe you should travel some.


February 24th, 2011
12:52 pm

@Jon you missed the best bromance quote of last night… Richard ” Snapper is good, but Fabio is Great.”… lol… Also I really want Richard to win, even though I am a fan of tif/carla. Also being a black women from the south I just cracked up laughing when Carla said that.. I also eat Collards from a can, and frozen ones to… lol… Glory Greens is my best friend.. lol


February 24th, 2011
1:05 pm

Jon, love the recap. This is one of my “must read” spots on Thursday. I like Carla and have been rooting for her from since her season even. But last night she just didn’t show up. Where’d u go Carla? Quit talking about how southern u are and show it in ur food! Richard proved again what a class act he is. No way did he think someone would steal his idea and then use it to win against him. As he said, “I’m basically competing against myself”…I guess Mike can’t win with his own food and he knows it. It is one thing to be working on a team and using an idea presented to elevate a dish but totally another to be talking about someone’s idea for a dish then turn around and present it as ur own….and then brag about it. Lame. I hope when he watched it last night he was ashamed of himself. Paula was great…enjoyed seeing her. Hated to see Dale go…was enjoying his sense of humor this year. Antonia…when is she gonna win something? So close..yet again..


February 24th, 2011
1:08 pm

Oh, and was soo happy to see the return of the “BROMANCE”…Fabio holding Richard’s face at the end of the elimination challege was priceless!

Southern Girl

February 24th, 2011
1:11 pm

Your comment about Paula was unnecessarily harsh and downright rude. You should apologize. You might not like her style of cooking, but that was awful and mean-spirited. If you were trying to be funny it certainly didn’t work.

steve brown

February 24th, 2011
1:16 pm

Boycott the show our boy Blais has been done wrong! I thought he was going to cry. He should learn from Antonia! At least Mike thanked Blais.


February 24th, 2011
1:20 pm

Just to see Dale’s sniveling sobs after all this time was such a delight! Dale, YOU were the original bedbug. Take your fake phony gangsta wannabe self, pack your knives, and go back to Golden Chopstix or wherever the hell you came from. Don’t forget my free egg roll.

Voice of Reason

February 24th, 2011
1:26 pm

@ KA

Thanks for that info… however on my map, Georgia is not a gulf state. Whine as you may, it is not. Also, didn’t say I know nothing about the south, I’ve been living here for 10 years and love it. Didn’t say I didn’t love collards…… because I do. All I said was that I can’t cook them southern style…cause I can’t. My comments were really directed towards soul food and the horrible effects that it has on my community considering the ills that I mentioned above are running rampant through said community.

I think you saw other things in my words because sometimes people from the North come here and talk trash about Southerns….. and then is quickly followed by Southerners trash talking back. This also commonly works the other way around. Get over it… I was just making comments on a television show.

P.S. – Georgia still isn’t part of the gulf and YOU GUYS LOST THE WAR! Suckas!


February 24th, 2011
1:42 pm

My image of Paula Deen has been tainted after this past weekend. I was looking forward to brunch at The Lady & Sons, and was prepared to wait a long while. Well, when we got there, my husband (who had never been) went to put our name on the list. Mind now, this was just as they opened and started calling out the names of the approx. 300 people waiting. The hostess was rude and without explanation said, “you aren’t gettin’ in today; we are booked for the day.” No, sorry, or you can wait and see. Nothing. Tell me, how you can know that when you have just opened, will be open another 6 hours, and don’t take reservations for any group less than 10? I’m not sure I’ll ever again attempt to eat at her restaurant. She needs to train her staff better in the event they turn away a customer. Methinks Ms. Deen and her staff have gotten too big for their britches.


February 24th, 2011
2:05 pm


Would you have preferred to wait in line for 3 hours and THEN be told they had run out of food?
I think she did you a favour — probably could have done it more diplomatically, but she did the proper thing.


February 24th, 2011
2:09 pm

Your comment is very inappropriate.


February 24th, 2011
2:26 pm

VoR, i think it’s the twinkies, orange soda, and fast food that is harming your and my race, not the soul food. soul food is more than likely a once in a while food while fast food is a daily occurance, sometimes x2 or x3!!!!

Paul Deen is a tough southern gal, she can take whatever you dish out :)

as for grit from fla, it’s too bad you didn’t get in, but Paula’s simply behind the scenes raking in the bucks. why don’t you write her a letter. she’d probably respond. might even bend that rude hostess over her knee. i don’t need to go to those types of places as i can get all that kind of cookin at sunday dinners with the extended family.


February 24th, 2011
2:38 pm

@Lisa – I would have been okay with that, actually. It’s one thing to run out of food; it’s totally another to determine ahead of time that will happen. If you can do that, then you don’t need to post hours of 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; you should post 11 ’til the food runs out.

@downsouth – I did send a complaint email through her website. I did that when I got home Sunday night. I haven’t heard anything back on it.

It’s really a shame, because the food reminds me so much of my mother’s (she passed away at the end of 2003). The first time I went to Lady & Sons was not long after when I was in Savannah on business. I had to get a place at the bar to eat, and I was cool with that. When the waitress/bartender brought out those hoecakes and I ate one, I started to cry – it was just like my momma’s. The bartender noticed and was so kind, asking me if there was something wrong. I told her why – those things trigged so many memories of my momma. She understood; and when she came out with my bill, she brought me a whole box of those hoecakes and told me to eat them while thinking about all the good things about my momma. So, to be treated so rudely this time was a big disappointment.


