Top Chef 16, Episode 15 | Season Finale
Let's say you just bought a house bad news is you're one step closer to becoming your parents, you'll probably mold along and see if anybody noticed you mow the lawn. Tell people to stay off the lawn compare it to your neighbor's lawn and complain about having to mow the lawn again good news is it's easy to bundle home and auto through progressive and save on your car insurance. Which of course, we'll go right into the lawn. Progressive casualty insurance company affiliates and other insurers discounted elible. In all stages situations. Unpack your knives in stay. Yes. Stay it is the return of the judges table podcast here at reality TV wrap up sell over one. I am Antonio Massaro thrilled to be here for our finale podcast. I am so excited because I feel like I wasn't around for this podcast last week. And I didn't get to talk to these lovely people. So I I'm really happy to be talking to you Clark. Oh, hey, Tony. I know that and Haley are really really close and good friends. I I don't care. It's good because we're may the best woman win Haley Haley strong. I'm I'm so happy that you're here as well. Kurt already talked about our friendship. So we can just leave him to the side. Right. Yeah. And I'm so happy that the AIG tarts are back together. That's. The name that you named the chat that we started in Skype for this podcast group the egg tarts the three of us are the egg tarts. What does that mean? Ultimately, how are we going to eat this? Do we have to lady and the tramp at like, Mike said, I think we could do a three way lady, and the trombone actor, that's what everyone wants out of this podcast for sure is the three of us doing that people are right now are checking to see if it's video podcast and being very upset that it is not I on the other hand, I'm not upset that it is not because I have not showered today. A little bit of personal information. Tart goes one card happy Saint Patty's day dating this podcast, the two of you do either of you have any Irish heritage. I do a bit. I'm I'm what I call like a fifth generation Canadian European mutt? We do have a little bit of Irish and us. Yeah. Report I reported the appropriate amount that how am I my mom's side, I'm like Syria and polish but at my dad's side, I'm like all western European mutts. I'm sure there's some some Irish in there. Your favorite part of the podcast you live in Chicago. Have you ever celebrated Saint Patrick's Day in Chicago awkward silence? I did yesterday. Had had some green beer that. I over died and was down by the river, which they also died green. And yeah, it's a attempt to avoid the parades. But yeah, it's. Oh, boy, it's an adventure. You studying put outside your apartment in Saint Patrick's Day celebration in Chicago is it's it's it's it goes big. Saint Paddy's go big where you are. Yeah. So yesterday, my best friend had her stag Indo. And I think that's like a hyper regional thing. Do either of you know, what it is dragging dough is this like a bachelorette party? It's a party that you throw a couple of months before the wedding and both the Brian groomer there, and they invite everyone they sell tickets, and it's it's kind of a way to make money for the wedding. So they had that yesterday. So that was a Saint Patrick's themed, and then we're going over to ethan's parents house later, and he's pretty Irish and we're going to shepherd's pie. Sounds pretty good die some Coors, late greens. Don't do more than three drops of food. Coloring? I put in like eight. Oh my God Curtis. I know it one of the things people I had to like drink down the beer to like there was like a third left and top it off and kept popping it off trying to diet out. Yeah. I regretted that most of the day last year the restaurant I work at was open during this weekend. And I convince our bossom how that we should have commission serve. Green beer didn't sell too much of it. But we sold few. And it was funny to see all the people leave with green mo-. Well, it's funny hearing about these traditions because top chef we they fill around the same time. It airs around the same time. I'm trying to remember if there's been a Saint Patrick's top chef connection or anything like that. Because we've got the same times of the year. So I don't know that we've ever had a March sixteenth seventeenth weekend top chef filmed or our aired. So I don't know that we've seen the Saint Patrick's top shop. I would like to see that though. Yeah. That'd be a lot of fun. Yeah. It seems like it always starts the sometimes she'll get in a thanksgiving of it. Always. They're always be something around Christmas. It'll kind of ear into your early February. I it seems like it's got a little bit later this year than usual of. But yeah, I've never I don't recall a. A full on St. Patty's day themes, again, my my mind is like completely erased only because of the green beer yet. I would do it. Well, this is we're not in Macau Macau, clearly very different things going on and Macau. And we are we are talking about a finale were burying the lead here. Haley, I wanna let you tee off on this. Because you've been teen Kelsey all season Kelsey is top chef. And I feel so good. I feel so vindicated. I've loved Kelsey from. The very second appeared on my TV and I fought hard to have her as my first pick in our draft. I've been Kelsey Stanton along very rarely does a person like deeply want to win win. So I feel so good. I feel so happy. I was so nervous going into this week being like gosh. She's just not going to win it, and I just have to accept it. And she's not going to win. And then she pulled it out and didn't want the episode live. So I know we dig it all ninety minutes here. Hey, good, good. We were wondering if you're gonna get the Canadian cut. Got a whole ninety minutes. And so I got somebody message me who won when they see one. I was like how do because I wasn't willing to wait like two. It is it's one of those things we podcast a lot about reality TV, and there are moments where you come to really like a contestant or you come to really associate yourself with a contestant. And when they win it is so validating, and it's easy to think about how great that feels. But we it's also easy to remember. When you do stand someone and they get cheated or they lose or something like drag race all starts three happens. I how why the vitriol is so significant because we we really do associate ourselves with these contestants on these shows that people make those investments, so I'm really glad for you Haley that that paid off. And it wasn't just you Mike pointed out Mike sense is notes to me when I house and I'm ever so full for that. Mike bloom puts in a ton of work watching top chef writing about it at parade dot com. You had a great stuff with the final three before the finale still worth going back in reading that. You can always go to. Parade dot com slash members slash Mike bloom for all of Mike's writings, but Mike sent me in his not pointed out that only Stephanie from top chefs Chicago has won fan favourite and won the season. And Kelsey is only the second person ever to do that. I think that's very significant and Kurt maybe a little under reported. Yeah. It's I was I was wondering going into the final how they're gonna handle because we know we we watch other shows as always question about whether you know, I'm big brother, you know, can the person who wins the game also favorite. What are the rules there? And it it I think it's I don't mean. This negativity surprise me that the final two fan favorites aren't also Kelsey and Sarah that that Eric snuck his way into the final two run off for fan favorite. I just in terms of I think characters on the show. I. Surprised that Sarah did not make it in there. But seeing Kelsey take that over Arab wasn't necessarily a surprise to me. Just because I think all the the the the the juicy sound bits that she got on the show and a lot of the character development. Eric is a little bit more serious. I think if you have that serious character portrayal, it's a little bit harder to pull out fan favorite. But. Yeah, no, it was it was was happy to see her take it and in both the the win and fan favorite. Yeah. I think a deserved fan favourite vote for the reasons you're saying Joshua's pointed out all season. What a great narrator of the season that Kelsey was and we didn't always she always gets the the great quotes where she looked like the nicest person, and we talked about that at the beginning of the season. But it's that personality. She was sassy. She was funny like the chef testi- were always like in fear of her early in the season. And she certainly made her presence known in the show. And I do think that the show gave her the opportunity to really stand out with the way they featured her confessionals. I'm not sure that I think you're what you're getting at something accurate there Kurt with maybe a more serious portrayal versus the fun portrayal. But I'm not surprised that Eric snuck in Haley were you surprised with the way that the fan favorite modes shook out? Not really I was not surprised that Kelsey one. I don't know. I just I kind of just figured it was like big brother where they the final two couldn't win or something like that. But because the way the voting is set up is very possible. I h really surprising that only Stephanie has one fanfare and the competition that's pretty mind blowing to me, although after finishing my complete watch of top chef some of the winners I under I can see why they didn't win fan favourite. That's for sure. I'm surprised. Yeah. I knew you were going to say. Kick you out of this check hurting you're not going to be allowed to be back. There will only be two guitars. You're gonna hear we're gonna make you a chicken cookie Kerr. There's what we're gonna do. Yeah. I wasn't surprised Kelsey one only because it seemed like every time they posted the fan favorite results like real time during the episodes, and the commercial breaks, it seemed like she was always leading. And so I thought she must have the biggest base of support throughout and it certainly served her. Well, I I'm not that surprised that Eric was second. There was mixed feedback. I think on Sarah throughout the season. I have talked about this before I felt very unfairly. So, but I also think Eric was a really popular chef, and I don't think we should discount that in any way one of the other parts of this finale in terms of response, not just the fan. Favourite voting was a lot of people were really significantly let down at the result. Eric didn't make it into the final two. To to get to tell his story into caucus food leaving that specific aside, which we can talk about curt how did you feel about the structure of the finale and how this played out? And is this something you think top chef should revisit or alter in the future. Well, I I don't mind the finale going down from a final three to a final two. And I also actually really liked and was impressed by the fact that we saw pretty much I think I every chef who had been eliminated. Was was taken to Macau which I think speaks volumes about top chef production. Like, we didn't know who does. So is going to get picked at the end to as sous-chef. But I thought the fact that they brought everybody from you know. From soup to nuts. So to speak. To nuts. Not going there to potentially participate. I don't know how I feel about kind of this stutter start of. Okay. We're gonna cook. This four course meal but pump the brakes after the first chorus, and you might not get continue. I might have preferred something more along the lines of a. Somewhere between a quickfire in an elimination challenge to take it down from three to two because I think like you. I I really wanted to see at least where Iraq was going. And I feel not just at the rug was pulled out under him in terms of being able to tell that story. But I think in terms of the audience as well. So I think I might have liked to have seen a different way to get a three to two, but the same time I also understand they really want this this final choose serving of a four course meal to be all that it can be perhaps the way they had to do it with to give people that that time to at least you'll start at the point of final three. I'm not sure what do you guys think? I personally really liked the way they went from three to two I agree with you. It's not probably the most satisfying. Progression. We can have because I also really want to see where air was going with this story. But I thought it was an interesting way to get from three to two I kinda liked it. We saw this similarly earlier in the year in last chance kitchen, right when we saw brother in ni participate in the challenge where they had to craft a first course that would sell their restaurant, and that would interest Tom in seeing the rest of the menu. And then they ended up having to redo that first course and continue with the rest of their menu. So it is something they were the test ran at least with last chance kitchen this year. The show is your first course. And then we can do that. I also did like how there was feedback on the first course. Yes. And so the evolution right? Kurt was interesting to see how that played from the first try to the the final serving, right? And I liked to. I think there's I'm trying to remember how it went down is I seem to remember like Sarah really taking the opportunity to pick their brains on the Senate spontaneously as like, that's really. Interesting. I asked if I very funny. It like they wanted more of an herbal note. So I'm going to add herbs. But then, but then when it got to Kelsey, it almost seems like they offered unsolicited by Kelsey didn't necessarily seek it out as proactively as as Sarah did it, and I don't know if that was something that the chefs are there's already that Tom was disappointing to offer up. No matter what. Or if you know, I still like wondering, you know, what I have liked it more. If it had been only offered up to Sarah because Sarah, it was the only one that kind of actively pursue that route of questioning with Tom and he came into the