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Thread: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

  1. #11
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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by AsIs View Post
    Elia is wrong in what she is doing, but so is the show. They are taking something that was sort of minor and possibly ending her career. I find it interesting how many of the chefs that were sort of defending Elia or nodding their heads when she was speaking. I think I counted at least five reacting positively to what she was saying. I find that interesting, but the show did a diservice continuing this line of questioning. When Padma told her she didn't have to answer the question and she did, the show didn't have to air that. She may have talked her way out of the industry. Tom's comment about chefs being careful what they say in the press sounded ominous to me.
    There definately seems to be alot of support for Elia - or possibly some disrespect for Tom - or maybe a little bit of both.

    It doesn't surprise me that Bravo spent some time on this. I've posted before, and I stand by it...I really think Bravo - or more likely Andy Cohen - does not like its shows messed with by those who appear on them. Andy come back swinging. And, the nature of reality tv lends itself to this. Most of the Bravolebrities are replaceable in an instant. This is in contrast to someone like Charlie Sheen who can get away with all sorts of crap because ratings would suffer with any other person in that role.

    Tom was right to caution the chefs not to say stupid stuff like what Elia did in the press. Some, Dale L. and Casey (and I adore both) may have even gone too far in their support. Not smart.
    Last edited by Jexter; 04-07-2011 at 02:03 AM.

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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    I'm kinda torn on the Elia issue. On the one hand, I think the core of what she was trying to express was articulated far better by Dale, and based on what HE said, it's correct. Tom is very influential now thanks to Top Chef, and he SHOULD be cautious about what he endorses because of that.

    On the other hand...while her core argument might be valid, I think she's basing it on some false assumptions. A waiter or a sous chef told her (she didn't see with her own eyes) that ONE of Tom's restaurants uses corn fed beef and she jumps to the conclusion that he doesn't buy organic or direct from farmers? That seems a little fishy and that she's probably more than a little bitter about her quick elimination this go around. And the whole Diet Coke thing was silly. Tom was right-every restaurant sells a diet soda, and if he drinks it and enjoys it, there is no reason why he shouldn't endorse it if he feels like it.

    I think bravo felt like they needed to address it on the show because it was a big thing in the press and they actually had both Elia and Tom there to speak directly to each other. Whatever fallout Elia suffers is her own making because she came across as a bitter chef who was trying to slam Tom in any way she could in revenge for her elimination. She didn't seem to have much evidence of any kind to back up her claims, and she couldn't even articulate her grievance well.

    I don't think Dale or Casey will suffer fallout-like I said, what Dale said about the situation was expressed well and was correct without saying inflammatory things towards Tom.

    BTW, can anyone explain to me the difference in cornfed and grassfed beef? I rarely eat red meat and it's once in a blue moon that I order beef at a restaurant. Is there a noticable difference in taste, or is it more a matter of supporting local farmers or being less cruel to animals?


    Otherwise I thought the reunion was great. Closure over the oyster-gate thing, more of Fabio, judges acting silly, etc. I really like that Tiffani admitted her goal was to not act like she did in season 1, and I liked that Jen admitted her reaction to elimination was over the top. With the exception of Elia and Jamie, all of the chefs came across really well.
    Last edited by pretlitdev; 04-07-2011 at 02:40 AM. Reason: adding text

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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    BTW, can anyone explain to me the difference in cornfed and grassfed beef?
    I believe corn-fed is cheaper and grows the meat much bigger, juicier and tender. Problem is, it's not what animals normally feed on (grass), and further when cows are placed together in high numbers to graze, there is a higher chance of developing one another's illnesses. I could be not completely 100% accurate with this, but this is what I saw once in a documentary about mass-feeding of animals for consumption.

    IMO, it's not such a big offense to feed corn, as it is to me a vegetable, that isn't full of nasty things you don't want in your animal.

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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    It seems like Elia is trying to do damage to Tom's restaurants and reputation, and merely for the fact of being the first one out. Not a good approach to be in the public eye, where many restaurant owners are watching.