February 24th, 2011
2:40 pm

Voice of reason…shame on you…what an inappropriate way to end that post. What does that old a** war have to do with Top Chef…or anything really? U are one of the reasons that southerner’s carry a big ol chip on their sholder about yankees coming down here….. What reason was it that you felt the need to do that? Did someone post a confederate flag under your nose or something? I mean you want to start off all “I’ve been here for ten years and love it”…and then go on to just trash our food and our health and then….just have to wonder just where in the south u live? Thing people keep forgetting about soul food is it was a “We gotta use whatever is left over” kind of cooking. And yep, fat back and butter and milk and bacon AND the grease….it it tastes GOOD. But back in the day…people actually did physical, manual labor for hours…kids worked and played outside….life was hard and they worked off. Maybe didn’t live past fifty but life was so hard it was probably a relief. I’m proud of my heritage…I don’t move somewhere else and bash theirs. And you know, Bless your heart…you probably just really don’t know any better.


February 24th, 2011
2:44 pm

Great recap Jon! I absolutely loved Paula Dean, I think she should be a guest more often. When she said she was gonna suck those shrimp heads i died laughing. Now on the other hand, Mike was already annoying but now I am totally pissed. How can they allow him to steal someone elses idea for a dish? If Antonia can be disqualified for not following the rules he should be too! And i can’t believe Dale went home, granted i wasn’t his biggest fan he was doing great this season. He def deserved to stay over Tiffany. She has been in the bottome like 4 times in a row. I think it time for her to pack it up. Go Richie Go! I really think he can take it all if he keeps it up.

Candler YUM YUM

February 24th, 2011
2:55 pm

Mike Isabella is a tool. That is why he did not last at Kyma…Pano Jr. would not tolerate his mouth and attitude. It was hilarious to watch him in the kitchen there because he overcompensated by running his mouth which annoyed the entire staff. He was his only fan there.


February 24th, 2011
3:00 pm

“…that he/she was Angelo.” Hahaha!!!


February 24th, 2011
3:12 pm

Carla…. take a chill pill…. for that hypertension.

nom nom nom

February 24th, 2011
3:19 pm

@GRIT – anyone who waits in line for eggs at brunch is asking to be treated like an idiot.


February 24th, 2011
3:20 pm

First, don’t slag Paula – she may be able to cuss like a sailor, but she also has the heart and graciousness of a true southern lady. She used my sister’s house in her magazine, and between the photo session and printing, my sister died. Paula herself sent a lovely photo taken that day, and sweet note.

Also, I hate cooked collards, but a Brazilian steakhouse here has the most wonderful collards slaw – julienned, slightly steamed, then dressed. I eat more of that than the garlic rump roast!


February 24th, 2011
3:23 pm

nom, nom, nom – there’s more than eggs on that brunch buffet and I wasn’t on any type of schedule – I had time to wait. Were you looking in a mirror when you posted that idiot comment?

nom nom nom

February 24th, 2011
3:32 pm

@ GRIT – what are you? 5 years old? I’m rubber your glue…stick your dead in doo doo. Go ask your mother if it’s ok for you to be online.


February 24th, 2011
4:18 pm

I think annoying Mike should’ve sent home. Who wants to work or compete with a CHEAT??? He’s so gross!!!!!!!!!


February 24th, 2011
4:43 pm

Everybody knows Mike’s game by now – nobody’s going to trust him and he’ll have nobody left to steal from. Of the chefs left – and some that have been eliminated already, I’d LOVE to eat any dish created by any one of them – except Mike. He just doesn’t seem to have any kind of specialization. He’s just out there, trying to see what sticks. I can’t believe he’s still there…. oh yeah, he steals ideas…

Loved seeing Fabio and Blais together again:-)


February 24th, 2011
4:49 pm

Who sounds like a 5-year old? Not me. That comment does not deserve recognition other than what I’ve already said.


February 24th, 2011
6:30 pm

Nice recap. I’ll be reading them here from now on. The reader comments are good too:).

Yes, please let Mikey be next to go. He’s hard on the eyes ( that backward headtilt does him no favors) and an arrogant slob to boot.

I love Carla ( tho I don’t think she should win). Rooting for Richard or Antonia, who has really grown on me this season.


February 24th, 2011
9:49 pm

@Grit Pay no attention to nom nom, noticed that he spelled dead for head? Issues. Btw, what else was on the menu at Lady’s & sons? I can only imagine!! Give the place a try again, maybe the waitress had a bad morning and took it out on you….I wish I could find a resturant that taste like the food I grew up on! :D


February 25th, 2011
1:20 am

What Mike Izzy did was bad, but why isn’t anyone addressing what Marcel did?? He purposely sabotaged Tiffany’s dish…


February 25th, 2011
9:18 am

Blais didn’t bring in a book of recipes. He has a notebook of ideas and things he puts together in his head. I got the impression that it was blank when they started filming and he’s been thinking of new things to try and putting them in the book during the season – not that he came with it full of his go-to recipes. It’s his type of doodling. Lots of the chefs make things they have made in the past and even currently serve at their restaurants. Isn’t that pretty much the same as bringing a recipe with you? Surely, they can’t stop chefs from thinking and brainstorming. If they did that, they wouldn’t even be allowed to write down menu plans for a challenge.