kitchen, but you re regardless of how that was served up so to speak. I really did like that opportunity for us to see again that that dish that first course served again. But with either back them how to improve it for some reason that just really kind of scratched in. If I didn't know I have. I want to get into we will get into specifics of how that played out when we talk about dish by dish in the meal because I have some strong thoughts about the changes that were made to Kelsey dish. But I want to ask you Haley. I we talked a little bit of off air about this is again, leaving Eric story aside. Let's just say replacement levels story because I think we all wanted to hear Eric story. And it's a significant story that is important and should be told. And it goes a lot to Eric's role on the show and how important representation is. And why it mattered that air did what he did and made it as far as he did. But leaving aside that let's just say it's a replacement level meal replacement level story is it still maybe a good idea because they bought all the food. Anyway, the chefs are there, should we let that third chef if we do this again prepare this meal, and maybe put it on like as part of last chance kitchen or a web series and have that content be available. So that that chef still gets the platform. So that the viewers who are interested in it still get. To see what that meal would have looked like absolutely. That was the only like slave heart of the finale that I felt a little unsatisfying was that we didn't get air complete story. And I think putting it on as a as a web extra is just such a great idea. Because then yes, we could get that story. And you know, see where you're coming from where he was going with it. And then we go little more from. Some of the other chef test since that got let go when Eric did. I want to see more from all of these shafts. Like, we we got so far with them and the season in particular. Everyone is just so cool and their personalities are really interesting. So I do want more content of that. And. I've had some issues with loss chance kitchen this season. But I do like having the extra content. Like Antonio, you always say like, yeah. I want extra fifteen minutes of Jeff every week. No other times because my episodes get cut short. I just want to be able to have a normal known top chef every week. I'm really hopeful someone heard our complaints about that hilly. And that that problem is fixed forever now that would be incredible. If that happened, maybe not. But I like to think that you did something for your entire nation. I'm that you do it until I hear otherwise. See if it changes, but I think it would be very difficult to ask of that chef who gets booted at that three to go and then make your meals, so we can put it on the internet. But I think Eric anyone would be like, yes, I want to tell this story. Yeah. I would love to hear from love to hear that from Herrick. Whether he would have been willing to do that. And I'm sure it's something that he probably has done in some form, and that he'd be willing to do or talk about if it has not happened already. So he's active on Twitter definitely reach out to him. If you want to talk to him more about that. I I think it's a story. It was it was really important that he be on top chef and he's talked about that. But his Instagram you can general his Twitter as at chef AD J E P O N G just as last name. And so you can you can tweet at him and say, hey, if you want you want to hear more about that meal like I said, the leaving that aside I think just from. Replacement level. My idea is lashing kitchen ends with three episodes left. And then you don't have anything left on the web series. And yet you've got all the chefs like you guys have said, and you send them to Macau what see what they're up to. Let me just give me ten fifteen minutes of them wondering around Macau and what they're doing. And maybe give them something to cook. Like, give them a little competition for some prize from hidden valley ranch or something like just put that on the internet, and I will watch it. And if you put these third place persons food on on that same kind of show and do a showcase maybe where they serve it to the other sushi chefs that didn't make it or they serve it to someone like grammar, whoever like let that be. I will definitely watch the hell out of that. And if you're going to do this in the future with three chefs, I'm certainly not against expanding that content. So I would I think that that's the only my only issue with the design of this finale, especially highlighted by the fact, that it was Eric who clearly had a story that I think we all wanted to see is that you you put that third chef. There and you're putting very personal thing up for them. And you buy all the food, and they're already getting ready to prepare it slid a make it let's figure out how to put this on some form of Bravo, branded content and let us see that. So that was my issue with the design of the finale that said even coming into the finale, I felt like no matter what combination of chefs. We ended up within the finale we were going to be able with the final two to tell a really good story. Whether it was representation of food that we haven't really seen on top chef with Eric in his story, or whether it was going to see two friends who had been friends since the beginning of the competition knew each other before the competition under reported really the level of closeness between these two chefs. I'm not sure other than the Volta Geos we've ever seen a final two that was as close as these two chefs were, and then the fact that they're both women and Padma -t's great speech about the inspiration level that they will bring to this hard to look at the final two. Has a negative even in light of what we didn't get. So I don't there was a way we could go wrong with the final two on this Kurt. Yeah. And I and I think we talked a little bit last week about how is last few episodes like ever since they got to Macau had his seemed a lot. Brighter and more energetic districts cited about the series. I wonder like how much of that was potentially like her seeing the potential for this. We might actually have like a this this great story of Sarah, Elsa, someone rang. If her excitement about the potential of all final two also can built it impacted her her own enthusiasts. But I say the only I agree hundred percent of I I would have loved to have seen the more of what Eric wants to tell like, I said his food was going to tell the story of the transact trans Atlantic slave trade. I didn't really know what that meant until later on. He kind of he talked about will. He was going to feature food in flavors from Portugal in Europe into west Africa and the Caribbean. The south and say, oh, that's that's actually really really interesting. It's not just featuring the food of Ghana in west Africa. But this whole journey, and I would have loved to have seen more of that. And as much as I loved seeing Sarah and Kelsey in the final two, we really. Did have kind of Kelsey story of summers in the south and Sarah story of of Portuguese meets Asian needs. Southern. It was a very similar flavor story. Like, we even saw it will show. We'll get to it when you know dishes are being served that Kelsey didn't realize that oil peanuts were also going to be in Sarah's initial ditch. And so like, I didn't necessarily mind it that that the two dishes of the two approaches the flavors were so similar in our final two. But I think letting Eric Beale the fully tell her story is kind of a missed opportunity. I maybe it will be a lesson learned we'll find out if we'd never do a final three again. Or if we do it, and we get some more opportunity to learn more about their food. But that was that was the only issue I had structurally with the final. What did we think? Haley we start the final episode here with kind of what brought the chefs of the competition, and we get the the little just the breakdown of them. But then we see the chefs actually get to watch clips of them with various judges weighing in on their performance throughout the season. What stood out to you from that montage? If anything. That was such a cool way to present these three chefs journey throughout the competition. And that they got to also see it and comment on it. I really really loved that. I loved seeing the judges come in and talk about them. Because really we never see the judges. Make like a personal connection with the chefs or like, they're not able to show it as much because you know, you don't want to favour anyone or whatever I know pad often says she tries to keep everyone at arm's length until after the season. So I liked liked being to judges, really? Tell why they they like these contestants and what they've been doing. And I just thought it was so cool. I love seeing those. Although I did feel a little bit bad for Sarah, getting Graham for. For. I'm glad you Senate. It's like I was like, you know, Pat missing these blowing. I can't remember the order. I think pad most talking about Kelsey and Thomas talking about Eric and then surrogate scrap, and now that the engram is perfectly fine. But let's just categorize it as much flying. Right. I don't think I felt kind of felt bad and. Well. I might notice. Kelsey gets Tom com. Air gets Padma com. Sarah, gets dot dot Graham question, Mark. And it's only because and Tom our top chef. Still if Gail had been around Sarah gale token about Sarah. I don't think any anybody would have said boo grandma's just a little bit of a late arriving judge to this this show. So when he's almost show, I don't ever feel anything. Like watching old seasons. Like when Ted Allen was a judge. That was amazing. When Anthony bourdain was judge like that was so fun and cool, and it's like in Graham. Did you feel about Toby the British guy brought in to try to try to be the like Phobos Dane, when do you remember he said? They all mostly wanted him to be like the Simon cowl of top chefs. Yeah. He was fine. You know, but but they brought him in to replace gale because gale went and got married that season show the difference between Tony gale is just earn. Wait. Would you say that? Totally. So the difference between Toby galas pretty stark. It's like there was a tween lemon and sugar or something right? Yeah. Not great. I think even the even the fact that like after they watched their your video packages, and you know, then the kind of lights damn in the hottest smoke comes out and who walks out, but admen, Tom and not Graham. Like unless it was like he was hiding there. And I missed him in the smoke. But it it really was featuring Padma in Tom, right? Yeah. He was doing like Joni one wasn't illusion. Yeah. It was it was kind of a magician's a moment. I know how you feel about stage. Magic. Yeah. Sarah said it felt like college. I'm not sure if it was she was into magicians in college. Or if it was the smoke. Yeah. Tom, basically token really funny episode stereos phenomenal. I'm so proud of Sarah. I don't want to bury the lead on that note. Don't want to take any wind out of Kelsey sales. But I'm just as a Kentucky. And so thrilled. I wanna vote for Sarah for governor for president whatever Sarah wants to do. She can do my book is solely open. I will I will support her in all of her endeavors. I was so proud of what Sarah did this season. And she really is far as local chefs she put her stamp on the season in a way that very very very few local chefs in top chef history have done. So so thrilled for her. And I thought she did a really good job with her finale food. So we'll definitely get into that. We have a reality TV moment here that we can break down. We have the knife draw which I know is very popular moment in top. Chef Kelsey gets. I picked to pick among all the previously eliminated chefs to pick her first sous-chef. I was not surprised by this. Kaley were you surprised by her first pick? Not really. And then I realized later that Brandon looks pretty similar to Kelsey is husband. I have no comment on that matter. I will let you stand on that Kurt looks aside. Were you surprised by Chelsea's Spurs pig? No. And later on we do here you like is very smart pick like not just her. I like going both with Brandon anaemia in there. I think I think Eric and Sarah probably went with just a combination of familiarity overall kitchen skills and housing one with Brandon as a sous chefs like two weeks ago. So why wouldn't you pick him you, obviously work well together, and she knows that his flavors can be Asian. And I think that was incredibly smart pick on her. I thought I thought it was funny that every person picked the sous chefs they had in like the past challenge. Yeah. And but the fact that Larry on top of that fact that book Brandini have the strong familiarity with Asian flavours. But then then you'll say does the same thing with with picking David in terms of like there is this case influence in Macau. How and bringing him on board for that? So over all none of the picks surprised me. You mean either I think it would have been surprising. I would have been more interesting to see if Sarah had chosen. I would she have done the roar Eric done. The reality TV contestant thing where you know, Kelsey wants to work with Brandon. So you pick Brandon straight off the jump and maybe change that outlook a little bit. Or did each chef essentially get the person they wanted to pick. Did he chef get the the particular chef that they were looking for to begin with? So I'm not sure that that's not the case. I'm not sure that's air. Wouldn't have picked Eddie. I or that Justin air that Eric wouldn't have picked Justin. I like, I'm not sure wouldn't have broken down differently. As is it happened. So that's the part. I'm not I just think you'd probably ended up how it was going to end up. Anyway, I agree with you there. And so it was nice to see us. So then they also Kelsey picking the think it was good seeing more of neon the main show somebody who who went out of pre last chance kitchen would weather rather returning. So it was it was good to see that someone from the earlier