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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    I didn't like the Elia/Tom confrontation either, and I agree that it shouldn't have been on the reunion show. It seemed more like an opportunity for Tom to lambast Elia publicly for doing something that may well have been a dumb thing, which smacked of the show trying to defend the recurring character (so to speak) over someone casting doubts on his food. Tom's a big boy and an established chef. I really think he could have handled Elia's complaint on his own without the show's assistance. For that matter, far fewer people would even have known about it if it hadn't been mentioned on the show. I also thought Elia seemed somewhat surprised that the topic even came up, while Tom seemed more prepared. I agree that Elia should simply have politely declined to discuss the topic--or at least taken Padma's suggestion that she didn't have to talk about it further.

    However, I also really didn't like Tom suggesting that she went after the cornfed/grass fed beef issue at his restaurants because she was angry over being the first one out. Honestly, he doesn't know exactly why she did it. Maybe she's just really passionate about that issue and let her passion overcome her common sense or concern for her own reputation. I noticed he did not suggest that Dale was just upset about leaving earlier than people expected he would when he brought up the Diet Coke issue. Of course, Tom has every right to serve whatever kind of beef he wishes in his restaurants and serve/endorse Diet Coke. But other have the right to disagree with his choices too. I don't think it ultimately is going to hurt his reputation or restaurants that much if he serves either, particularly if he's right that you can't run a steakhouse without using cornfed beef (since steakhouses aren't my first choice when it comes to restaurants, I wouldn't know). Sometimes you have to know which fights/adversaries are worth taking on and which aren't. Long term, I think he just fueled the argument--and brought up a new one (if you care about encouraging better eating habits, do you do soft drink commercials?), which doesn't serve anyone, including Tom himself, well. He and Elia should have both refused to discuss the issue on the reunion show, where it really appeared to be included only for the sake of drama, since everyone else was getting along so well. Personally, I didn't need the drama. I was having a fine time enjoying the funny videos and seeing people share previously private jokes, admit to their own failings etc. Everyone was behaving like amusing grown-ups who could get past their differences (well, maybe not Jamie so much) and understood that everyone had their moments that didn't come off well. The whole Elia/Tom confrontation--that had nothing to do with the actual season, since not a moment of it was even mentioned prior to the reunion--could have been omitted.

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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by pretlitdev View Post
    BTW, can anyone explain to me the difference in cornfed and grassfed beef? I rarely eat red meat and it's once in a blue moon that I order beef at a restaurant. Is there a noticable difference in taste, or is it more a matter of supporting local farmers or being less cruel to animals?
    Tony Bourdain explains this [in typical Tony fashion] in "Are You a Crip or a Blood?" (which I had just been reading when this aired): "I like grain-fed beef. When talking about beef, I don't want some muscular, over-exercised animal with delusions of liberty providing the steaks. I want a docile, corn- and grain-fed jailhouse fatboy who has spent the latter part of his life standing in a lot doing nothing but eating, all that nice fat marbling rippling through the lean. If, as in the case of Kobe beef, some nice cattleman wants to give my steer regular rubdowns with sake... all the better. The grass-fed Argentine stuff, shipped in a cryovac bag full of water and blood, tastes like monkey meat by comparison."

    While organic produce may taste better, apparently grass-fed beef does not necessarily (at least according to Tony). I think Tom had a fair point in saying that if you want to operate a successful steakhouse, you have to offer corn-fed, but he also offers grass-fed.

    However, I also really didn't like Tom suggesting that she went after the cornfed/grass fed beef issue at his restaurants because she was angry over being the first one out. Honestly, he doesn't know exactly why she did it. Maybe she's just really passionate about that issue and let her passion overcome her common sense or concern for her own reputation.
    It was kind of unfortunate, but I understand why. Elia slammed Tom in the press immediately after her elimination. The timing implied that she was bitter, so she insulted him. It may have been that she had wanted to say it earlier but repressed it because she would have to confront him daily on the show, but it was still a poor choice of timing. Had Dale L. chimed in with his support immediately after he was eliminated, I'm sure people would have thought similar things about him, whether they were meant that way or not.