earlier rounds so to speak was also picked to be a finale Susha and in Haley's makeup corner. I really loved Mienies lipstick during her confessionals. It was when we brought Hilly's makeup corner. That is a lower part of a segment that needs to be featured more on the top chef hasn't around much this season. No. But I'm I'm happy to have it. I thought something look different about any. So I'm glad you pointed out what it was. But I'm not. I'm not kidding. I was like oh looks different. I guess you wish you wearing your glasses. I don't know. But it was the purple upset, you know, purple lipstick has that effect on people. So there we go we so I I don't think any of us were super surprised, by the way this went down with the draw. And I don't know we can talk about whether the draw actually impacted the way we think the food ended up for this. First course, specifically, Kurt let's start with you. We got we got the way the chefs broke out seemed like we see Brandon advocating for the buttermilk dish to be first and saying, I think that's the exciting. I course in Kelsey sang while it was always maybe going to be the first course. So now that you're saying I think we'll go with it. But the way the first course shook out we also saw with Justin Hynde, Michelle that maybe it didn't work as well for Eric in terms of what he picked how do you think that all played out? I I liked just in terms of what we saw we think we saw Kelsey getting a lot more. Be back from her sous chefs in terms of again likely to wear to wear lean in what lead with we see the only Bill she's talking about the the buttermilk soup versus the posters. And then we later on see that the oysters were huge hit for her. And actually it probably actually ended up being. A good choice that you know, she hit it out of the park with the buttermilk soup. And then the oyster is were I feel like there's would have been wasted. As a first force. It was I I'm not sure in terms of Eric. I don't know how much of this was a Inara in what to lead with versus simply executional error. And I don't think I don't think Sarah ended up going wrong at all. But we we see a little bit more with with Sarah Kennedy talking with her sous-chef at least presenting to us like her in her entire plan in her entire with all the dishes are going to be in a where we first learned that she's going to risk not doing a dessert. But I don't necessarily think that Eric's choice of the first dish was a a choice of dish air as much as baby was executional. If it was 'execution Haley what we saw as we saw Justin telling Erica, you need can't ever use enough jerk spice. This is a jerk dish like we can do that previously. Eric had some issues when Justin told him I've met there wasn't enough heat in Adair that we're there was too much heat. In addition, not amp up anymore, and then we heard say could use some more chilly on that. I think it was in a curry. So this time we see Justin saying up the spice, and we found out that the spice level me. Be obliterated the taste and the beef a little bit. Similarly, Michelle was charged with frying. Lotus ships. We did see her and confessional saying I think I'm a little concerned about these ships. That was probably recorded after the fact, and we don't know what she may have said in the moment on express that to send my oh, these are a Little Brown dark. Yeah. I just Michelle probably isn't as confrontational as everyone else was. I was I was a little bit confused about that. Because it seemed like they were at the same time. Also saying that you know, the thing that I could be completely wrong. This is that. The Lotus chips like when they're they end up getting a little darker, you cook maybe said, it's hard to tell when they're overcooked because they just naturally get dark when you cook them in that was maybe the issue, but I definitely have like my eye on the Lotus ships. As like is this going to end up being an issue, and it was ended up being one of the issues. And it was in. We had to be reminded. Or we always remind listeners, and I think listeners to this show because we talk about so much reality TV, our savvy to the fact that this, isn't edit. So we don't know exactly everything that went down. We didn't see every single word that was exchanged between Eric and the sue shops or or the other chefs sous chefs, so we don't know what role may they may have played overall. Just speaking of what the TV show presented though. I think you're right Kurt that. That may be is an issue with Lotus ships in general, and I'm not saying that Eric is in unfamiliar with that ingredient. But if his sous-chef knew that, and maybe that's a good point for this chef to speak up but Haley, you're indicating maybe you think it's not in Michelle's personality too. I think I heard you say that just pick up that debris. Like Michelle seems to strike me as somebody who's a really great sous-chef. And I think she brought up her point. But if somebody says like, oh, no, it's fine. Then she just actually she doesn't like it. It is. It's a Eric's dish on her dish. So I can understand why she would be like all right? I'll just go over here. And do what I'm told? Which I mean, it it didn't I don't. I mean, those two factors. We saw each sue shut having a role in the prep, and they do seem to be why the dish was a problem. Which is the only reason I bring it up the other sous chefs, I think Kurt as you were indicating maybe we didn't get that at it where we didn't see as much of their role in what was happening that we saw and also stands to reason that they may have said something, but because those dishes were successful or more successful. We didn't see as much of that information about the failures of those dishes because it was all to the story of why hair stitch lost that the show needed to get out there for the viewers to understand since we're not eating the food. So maybe that's why we saw more of that information. Yeah. Yeah. Possibly I just wanna say his house. They had on the day of they had six hours to prep and cook and two hours in is when they had to serve the first parts, and I like, I get impatient. When I'm cooking. Blue apron. At four and it takes forty minutes to cook. The entree suspending two hours on just like that. I course itself and then additional four hours on the everything else. Like, God bless their patients. Like, this is like they obviously they they love what they do is like I would I just the concept for me of spending six hours in the kitchen to create a workforce meal is just four to me in terms of that being normal for just a day in the life of a it was going to say top chef so like GOP less. Yeah. May have just hurt thinking about it. Really rough. My hips heard thinking about your hips hurt. Really? I don't know. Why sympathy pains, I guess? Yeah. No problem, a very empathetic person. So it happens sometimes. Hits very hip. So here we are. Kirti want to participate in this? That's under your report, by the way, my hits the delicacy of your hips. Yeah. The deal delicacy of all of me, really. Russia's I wanna just get away from your hips if we can just a little bit even though they. Thousands right Kurt. I don't know what that means. I'm sorry. Wants two thousand ships. I think. Well, let's let's not do this skate. I have a question, and it's about the buttermilk dish. And I I'm pleading ignorance here. What did we ultimately get with the buttermilk because Kelsey talks about we see her shopping and finding a lot of greens in the market to thin out the buttermilk and make it a sauce is that Kirk that she visited her market friend. Once again, I think so they'll look I believe that was a market for it. I was gonna ask is that the market is that the same woman that and that's what I wondered. So that's, but I know it was the same market because we heard the chefs talking about it. I just wasn't sure if it was the same woman. Did we see the results of that? In the dish. Kurt was buttermilk that we saw buttermilk stock or like a buttermilk soup that had the flavors of all those greens in it. It wasn't a really gone in didn't really go into detail to everything that was an addition. I didn't even realize that Kelsey had boiled peanuts in her dish- until it was brought up at the that initial tasting when it was at the final three tasting like, you know, the the dishes described as corn bread and butter milk, which you know, and we're not really getting a lot of insight into what else is necessarily in there. We know that she brought her. Her her grandma's corn bread skillets to Macau with her which is. Joe? We've talked about that. I think in previous episodes like those things, you know, get you layer layer of of tastes kinda built into them. And just kind of build up over time in a good way. So I'm not really sure everything that was in that initial round of of her first course, that's that's a mystery. We will have to delve into what all was in the buttermilk soup. It looked like there was a lot of fruit. And there was buttermilk. And we had corn bread which was her grandma's recipe and a great grandma grandma's recipe. And her grandma's corn bread molds. I think all that is awesome. For some reason. Tom Graham, decided what that dish really needed. Besides, you know, sopping, wet corn bread and fruit and buttermilk was fish. But here we are. I guess Jim Smith could speak to a chef Jim Smith could speak to us more about how that tied together. For me. I thought we really need fish to throw into a bowl of milk and bread. Okay. With fruit. I just not something is suspected we we needed in that dish. But clearly, I don't know what I'm talking about. Because the dish was was beloved with that ingredient. There were some issues Tom said with the fruit Haley, but I didn't really hear that. Ultimately being a big deal when the final dish was served as you knows any other differences other than the fish between this buttermilk dish when we served at the first time, and when we. Saw it in the finale. I'm not really, but I think they did mention that it benefited from being able to sit overnight and just really have those flavors developing a green, oh when I've made seep in the past. It's always better that second day. So I think just. The ingredient of time just really helped her not like the herb time. Not like Sarah Sarah's time like the actual Heim of time. And Eric we talked about Eric, and what he was going to do with the meal and telling the story of the transatlantic slave trade and showing how those flavors made their way around the south or to the south from the middle passage and everything in between. And he certainly seems very quick to tell the story. The first dish ultimately that he's doing with the jerk beef tar tar, I Kurt. I it just we talked about the the seeming failures of this issue of anything else. You wanted to add about what we saw from Eric in this. First course. I I like a great tar. So I actually I was very interested in trying. There was also there was also the comment that the it seems like, and I don't know if this this goes to the idea of that they didn't a pace the beef. But they said the looks like sound like it seemed like there were kind of went over he kind of cut Suji the ingredients in terms of going like including like four to five things that didn't need to be in there. So. It's I dunno. I it's it's one of those things where just have to kind of rely on the what the judges are telling us in terms of the taste. I I was I would have liked to have had a southern fusion meets Macau story, and the transatlantic slave trade story in the final two, but the Lotus root tasted burnt, and they didn't taste the beef. So, unfortunately, that's spelled the end for Eric Haley, are you a fan of tar tar this is under reported. I think I've only tried like one tar tar before. And I'm like finest with it. I don't think I personally order it did explained Ethan 'cause he watched it with me, what tar tar was. He was not okay with it. Now, he was very upset by the idea of eating rob. You get to mix raw egg in with the too often times. What could sound more delicious than beef with ROY? I I would try it again. He's not sold on it. Sara on the other hand was making a dish that I think probably would resonate with with one of you to add least, we have boiled peanuts and shrimp with Chile Kurt is this a dish that jumped out to you. It was something I was interested in try. It's not something. I've I've never really had a shrimp oil. The kind of traditional southern boil. It's something I've do love me some shrimp. Some ships. And it's something that I would definitely wanted to try especially the way that again, we talk about like how much the judges have to use their words, they convey to us who can't taste the dish. Like, you'll kind of what's going on there. And how good it is. Or where the shortcomings are just the way that they were talking about the dish. Did make me really curious. I'm really want to try it Haley. This was a cold dish. And they were the judge really complimentary on the level of flavors. That's here was able to develop for a cold dish. Does the fact that it's cold influence, whether you would want to eat it or not one way or the other. I love shrimps shrimp is like my favorite food tacos and shrimp when you have shrimp, taco can't get better. The cold Jewish makes it even more intriguing to me. Hotch? Sounds amazing cold chilly shrimp. Oh, yeah. I'm in a sound. That's probably the thing. That was served that I'd want to try the most. It really did look interesting. I mean, it wasn't just that. It was it was a shrimp boil and that was the story that Sarah told, and I think there's a difference in some of these boils. We did see a low country boil for example in top chef Charleston in one of the I think the second episode of the beginning of the second. I'm this is maybe she's going for a more straightforward shrimp boil, but there's Xhosa involved here as well, very popular sauce in southern Chinese cooking, something that all of us have probably had even if we've not realized it at some point in our lives. If we've eaten any kind of Chinese cooking Xhosa just kind of pops up from time to time, and you see it. So she was mixing those kind of flavors in as well. I we talked about about this on the podcast last week. But I do think it's interesting the way that all of these chefs, but especially Sarah, and I think Eric may be to lesser degree with the Lotus ships worked on involving Portuguese and Macanese flavors in what? They were doing I am Chinese flavors. And so to see Sarah, especially she saying, what am I doing at one point? She was like, what am I doing cooking with these ingredients? Like, I never use these things. So I think this is a really cool way to see her do her cooking in a way that reflected the finale location, and it sounded like it was just a killer dish. So look more points for why Sarah deserve to be where she was. And why she was really good throughout the season. And maybe held back by feeling like she needed to just do the straightforward food because she's able to take a dish like this, which is her food. I and really place it in the location where they are and meld it in such a way that it was a home run from the jump even without the herbal notes Kurt. Thank god. No fennel wasn't ball thing. And we did we didn't see as much of that story in at least for my impression in kelsey-hayes. I dish and she was the one like last week. I know we were talking a lot about how she she. She took her dish. She's like, well, this is this is an ingredient that I would normally include. What would I can swap out from a from a Macau perspective and said start including the though that flavor profile in there, and we didn't necessarily see them talk. A lot about the Asian profile of the the buttermilk and in corn bread. Although for that that second stab edit. She includes the crawfish. And which again is it's a bit more southern. I'm not sure if the the Asian influence came in with some of the spices. But yeah, really for for Sarah in terms of the Xhosa, and that's something that I've had many times. And I always, and my ignorance showing your I always thought it was like a brand I didn't I didn't realize that it was a a kind of type a type of sausage is created. So it was really interesting to see how you know, Sarah, really wove that story through Oliver dishes. And and for that matter that I was I was pleased to see her advanced to that to that ended that next stage final to to see how she continued to incorporate that, yeah, I mean, I I know it's over reported at this point. But I was just so thrilled with what Sarah was doing. I we talked a lot about Eric not making it through here. We've talked about why the judges felt like the dish was a little bit of a letdown. Look like a beautiful dish the finger limes. Looked crazy to me like what just everything that was going on. And that dish looked gorgeous. But unfortunately, there were some drawbacks. And we've talked about how this plays out with the finale, I think Padma seemed really letdown Haley to have to sell Eric that he wasn't going to make it through Eric took his elimination like a champ. But I think people were really let down by what happened here for sure. I thought it was gonna cry. That was I think the most torn up I've seen her in sending somebody home except train all stars. Yeah. Well, don't make risotto, you know, especially at where was I Ray owes like, yeah. Just pull this off. Like don't do this like maybe they'll drink. It's funny to be like in the middle of the spectrum of like Antonio, remembering every single detail that has ever happened on top chef and Kurt being like. Yeah. Last week. And I have no idea what happened true. Curtis a goldfish nominee elephant. What are you gonna do? No, Trey Trey Anastasio, Kurt. He made a lot of fish. This is this ultimately it really was heartbreaking. I think not just for Padma, but for everyone, and it was always going to be hard. No matter who she had to send home. You saw it on Sarah and Kelsey faces as well. It was like the movie major league where you get caught from the team or you make the team dolt. Celebrate in front of the people who don't make it. They looked really, unfortunately, sad. And then pad much has to tell them or somebody tells them like, hey, you connects hail now like you guys made it like it's okay to to be happy about this. It was really rough for Eric. I knew what they were getting into when it was presented to them that one of them wasn't going to make it like it was never a surprise, thankfully. So hopefully, all of them were prepared for this. But it doesn't make it any easier Kurt. Yeah. Now, it's like I said, I think all of them were. Mentally prepared. I think in some degree as we all saw them talking about how important they you know, it was to them. They knew what was hanging out here. With the stakes that run the line. So it was I I'm glad the top chef didn't pull this. As like a twist or a surprise that. It was like that was forecasted pretty early on. They knew what the importance of this dish was and is that Eric Eric like a champ at that. We've got our our friends in the final two. And it's it's great to see these two here. And this is Haley where we get the the comment from Padma. Right. Oh, no. This is later actually wear padding to mix that comment just tape. Just tape. So amazing to see that like these two women who are friends in horse show supportive of each other people to make it to the final two together after going through this whole season, and how supportive they were there. It didn't seem like they were fighting. You know, they're so happy for whoever won, you know, in Kelsey was leaving the kitchen after finishing up her meal. She said, I love you, good luck. Like that was just so sweet and wonderful. You know when healthy is announced his winner. Sarah's the first person a hugger and kiss her and tell her congrats. It was just so fantastic to see these two really just show. How amazing it is. How women can support each other in industries, and they don't have to fight against each other to rise up that they could they can do it hand in hand literally. It's really it really is a nice, it's a really if you're going to send Eric home. Like, I said, this is great that we have the ability to tell this story because it is a story that I think is it's one that top chef is Sarah talked about this. Right. She talked about this with Mike bloom. I believe in Mike's interview before the final three where she basically said like we are changing the way the cheifs have to relate to each other. And you just handed at that Haley when you talked about succeeding by supporting instead of by cutting each other down, there that element is there the element of treating each other with respect, and kindness and really liking each other. Is there it's something that I think these shows beyond the story of their food. They have significant story to tell that. I think the the season did a good job each spring Kerr do think and Mike talked about this a little bit in the notes that he sent me. Do you think the season could have done a better job of telling the story of Sarah and Kelsey throughout? And rather than just reminding us occasionally. Oh, yeah. Serono's Kelsey mom. I forgot they knew each other. Do you think they could have told the story and featuring it more throughout the season? I mean, they could have. But it's not something I would have wanted or needed to see her. I mean interesting. Yeah, I was fine with the with the with the arcs of it got throughout and then popping up here and there, and then, you know, you know, cut to them after this final three judging whether shot ending beers together and reminiscent again about having dinner together at the at the MGM hotel there in Macau. I almost feel that if you eat your it too much, it might have like it only matters because they're the final two together. And I think if you'd featured at more it might have maybe broadcast that that a little bit too much for my taste. In Mike snowed. What he said is. I think what made part of what made the Eric elimination. So shocking is that his narrative was really pushed throughout and that we got a taste of Seren Kelsey in the very beginning. But it felt super rare to Mike to have people so close make the final two. And so maybe that the story was just a taste rather than told throughout. But you're right. The more they lean into it. The more seems like okay, maybe SU are going to actually be the final two. So I'm not sure there's a right way to do it. It just would have been an interesting story if that had been something that they really strongly featured throughout but leaning into it would've probably tipped it off. But as you're saying Haley like I think the idea of these two in the final two something that the show does do a good job of conveying. Once we know they are the final two, we really get to sense why that is vital. And why that's important, and why the judges on this show feel that it's vital and important. The judges are in the moment of why it's significant and why it matters that these two know each other and that these two are such a good Representative. Of what who they are not just the kind of food they make. So I thought that the show did a really good job of that. Once we knew that's what was happening more. So than the food if we're pressing the reset button Haley, and we get back to the final dishes. We talked about how Sarah and Kelsey got feedback and are gonna make the dishes differently. So leaning away from the first course did the changes in in this dishes. At all excite you any more or less about them than when we saw them the first time through. I don't think. So I thought they were just heightened versions of what we saw in the first round. I didn't change either way. Whether or not I wanna to try try these dishes. The chili prawns. I I just know would be a slam dunk for me. I'd be really interested to try Helsejs buttermilk soup. I don't even I don't even know what buttermilk taste lake or how you know. The idea of just like putting a biscuit and buttermilk can just letting it sit almost in settling to me like I don't know if I would like that. But I would like to try it and soup form. I love soup. Any changes that were made here? Make you more or less excited about these dishes. Yeah. I think I was a little bit Louis by Tom in Graham, kind of suggested there's there's some element missing again to the to the buttermilk soup like sea urchin or something, and she ends up adding crawfish in in the fact that there was something potentially a little bit more substantial in the dish made me more interested in trying the the soup, but again on the surface like all get a soup as a starter. And then I'll have an entree. But this being a four course meal, I also would have been perfectly happy just trying just the soup without the addition of something so. Yeah. Just in how I normally eat my day to day. It was like, oh, yeah. Just throw something a little bit more median there. And I'm always good to go, and I live crawfish. So I would I would be pretty down to have crawfish in something. Interesting. Would you be down to have it any milky bready fruity soup? Yeah. I don't see. Why not I guess maybe I have this secret station allergy? So I sort of lean away from anything with shell on it. And that can be a problem for me. So maybe that's why I looked at it. Like what that that's what we're doing? But speaking of that's what we're doing Sarah mix. Kelsey shotgun. A beer Kelsey is not as experienced. It seems in the beer shod cutting. I don't know what they do down there in Alabama when the tide are rolling, but they need to figure themselves out if they're not shocking beers. Surrogate echoing, Sarah, also, hilariously awkwardly suggests maybe we should go to what is clearly a very stage dinner for the two of them were the chef knows their name, and the cameras are welcome not a spur of the moment idea, obviously, Kurt but still fun TV to see them get to relax and have an interesting dinner here in Macau. Oh, yeah. This just looks amazing. And like, it's yeah, I would have been all over this like I was. I was I was like I I had the pleasure of eating at the Brooks restaurant, the triple in imply Delray in California. And like I saying like getting to ask the chef and say like, you know, I'm kind of torn between this and she's like. Go for the triple burg- like, you know, having the chef recommend the dishes that you try is always an awesome never to be forgotten experience. And so like just what they got to do there and was and I think this was also I mean, not only was is a bit too Hari. I think he was also at their their final serving their final service. It seemed like I think this was also is she the restaurant, I think was also wear their final service place. Yeah. So maybe there's a little bit of of quid pro quo here in terms of of them having a featured meal there. But just this looks I would have been all over this. This just looked so awesome. You also didn't you have a great meal from chef John at knife, Kurt in Dallas where he just meet slaps you to death is out the word you used. It was it was really good as well. So yeah, the ends. Yeah. I it's just all of these just the experience there of just having it will get having that that the the chef say, you know, firsthand. Here's what you need to try this. Let me make this recommendation for you. I more than jealous of what was going on with with with Sarah and Kelsey got to experience here. We'll Kerr you mentioned chef broke Haley. I have a question for you. When you watch this in Canada. Did you see Brooke's MasterCard commercials? A MasterCard MasterCard. She instagram. So I did see it was at her Playa provision restaurant. If I'm if it looks very familiar there a couple of times. So I think they filmed that onsite at at her restaurant. I believe there's been a lot of talk about this online. I just want to say, I really liked it. I really liked it. I feel like there's too much negativity raining down on over this commercial. I enjoyed it. I laughed and Brooke to in the cardboard cutout. I get that money. That's what I have to say get that money. Just do you need the don't worry about what people