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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    Loved the Angelo segment. Could have lived without the Mike crotch scratching,farting,burping segment but it really did show why he drove Antonia crazy. Liked the bromance and Black Hammer segments. Didn't like how so many of the chefs had little airtime and didn't get to say a word. Was a little sad to see the number of chefs who said they wouldn't do the show again. Mike cracked me up by saying he should do TC Masters. Would love for them to send him in with any of the chefs who have done the previous version of that show. They would rip his heart out and prepare it in a sauce so wonderful he'd even love it!

    Could care less about the Tom and Elia battle and they wasted valuable time with it. Tom and the show came off like the food mafioso. Tom has a solid reputation in his industry and some up and coming contestant on a show wouldn't have touched that one bit. If he felt the need to respond it could have been done without giving so much time to the issue. Totally overblown situation. If you're going to do that should you then give every contestant a chance to respond to every harsh remark made about them during or after the season? They have to suck it up, so does Tom.
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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    I thought the reunion show was hysterical. Good job on the editing. I loved the bromance and Black Hammer segments. I liked what Dale said about Padma and the children episode. It was nice to see the judges behind the scenes too.
    I didn't care about the Tom/Elia rift. They could have done without that.

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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    Quote Originally Posted by freefragrance View Post
    I believe corn-fed is cheaper and grows the meat much bigger, juicier and tender. Problem is, it's not what animals normally feed on (grass), and further when cows are placed together in high numbers to graze, there is a higher chance of developing one another's illnesses. I could be not completely 100% accurate with this, but this is what I saw once in a documentary about mass-feeding of animals for consumption.

    IMO, it's not such a big offense to feed corn, as it is to me a vegetable, that isn't full of nasty things you don't want in your animal.

    Cornfed beef is cheaper, not so much because corn is cheaper than grass as because you can feed a lot of cattle corn in a smaller space than the same number of cattle would need to graze. Corn is also not necessarily less full of things you might not want your future entree to be eating. It depends on what is used on the corn when its is grown is terms of fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides etc. Same thing with grass. Whatever's used on the grass has a possibility of going into the cow and onto your plate too.

    Also, grass fed beef doesn't have to be tougher. It depends on how it's prepared. You really, really don't want to order grass fed beef well done, for instance, as it has less fat and becomes tough more quickly. Same thing with buffalo, which is actually even lower in fat than chicken breast and a great alternative to beef if you're concerned about fat. I find it, and grass fed beef, particularly good in things like stews, chili etc. where there's extra liquid there to keep the meat from drying out.

    There's also an alternative no one on Top Chef mentioned. Find a rancher who combines the grass fed and corn fed approaches. At the local farmer's market, I often buy beef products from a local rancher whose cattle are about 70% grass fed and the other 30% corn fed--but they feed corn they grow, so they know exactly what's going into the corn (and so do their customers). The amount of corn they feed gives the beef some of that marbling people love, it keeps it from drying out/becoming tough too easily, and it's still lower in fat than the all-corn fed beef. Kind of like 2 percent milk as opposed to skim or whole. I don't even care for burgers that much, but their hamburgers are great. So are their steaks, though I've had them less often, simply because steak isn't something I make all that often.

  10. #20
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    Re: All-Stars 4/6 Reunion Show Discussion **West Coast Spoilers**

    We started buying grass fed beef from our farmer's market and the difference is very noticeable. Since the cows are free-range, they have much less fat on them and more muscle. This makes it take much longer before they are ready to slaughter and therefore more expensive for the farmers to raise and sell. They need enough land to sustain the animals as well. So, it is considerably more expensive to buy. When we first bought it, we didn't like it at all. You can actually taste a grassy flavor in the meat, and it is harder to get tender. I've tried actually adding fat into the meat to try and make it less dry!

    All of that being said, I cannot imagine a steakhouse only selling grass-fed beef - they would go out of business. It just doesn't taste the way that people associate steak tasting. I think Elia was speaking from a very ignorant place, with just the right amount of false superiority, to make her look very stupid. She obviously doesn't know what she is talking about, and she came across as a bitter, sore loser.

    Also, it would be impossible to sustain our entire society on only grass-fed beef unless everyone seriously cut-down on their meat consumption. The demand our society makes on the meat industry is much too great and we simply do not have the room to have that amount of free-range, slow-growing beef.

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