are saying. No, this is I had no issue with this at all the what are people saying? And how can I fight them? I think people were just laughing at it. I think she made some comment about it on her social media like next time. I should just let brook to do the talking apparently. So she's user. Commercials or Bronx. Yeah. Right. Brooks very self deprecating though, too as well. So I think it was all all I had no issues with massacre the secrets ones make me laugh at us senior. Sorry, Brooke the secrets when they I think they make Brooke laugh as well. Yeah. They're awkward this MasterCard. What was fine. I understand. I like you get that money. That's what I have to say. That's all I have to say get that money. Yes. So no complaints at all Haley, you saw the commercial on Instagram. So which is I'd right here. Here's an ad on Instagram. That's not actually an ad. There's really these people are really smart about what they do by getting people that we'd like to be in there and we see them anyway. So. Yet again, more on the downward March into the health scape that we live in but glue leaving that aside, let's talk about the rest of the finale. I wanna do like Antonio's Milas corner anything. No, I'm good. I don't care about anything. I'm fine. I'm just going to lay run in the pool all day. And maybe eat some Lincoln, very pancakes later. Speaking of the big lebowski talking about the judges Alexander Smalls was their great judge to have for afro, Asian fusion, or southern Asian fusion. If you will that's what he does. He's got a couple of places that he's known for. It's also an opera singer, by the way, the man is halfway to an e got. I think we need to give him an EMMY if top chef gets it so that he's three quarters of the way home. And then we just gotta find a way to get him an Oscar somehow, so pretty impressive guy. We've got at the table. There was he the one that likes the peanut water. He's still on like the corn bread. Like, he's the one who immediately. He co-sign the corn bread which was seen as a major deal. We've seen him on food competition shows and just food shows in general before he's a pretty notable guy. Sarah, Sarah's first course Alexander Alexander Smalls loves. The taste of the peanut water. So there you go that's better than water. But. Peanut exactly. So this is great. Yeah. Alexander smalls. Is there some of the other judges there? It's a hero is there. So you said Kurt may be a little bit of a scratch my back, I'll scratch yours Alvin Leong as there Melanie Han. She is there in may Chow who was Asia's best female chef in two thousand seventeen is there and Dan Hong as well. So this is an issue, and I bring this up because one of the things that chef Eric has talked about in the wake of his elimination. A lot of people were talking about we needed to see your story. Whatever Eric has used his platform to retreat an article that was written really just about representation, it was written that food and wine, and it was written about representation, and why it matters. It was written by Johnny Williams on March fifteenth this week, and she basically talked about how the representation that Eric showed two west African cuisine. And Joe was great. And it was important, and it was vital to see a range of those cuisines and. Flavors. And I think the suggestion of this article is that we could also see some better representation at judges table, and that we should top chef should not just strive to put chefs on the show who are I have a more world perspective, but we should try to do that at judges table as well. I think what we got from. This was a little bit of that. But I think what we didn't necessarily get throughout the season was that I think that that that can be hidden miss, and I bring this up in part to say, and I want you guys feedback on this one of the things I really like about the show, and we saw it with the hunter is one hundred Hays challenge earlier this year, where we have someone who really isn't sophisticated in terms of food and just wants maybe something straightforward and what we get in. That challenge is Adrian saying he'll married it. I phoned that in I'm not gonna win. I'm sick. I'm tired, and then she wins. Because she does something very straightforward. And she doesn't do that. We've seen in the past as Haley, and your rewatch is probably shown chefs struggle. I think that happens in Chicago, maybe with chefs bike or or others where. They don't want to cook the food that the judges are going to want to eat or they want to cook to the judges and not the audience, and they struggle with the littering food that the audience might like, but that the judges might also like, and that's I think separates what these a good chef from great chef seeing their ability to do this. I'm wondering if either of you have thoughts either about representation at judges table or especially in a finale, do we just want like the best local chefs have to offer? And then maybe one or two noted like international chefs Haley, I with you do you have any thoughts about that. Yeah. Here's what I want. I want after you know, after watching allot of top chef a short amount of time, the judges panel skews heavily male, and I get that. That's the industry at looked to see more women represented. I'd love to see more men of color and women of color on the panel has everyone brings such unique perspective, and you know. Like, it was it was great to see that knew. What foo foo was when Iraq was serving it. And I love seeing Eric bring his dishes to show. There are so many things that I hadn't heard of in a really opened my eyes to a whole other stream of cuisine that I would never even thought of. So I'd love to see, you know, diversity and contestants even more. So I think top chef does a pretty good job at having a pretty diverse contestant base. Divers winners. Maybe not so much. I just want to see more of everything. So we can all kind of just learn about everyone and everything. And because it's so interesting. It's so much fun to to see things that we haven't seen before. What about you any issues with or just any feedback on what top chef can or should do in terms of the judges table, especially on finales? But just overall I should note. Haley makes excellent points there, especially about Neil kind of checking a couple of different boxes in terms of what she was able to bring to the season. But Eric also got some feedback about the texture of one of his dishes about some of the things he's cooked this season that maybe spoke to judge not understanding what he was trying to do. So we're judges throughout saying I'm not familiar with these flavors or you're teaching me something, you're you're showing me something, I didn't know existed. Do you think it's the shows responsibility to maybe fill in those gaps with the judges as well as the chef testi-, or or how do you think the show is doing in terms of handling that Kurt's on a few things? I do think that we've seen a few times where we'll have the judges have like a expresses an opinion or preconceived notion. About a dish. And it's after the the chefs have already left the table. I there's been a couple instances. I think we even saw in the in the final four where the got to sit down and actually have a little bit of a dialogue about the district. Get to say more about the dish. I'd like to have more opportunity at the time that the dishes being tried. For there to be a dialogue about questions or critiques of the dish. So it's not -pletely blind. Like we saw last week. There was a texture issue with the seeds in Eric. Let him be able to address that at that point. So that you know for that second and third by that they take the dish. Oh, okay. I see that. Now, I see what you're trying to do here. Now, I can eat the rest of your dish. Fully understanding what you're trying to do. In terms of the representation for one hundred Hayes is for the Lena waits for the. What is it kings of Leon? I rather kind of see the them lean into the celebrities. More of the the non chef celebrities into the quick fires. I'm perfectly fine with living there. I think if you're going to have somebody like kings of Leon. Yes lead at the judges are say at the the elimination challenge table, they need to be like countered by like a factor. Afforded won by like legitimate names in the in the food world. But I didn't know maybe the fact that they had this. The finale here was in Macau they were able to lean more into having a Asian representation at the table. It would be nice to see them do like kind of both in terms of gender and race and viewpoint. Have that more Representative not just at the final limitation, but potentially in in all the dinners, so. It is tough. Right. Yeah. It gets tough balance to strike because as I said there is the interesting stuff that's generated from having the less sophisticated judges when you have to actually see the chefs step their game up and make a dish. That is expected or that is not going because what what what ultimately you're seeing reflected throughout any of that whether it's one hundred as or kings of Leon or whether it's a more sophisticated chef in the US who may be doesn't have experienced two different kinds of cultures is what you're saying is what's captured in the food. Wow. Article that I talked about is that what makes a good dish can be as culturally subjective as it is personally. So you have the personal subjective element where maybe like one hundred as what he wants out of a good dishes different than we'd be what like somebody who has more sophisticated palate my one, but is not just that it can be relative personally in that way. It said it can be relative culturally, and that it can be subjective to someone's culture, cultural of us. And I do think that difficult for. Top chef to strike that balance and Haley, I think you're up survey are really strong when you talk about the evolution of the ESI. What you did not just a name Kurt. Yeah. It also depends though, I think on how they set up the purpose of the challenge. I mean, they every challenge is is a little bit different. And like you'll see on. I mean, it's a little bit similar on on project runway where you know, every so often they'll have a challenge where the the the the models are, quote unquote will figured or real women versus like simply like high fashion or avant-garde. And so, but you know, oftentimes, it's either just that's the model they get or that is like the entire purpose of the challenge. But you're seeing something where the the purpose of the challenge is in the improv challenges in in Chicago, and is a very different feel than the honoring Mohammed Ali challenge this season of versus doing the euro the four course meal for the finale, so I think it's it's not just. The who's the makeup of the the the the judge's end of. But it's also like how they set up like what the intent of the challenges as well. It's a good point. And I think that incenting up the intent of the challenge what you often get are those interesting results where you see these chefs have to adjust and say, we're making a meal for kids like that's all in Colorado. Right where we saw them having to it. But it was the kids who are the children of prominent chefs, but it was still children. So that's a different judge than if you bring an art Smith to eat fried chicken for you, like, they're they're the design of the challenge does influence what we see. And I think Haley as you're observing the show has evolved in some ways, but hip probably still has more work to do. And I think there's article that we talked about does really highlight some of the ways that that can continue not necessarily ways which the show has overtly failed. But in ways that in the way, Eric being on the show. And in the way, Eric doing what Eric did. So well was important for the show. We can maybe do that with some more challenges or some more judges as well. And because representation matters in the way that we see with Erica in the way, we see ultimately with the story of Sarah, and Kelsey, it can also matter with the judges that you're picking and I think the show has done that from time to time. And I think I think they're hard to in the right place at top. Chef I think they tried. I mean, I think back when they did the gay wedding in California that was before marriage the supreme court's marriage ruling. So they wouldn't really season. Like it was it was a wedding. But like it wasn't technically like legal, which is pretty crazy. Just like we've seen a lot of LGBT. Members of society on the show, which is great. We see a lot of people from different backgrounds. We have a lot of immigrants. We have just everything I think top chef has done a good job. Having that representation, but it's important to strive to have a show that looks like what our world looks like right? I think that's exactly right. And especially a show that is a leader in many ways, the industry, right that sets the standards, and that is in many ways like helping showcase chefs who bring the next of Aleutians in the industry to bear in in highlight the way that these chefs are doing things differently. I think it'd be opportunity is there for chef to be in the vanguard on these sorts of things I think they are interested in it. I think they are concerned about it. I think that's why we feel comfortable calling them out when they fail on it. Like, the optics of the issue that they had at the plantation last year in char- last year, but in Charleston, we I think we feel comfortable doing that. Because we know the show ultimately, it's on Bravo. Like, it's on a network that has shows that are interested in doing that or. Has a history of sort of being in the vanguard in that way. And I think the people that make the shore interested in that I think just culturally politically that's something that they're interested in doing. So I know that they listen to feedback that they get I know that they try to make sure it's reflected in what they do. I think this piece from food and wine is very interesting in that regard. And we'll definitely link it in the show notes. But putting the rest of that aside, we do have who we had at the table. I think that it was a from a Macau standpoint, we had people who really did know what they were talking about in terms of what the two chefs we had in the finale were doing in combining some of these local ingredients, I thought we got really good feedback from all the judges at the table about what they were eating and it was disparate feedback sometimes the judges agreed. And sometimes they didn't. So I think that's always interesting as well to see how that plays out Kerr going to the second course, can you set up? What Kelsey does for the second course? Yes. So we saw early on. Even when there was still a final three the Kelsey was debating, whether or not she should lead with the buttermilk soup or with the with the the oyster 's, and so she goes with the oysters fa second course in its these these French oysters. She's got some some Asian flavors in there in terms of the Chinese chives. She also playoff frozen some pickled green tomatoes, and she straws whereas Sarah is going for raise bacon in an razor clams, which includes a baby corn and pickled teaches. And we I don't know. I it seemed really interesting I razor, clams. Always intrigued me, I don't know if I ever had razor clams for some reason whenever I hear razor, clams. I think of like the shrieking eels from the Princess bride as being like something very similar like beware. Your highness, the rid the razor clams will get you might just be me. But I like the idea of peaches and bacon. So I think I'd be really interested in trying. Sarah's second dish. Although it seemed like there was a major salt issue and with everything that was going on with her second. So between the extent to which the judges raved about kelsey-hayes alster dish and the extent to which there was a saltiness with the with, Sarah. Second course. I have pretty certain I knew which way this one was to lead. Yeah. Healy this may have been in fact, where the finale was decided in some ways in terms of the strength of Kelsey, second course, and the relative failings, which I talked about some of the judges, including Tom didn't think saltiness was the issue. Others. Did what are you have to say about the second? Course, did you feel like did you feel like this is windy wearing all went wrong for Sarah? Is this where it was decided alternately just getting bacon that she hadn't really used before? Yeah. I think so. And I think part of it was a lot of the other courses, we're fairly even I think Kelsey courses. Kelsey is. I course was better than Sarah's. I think the one mistake calcium with soft shell crab. I don't think it was seemed to be as big of a mistake as Sarah's second course. So I think where it could have balanced out that Kelsey really did take it overall and Kelsey made a really bombed desert, and I don't think not making a desert. Hurt, sarah. But I think it really helps Kelsey see I I felt I was really worried for calcium chances when I when she got to her third or swimming when we talk about like that that's off show. It's to me, it seemed like the crab was a huge issue. And it was less for me, which with is going to all of that. So I did it necessarily. I was pretty sure that Kelsey for me. Like, it seemed like it was kind of a tie coming out of the first or that that healthy hit it out of the park. Second. Course, it seemed like the third course was very problem at. Sales in may in my in my just kind of how I read things it did in that. Well, that was what the show featured right to which is that we see a bunch of stories told throughout this episode some of which matters some of which dome Sarah, not being able to find peanuts as a red herring. Classic. What? Per peanuts. I sent her peanuts her green peanuts. Needed no-balls needed. I agree. But there that was a red herring of not of the actual red-herring variety. Even though is in the red market. I think we we did see that. But we also saw the continual issues with Chelsea's crab. Are we going to how how can we bred? This was a story that was being told throughout so that it's crispy enough in. So that it's it's the right kind of flavor that ultimately as you're saying Kurt it did it was reflected. This was one where the story that was did matter because the dish didn't come off. Well, and it was because of the crab, but it didn't alternately make Kelsey the loser. So it does seem like maybe this thing turned on the second course because I if you're if you're lining them up together. Sarah, we we see the two of them do that to like Sarah had a really killer. First cores, maybe Kelsey was just as good or maybe was a little better Cirrus. Second course was just off the Mark and kills his was excellent. And then the third course it seemed like. Sarah. I think that a little better than Kelsey there. I don't know Haley, did you think the third course went to Sarah in general or was this a toss up for you know, I think they're definitely went to Sarah, they really loved her roast duck. I think. Yeah. That was the highlight of her meal or Kelsey soft shell crab. They said they've had they had some issues with the sauces, the social crab tasted like it was frozen. Obviously, that's not really a product. They can. Have fresh in Macau. Show. It just it just I think that was a conception mistake by Kelsey for sure could use something a little more local. I know she really wanted to go. Really southern with it. But I think what Sarah shoop or well in the finale is taking elements of her southern style and taking ingredients that she can find him Akao, and yes, she ran into some issues because you had to work with some things before. But I like the way Sarah combine the more Kelsey was almost trying to fit something in where it made in serve super. Well, does that make sense it makes it makes sense? And the the overall, you know, maybe didn't serve it super well element the structure of these the progression was definitely something. There's well that was put on on display that feedback was about the third course Pacific -ly with Kelsey. I think most strongly when Padma was saying, I don't know if the progression was good it came off like an appetizer. Instead of the main course and the oils and the dipping sauces for the crab. They were part of this. So. It did seem a little bit more like an appetizer with the way that it was served. And so I do wonder I the the end of the day. It seemed like Kelsey really crush it with a desert really crush it with the oyster and made to sublime dishes, and then Sarah may be made like one sublime dish. I and in a couple of real good dishes in one that wasn't as good. So I I don't know how the shook out Mike said he thought that the sexy dot com, and in particular Kurd was something that was pointing to a Sarah win. A you said you were sweating at certain moments for Kelsey desert automatically turn you around. And make you feel like she was going to be able to walk this offer not. No, I I after coming out of the second course, I was like Kelsey got. But then the way they talked with a third course I was like well. Well, it might come down to the fourth quarter, and then for that that desert versus and we haven't really talked about Sarah's decision not to go with desert. I don't know it seems like you that they both really actually hit that fourth quarter out of the parks. At least the way it was described to us. Maybe it was just the editing. So that it seemed like more of a tossup. I I didn't know which way it was actually going to go at the the final at the final drop. The to me it seemed like it was kind of toss up on the first horses. Sarah, took the third course. And Kelsey took the second course and and ultimately win Kelsey one. Like, my immediate reaction is. Well, the crab dish Matz must not have been as bad as as it seemed in the editing in terms of the way, they talked about it. So I actually don't know if it turned it must have turned on the fourth. Of course, I guess, but just the way things are described. It did seem like a draw at that point. Yeah. I mean for me Sarah's fourth course. I mean, we had certain chef saying it was her strongest dish. And Neil like people saying, I I don't miss dessert. One bit mic drop moment. Damn near perfect. It's hard to say. That the fourth dishes weren't equal at the very least. That's why I felt like it might have turned on the the level of miss on. The second dish by Sarah considering the calcium, and you guys are saying like, maybe it's in the heading of though, the crab dish like maybe that's a part of it. But I think finale did a pretty good job. Honestly, sometimes you can't tell I do wanna see top. Chef finale doesn't always go the live finale. I don't want to trigger anyone that might be listening where we don't. We. We see it presented in a more straightforward way. I do want to sometimes see it where you're not sure about who's going to win. I'd like to see somebody just post is someone in the final Haley inury watches. Do you? Remember finale where you just were one hundred percent sure who was winning pretty quickly went through the meal. I think oh gosh. I'm trying to sort of go through everything real quick. I think. Who who on the season? I'm watching Paul Paul is pretty obvious not only in the valley, but like shoot entire season. It was I remember way as stepping prize when she beat Richard though. Right. Like she was shocked. She'd be Richard Richard Schorr. He was going to lose that finale. So that was interesting. But all stars. It seemed like I felt like that was pretty clear, right? And so what you're saying. Herald in season one was pretty obvious. It didn't seem like they're super impressed with half of Tiffany's dishes season two. I think a lawn was surprise and got him just smiling. Everything now. Home. I felt like it was pretty obvious. Yeah. No season two was prize. Because I really thought I like I knew what you McCollum wasn't gonna win. But it really felt like he would Marcel. Oh, yeah. I mean, he was the chef that who's food had been featured most interestingly throughout I think in terms of why it was why it was cool or why it was interesting or what was going on there. I think a lot of people were surprised by the way that played out. I don't think this one was a super shocking. I think in the way it was presented was either chef could've wind but nothing fair had one. Yeah. This makes sense story. Yeah. Share crushed the fourth dish her. I dish was excellent. She didn't do well with the second dish. But Kelsey also didn't do well with the crab dish. And Sarah's duck was really good and they liked it. So I could see Sarah when it right? So this one wasn't this one was I think seeming them closer to appear tossup, which I think speaks to the way the season progressed overall, Mike pointed out in his notes that not only was Kelsey the second person to win her season and fan favourite. She's also tied for the winner with the least amount of wins going into the final with two and that honor is shared with the winner from the DC season. So I. Unlike you Haley will not spoil every detail top chef, but. I see that. I was like the most was what I was most surprised by a couple of weeks ago. We had a conversation. I believe off air who I thought was going to win. And then when I heard the winner mmediately message Mike and was like, dude what the F like. No. Like, there's no way. This is what happened and he's like. Yup. Wanted you to be surprised? Yeah. What are your thoughts? Actually, going back to my notes that I was actually a little I think the reason I was not so certain that Kelsey took took it with the last dishes. I didn't didn't recall hearing a lot of negativity about Sarah's. Last course, they you know, they said it was her strongest dish. That cooking mistake was incredible. You had that mic drop home at like you'd said for an for Kelsey his last course, there was talk about some for some of the judges that honeysuckle sweetness might have taken a bit too much away from the the peach flavor it came out the way Kelsey really wanted to. But it seemed like there was potentially for some of the chefs a sweetness issue there. So I was less certain. I think that that things went Chelsea's way in the final course. And so that's that'd between wasn't sure how much of a egregious error things were with the crab. And then some of these comments about the last course, I was less certain going into that that final call where things were going to fall. Well, I'm glad that the fan favourite one for the people that were satisfied. I'm sad that the fan favourite didn't win arm Santa one for people like me who are rooting for the Kentucky favorite. But overall, I think very satisfying either way the way this goes with the two of them as we're saying from the way that it was presented. It seemed more like toss up, and I think we all were were going to be pretty satisfied, regardless of how it happened. We also got the moment before the announcement. And before really the breakdown of how everything goes we had the moment Padma where she talks about how millions of little girls will get to see the journey and how they'll be inspired by it. And the the way that that impacted Kelsey and Sarah. I thought was really great to see the significance of the moment was not lost on the may the makers of the show as it was happening. And I'm glad it was featured in the way that it was anything else before we really breakdown. How the the end of this all goes. I'm good. I'm haley. Well, good and Haley, then we will continue on Kelsey does win. She's very stunned. And we see their families are their their mothers in their husbands are there. So that was really cool to see their families there in support of them. All the all the X sue chefs were there as well. A great moment for them, Sarah, so gracious in defeat because Sarah has said throughout including two when she talked to Mike, I think she basically said if I could win this competition, and she says it on the show. I'm glad that Kelsey one. I wanted Kelsey to win. So that's that's a really great to see from the second place. Chef if you're gonna walk away from this. You're gonna walk away happy for your friend. And I think that that they really just it was a fun way to see this end up. Then current we got footage like home video footage of Kelsey with her baby and husband. That's not something we typically see now just another little slice of life moment, which was. Which is always nice. I don't know if I co-signed the the the d'appel ganger look between Brandon and Mr. Kelsey. They both have blonde hair. But yeah, no. It was nice. We we we've seen some footage before dislikes does of like, you know, of her or her young one. So, but it was it was nice to see the the again that that's slice of life moment. We had a really nice comment from Padma talking about the moms or was it from Panama. I forget who it was from we had compliments of the mothers. That were standing there. I thought that was a really great moment. And we saw Sarah's husband Austin, specifically gave Sara's mom. Nice hog basically saying like, yeah. You did this like your your huge part responsible for what we were watching here. So that was I think a really nice moment as well. And ultimately the slice of life stuff with with Kelsey family. I wanna talk to you Haley now that you've completed really a watch through all of top chef when we used to see the more reality TV elements in top. Chef do you think we'll end up seeing more slice of life type moments like this secondary storytelling about these chefs and seeing more moments like this of them as people and their life outside the show. We'd see it throughout the show is that something that's been featured more or less, you think as we've gone on definitely more as we got on it. And I think I'm really interested to see it. Because a big part of Kelsey story. The season was the really really gonna get emotional talking about the really really tough decision. Of leaving her her nine month old baby at home. So she could go pursue her dreams. She had to stop breastfeeding. So she could go on the show, and like how would that impact her kid down the line? And you know, she gave up a lot to go. Do this show into see it being worth it in the end. Was awesome to see that moment at the airport when she gets to see it again that was really great Padma making comments to Sarah. And Kelsey that like, you know, little girls are going to look up to them one day and that their mom's did such a great job raising them sorry raising them, and it was a really really great ending to. A lot of this might say this wasn't our favorite season. But I think the back half of it was I really really enjoyed it. Like once we got over the first last chance kitchen returnee ones, brother left. I really felt like this season came into its own and was really really enjoyable really satisfying. I I loved every contestant for one reason or another in getting the ending for me was just perfection like it was great. It's what I wanted. And I really love Kelsey Sarah's great. Eric was fantastic. And it was just it was a really really satisfying season end. Yep. Your thoughts. Generally. I can't follow that. I didn't want to. No. I think the perspective of like there were some folks who are kind of down on the season. I look back on it. And like, you know, how much I've enjoyed just the past six or seven weeks makes it kind of just I'll be blunt ridiculous that we complaining that, you know, last chance kitchen place at twelve and set of final kitchen that restaurant wars to place final twelve a final eight like how much I enjoyed the last six seven weeks. I really don't care that that was a change that they made when I like to see them still do it if final eight next season. Yes. But it wasn't playing that ruins the season for me. Because again, just how much I've gotten out of these these last couple months of just watching all these contested yet. And I think a lot of it comes from the fact that you can just tell from not just the show, especially if you follow any of these chefs on Instagram, how just how much they're getting together and helping and supporting each other and how much they came together as a family outside the show. This makes it really a to me that helps explain just some of the how much I was enjoying seeing what was going on the screens a week to week if they if they enjoy each other's company so much has been that come across and like, you know, just what shown on television and it's an enjoying the season. Mike talked about how the fact that so many front runners got cut throughout made it harder for him to connect with a lot of the cast early on a front runner. Yeah. It felt like any sane person could win. Yeah. Mike has like three or four castes to get connected with this is my only show as easier. Major person we lost before the first last chance kitchen is Niimi, and I would love to see more for Meany. And I'm so glad we got to see her at least in the finale here. She's the one person from that beginning stages where I felt whose time really got cut short. Everyone else made sense to me. Sure, I would like to see more Natalie. But. Pablo? I don't need more from Halen. I would love to see more from. But it made sense. Why her story ended early on? I don't even remember the other guy who's on my fantasy team name. Sure, why not. The. Joking aside. I'm also thinking from your perspective Haley, it's like there's there's two main shows that you cover which which of those casts are you going to want to fall more in love with. A show about love, and I all with them. Emotional talking about the bachelor before where this it just grabs me in a way that the Bashar obviously cannot just because the people on the shore. This this show are like just inherently more relatable. So I've never lated to anyone on the bachelor. Like I relate to Kelsey like, I her story. Just makes so much sense to me like, Sarah. I just love seeing you on the show because the bachelor such bullshit, and then top chef is not. Yeah. So it's it's it's definitely different. For me. You'd much rather see cuisine influenced by Portugal than that contestant. Disappearing into the countryside of Portugal as what you're saying. Yeah. I don't even on the they didn't. Sitting in front of them and just talk over about stupid shit. So if anyone wants to subscribe to your bachelor podcasting with those bachelor, no, that's our Email address. I think it's rob has a website dot com slash bachelor batch cast or something, I don't know. Just search my name in the barring you'll find it whenever. If you're listening to the top chef podcast, you either a already listened to the Baxter podcast or be don't like me that much aren't interested in blessings of the bachelor. I want to give props Ailey it regards for being able to put up with what you're describing. As literally seems like a self flagellating hate ritual of watching the bachelor, and then podcasting about it. I don't know how you do it. And you stay unspoiled about the show when you could be spoiled about it. Right. Try very hard. Yeah. So you gotta you deserve all credit for that. And it makes me think of when Kurt says, Mike, you Mike has all these other castes to fall in love with like, it is it it it stark when you when you draw the contrast between top chef and other shows, and I do think that might be why some people were a little more let down by those top chef season. It's only because we do invest a lot in the way that the show shows the chef tests, and I just think the way these eliminations went with knee and with Natalie, especially they have to build up these these big chefs who do well in the show knowing that they're going to go home. They don't really have a choice. I mean, they downplay the shaft, but I think you want the elimination to look like it's a shocking MoMA. When he goes home, for example. So you have to tell the story of the way the story plays out in this season. The story played out that a couple of chefs went home early that we maybe would've wanted to get to know better. Or we spent a lot of time getting to know because it was surprising that they went home early. I think part of the reason why the last few weeks have been more satisfying is these are the chefs that we ended up getting to know the most about so because we had spent the time throughout the season. And we had the time to get to know them. It doesn't always work that way in the final six because you have sometimes a chef who just kind of slides through or there's a chef who we didn't really learn much about throughout the competition. We had Kelsey being our narrator throughout we were interested in the food that Eric with putting forward throughout and it was a story that they told throughout the season Sarah was a hometown representatives. So she was always commenting on things throughout. So it's not surprising to me that by the end of the season. We really felt like this season was jamming they had to spend a lot of time setting up. The fact that Nina going. Home was a shock or they had to spend a lot of real estate setting up these other chefs because they were winning I and then they go home. So I don't think they had the easiest task in front of them. I don't think they made it easier on themselves by changing some of these things we've talked about that eb nauseam, Mike, basically says the season was a solid B. So he's not disappointed in this season. I don't wanna see Mike. I'm throwing him under the bus. Mike says some other good things about the season. He says no sudden death quick fires is good. I think we all agree on. That's true. Oh my God. I hate sudden death quick fires. Right. So we didn't have that. Mike also liked that the international finals Macau really focused around that culture. And he thought that was good. I think we saw a lot of interesting stuff from the chefs there. So I'm good with that. I really liked some of the stuff we saw in Macau. I think we talked about that Mike also said lots of personal memory challenges to get to know, the chefs better, Mike, really like that. So overall, I think those are some good things from the season. I want to know what you it to say about what Mike said the bads were Mike said. I bad is setting up the last chance kitchen challenges in such a way that they'd lead to brother quitting the show. And just the way that he had to do them all in a row and one day and that sounded like it was pretty rough. So we know last chance kitchen whatever three team restaurant wars, we've talked about that. And Mike also said not making sure all the is properly working before leading the chefs use it do Kerr. I'm sure masking the goldfish here. But do you recall that having a significant impact on anyone going home? This season is the equipment not working to that ever really change who goes home, and who doesn't maybe it makes them party boat team more miserable. And that's why they're not happy the next day. Well, I think the fact that the party boats like both of the teams both of the votes had issues and one work through it in one. Well, they ended up both kinda working through it and one it was like the day of and like while they were trying to freshly cooked stuff, and and you know, and even for the the group that had the issues with their. Power the night before like Kelsey offered them to the hey, you guys can use all the Queant on our boat. So I don't I don't think that that had too much of an issue too much of an impact. No. And and a quick comment on like the setup of a brother quitting. I'm like, you know, what if you're going to battle to come back into the game. I think you have to go through hardships like that. I'm sorry. And you had to kind of be prepared to deal with whatever you have to deal with as a result of coming back in some of which was not knowing the people, and that's a reality of it. But some of it is just jumping right back into a competition after having done the thing that got you back into the competition. So I think it might have been why he quit. He didn't want to go through it again. But I think he was happy to be back in the competition. When he goes there. So Haley anything about the good or the bad that Mike talked about. Yeah. Let's talk about a bad the equipment, that's kind of hard. You can test it five hundred times in the five hundred first time, and it just doesn't work, you know, in top chef all stars. There was a literal grease fire. That they had to deal with like the one of one of the deep Fryers the oil set on fire, and they had to like redo the entire challenge again. So when you're working with the Clinton that's just going to happen. And it's like amazing race with animals like sometimes it'll work. And sometimes, you know, it just doesn't I was pretty vocal about being a little upset that. About some returnees in the last chance kitchen is great as it was to see Jimmy and and. Carey and brother, it just it just made this season feel really disjointed. And I think that's why we didn't love the first part, but we're all really happy with the second. I think doing chef restaurant wars at twelve I think it was an interesting idea in. I'm glad they tried it. And I think they know it didn't really work they try and they try and play with the format of restaurant wars every couple of seasons. And I'm fine with that. I think restaurant wars is like snatch game for Paul's drag race. It's like everyone's always excited for it. But it's always kinda shit. So it's like why are we excited for it? I get why they do it year after year is just restaurant warriors, just like isn't my favorite challenge in general. So it was kind of almost happy to get out the way a little earlier. I liked some of the personality challenges. I wish we had one right off the bat. I would love to see a little more Kentucky in the season. I'm sure Antonio agrees with that one of my favorite things about top. Chef is they can really highlight where they are. And they think they didn't excellent job of highlighting where they are when they're in Macau. So I just wish that Kentucky was paid that same favor. Overall, once we once brother left, I think it the season really fell into its own. It became great. My favorite episode is still the party boat episode. I thought that was awesome. There are some really fun challenges. And I'm just really happy healthy. Yeah. It does help that. We we have a winter that feels satisfying in terms of what the season presented us. Even though we talked about what she had coming into the finale was tied for the least amount of wins. She was such a prevalent person throughout the season that it it. Didn't it did feel like okay, I can understand the we got the story of this person winning and we told throughout the season. So it did feel very satisfying. You mentioned Haley that picks up from brother going home. Mike suggested that there are probably some chefs. They could bring back for all stars. I want to say it makes sense that both of the other two from the final three could come back right off the bat, and then Mike suggest also in addition to that Eddie, David in ninety does anybody wanna make a call for anybody else that isn't on that list? Kurt starting with you. I wasn't really. Well, not no quick answer is no slightly longer answer. Is I to me like? David. I would not have put on that list. Like, I think he was an interesting kind of up front where he seemed to kind of be this quickfire king. But it as as interesting TV, and chef it kind of sloped down from there in terms of like, I it's not someone who would be on my list in terms of something. I want to would want necessarily see on television again. How about you? I completely agree with curt David would not be on my list. I often had a hard time remembering his name. So he just didn't make a huge impact on me. I liked him. But he just like wasn't the most interesting character on the show. Give me tall, Brian. He was he was obviously somebody I was in the bag for because I really liked the guy. I am. I thought he could be really fun to have back again. I would like to see I think both Brandon and Natalie or sort of out of the game a little bit in terms of their I know Natalie specifically was and I think Brandon was more of a personal chef unless I've been working in restaurant kitchens. More recently, he said he had done that. And it was feeling invigorated by getting back to that. I'd be interested in revisiting both of those chefs in a year or two to see what they're up to at least did top chef get them into a position where they were back in the kitchen, and they were doing something really cool because I do I'm given to wonder if they're not being game in that way is especially with Natalie why they went home the way they did or or why they didn't perform as well in the competition. I think what we saw from Cousy repeatedly picking Brandon and other people talking about Brandon being so Brill. Throughout is. Maybe there was more to offer their to than we alternately saw on the show. So I personally interested in both of those. So I'm not saying definitely would I think maybe we didn't get the full story from either one of those two because the this the show found them at a point in their lives that will be very different in two years. And that may because of where it is in two years be even more interesting for them to be re returning chef essence on the show. So I would I would add either of them to the listen, I I concur David David was a disappointment for me only because I thought when he jumped out so quickly from the beginning of the season. This guy could win the thing. Like he's clear when he made the what it was it was the leak carbonara. I was like this guy a magician. He's a wizard and all that flavor. They loved it. This guy is going to really crush this. And then he just sort of petered out. And so I don't know what the deal with that was the competition really wore on him or didn't have many tricks up his sleeve, ultimately. But he just seemed like the kind of guy who's gonna go far in this competition. So. I can understand why might put him on the list for sure. But I also can concur with the two of you. I wouldn't necessarily rush to do that. But we've got a we're we're we're in a position with top chef, and I want to sort of get to wrapping up here but Haley, you mentioned not loving restaurant wars. And I think it's interesting because we're sixteen seasons in and top chef at the very least, which I think is what we want from our reality shows is not lazy. They're not just going to go and do the exact same thing every season. They are familiar with the fact probably that now that they've taken restaurant wars involved it as you saw them. Sure Hayley from challenge where you had to really design the whole thing of the restaurant pick out the chairs and pick out everything to the point where you're now taking that burden off of them. And they're just having a quick meeting with a firm that does it and you're putting stuff firm screws. I'd rather it be on the chef. Yes, then on a firm. They gave the ideas to unlike they slap some things on the walls. I guess we're done. Great advertisement for us. Hey, guys. Like it. Just I think that's part of why a. Maybe not liking restaurant wars as much because we're evolving almost to fire pass. I don't know. I just I like seeing the chef touches everywhere on this. I like I like Washington pickup plates. I don't know. I think that's fun. Well, another issue that that they have restaurant wars is that the same. It's like everybody says, oh, it's either front of house or it's bad. It's the expediter. It's the person in the back who's responsible for getting the food out. That's going to go home. That's what happens in restaurant wars. And you get into this rut where the the way they set up the challenges. That's typically going to be the case either the exacts going to go home or the front of house is going to go home. And that's that. And I'm sure if we were going to change it we might find a way to also change the way that chefs can game that our change the way that unless cat city and taking on five dishes, or whatever that you're not going to go home. If you're not in one of those roles. So I I know that part of the reason they probably went to three teams, and they moved it in the season is they don't want to just continue to do the same things with their signature hallmark challenge. And I know they don't want to continue to do the same things with the show in general. So they do things like trial final three or they do things. Like, let's go back to where we're. Going international fully four finale we've done that in a little while. So let's change it up a little bit. So I appreciate that. They're willing to make changes Kurd location or otherwise. Are there any changes you would like to see talking about top chef seventeen? Not really, no. I think there's a formula that works in the end in the I'm fine with them experimenting here in there with how they approach it. I'm I was actually, you know, when you brought it up at the Haley, the the fact that there was no sudden death with fires were something. I was very very appreciative of. Something that might be interesting is how about this in all restaurant worst season where it starts out with your slowly building the elements of a restaurant where it's like, you must create the signature dish of this restaurant. Maybe start off into teams in every atom becomes almost like tribes and survive. I know it may be something that's more fit for a web series or one off for a spin off like new pop, chef desserts, or what have you? But potentially a blow out the restaurant wars thing. Make it something where you're actually crafting all the elements of a a restaurant by bid over the course of the season it be completely different. And shouldn't replace the maybe the formal, you know, top chef season, but the. As top. Chef goes, I'm happy with the standard Haley, you saw so many changes as you were rewatching from probably as an enormous liens where they do like, a you have to cook in a batch to even make it onto the show for some of these people or maybe that was happening shop tax law that access Texas, and it happened in Seattle to I love that. I really love that aspect. It's hard to watch those people that home sometimes and south Texas, somebody got cut within like twenty minutes because they just completely an eyelid a piece of poor remember really terribly butchered, it, really terribly I l- I like seeing that. So if we could see that again next season, I wouldn't I wouldn't be upset. He has done a really great job trying to keep things fresh and exciting, and I have faith that they'll continue to do that. Yeah. Me too. And I don't mind that they try different things. I don't mind that sometimes somebody goes home on the I like the first quickfire like we're going to do them like think that might have been New York where they had the culinary student. They are competing, and they make a salad out of apples or whatever. It's like there are ways the show has had fun like Vegas. They're giving away better prizes for the quickfire more money or chips, or whatever you wanna do or cooking your way onto the show. Moving restaurant wars was a big one. And it seemed like they weren't necessarily cognizant of the interrupting the flow like moving them urgent survivor to when they normally would do a swap or whatever like the interrupting that that would have on the season, but at least they're trying. So the fact that we can't come up with a clear change our something. We would definitely want to see happen is interesting. If you have any thoughts, you can always tweet at us. And let us know. What's your thoughts on this are I'm not sure that we're completely? Finished with this season of top. Chef we may have some more content to come. Stay tuned on that. You can always subscribe. We are you can subscribe to this podcast at Roba's website dot com slash top. Chef just put that in your podcast app. And that will get you directly to this particular podcast. We watch the feats. We may have more coming. I don't know. We have we've talked a little bit about possible locations for top chefs seventeen. If there's a location announcement relatively soon. My talk about that there are possibilities here. So there's anything you want to see us talk about let us know Kurt. How can people get a hold of you? I'm at Kirk Clark with to seize on Twitter and Instagram, and I've been I've been cooking. More recently, admittedly. It is kind of blue apron in terms of sameness and level of difficulty. But for me, it's a business food food is food. It's a step up from sandwiches, and takeout. So been more more food pictures. I actually I made a shack Shuka. Last night's. So that was something that was earlier in the season. So yeah. So at Clark on the Twitter and the cigarettes all right in Haley. If people want to reach out to you to talk about how much you hate the bachelor or other how can they get a hold of you hate the bachelor? It just hates me is I is how I like to talk about it. The bachelor season is over eating. I cover the valley and everything else here on the same work. So if you are subscribed to the reality TV, we're happy. It's you probably already downloaded our podcast on purpose. Or accidentally, listen, you know, even if you didn't want your bachelor, you can still listen to us. It's really great because then you can talk to everyone at work is I know everyone at your office is watching the bachelor and talking about it. And you don't wanna be left out. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at each strong underscore. You can look at my blog, strong, cakes dot CA within the next couple weeks. I'm going to do a definitive issue. Raking of. All seasons of top chef which I'm really excited about it's gonna take me a little bit coming soon ish. Yeah. I'm on hiatus for a couple months. So I'm kind of excited about that. We're going to really really miss talking. All you guys Antonio, Kurt, Mike, Emily. Josh. It's been such a like an amazing joy to talk to you guys all season long Birkin gyms to come on the season. Again, talk with us late amazing. I love talking about top chef I'm so thankful. You guys have invited me with open arms in the last couple of seasons into your top chef world, it's been so fun. It's been so refreshing. I love talking Bo food to everyone who listens. Who's also accepted me? I'm so appreciative. And I just love you five. Haley, we love you to let you go without saying, but I'll say it anyway, and I'm thankful as well to everyone especially thankful as I said to Mike throughout when Mike and I weren't on the podcast together. Mike was sending me his copious notes about every episode. I relied on them heavily to get through these podcasts. He'd save me countless hours of my life in terms of work and not that I didn't watch every episode multiple times before we podcast it. But it's just such a such a benefit and favor from Mike doing that. So I'm very thankful to him for that also thankful to Josh in me for their thoughts throughout this season is fun to have a panel to talk to you guys about puts a lot less pressure on any combination of us feeling like we have to make, you know, make it a here every single week or change up our lives to do it. And I hope I everybody is okay. With us rotating the way we had throughout the season bringing in more voices. Suggestions for us or things we can do on this podcast. Always just tweet at us. Let us know if you want to offer me a Canadian visa or any kind of appointment I'm open to that as well. Kurt people can always get out you with suggestions. I know I definitely recommend following Kurt on his social media. I like I said shop Jim Smith said jealous of your travels you travel a lot for work. So I live curiously through a lot of your post, Kurtz, I'm very thankful to both of you as well. We were pretty common combination on this podcast and really enjoyed doing it throughout the season with two of you. And I'm so thrilled Haley that was hey, you give them a plug on Canada sign up. It's five ninety nine a month. I think it's available in the states to has like an insane amount of shows on it. And it's fantastic. I love it so much. Well, I'm becoming obsessed with drag race. And I haven't seen every season. So I'm gonna have to find a way to watch all of the those are on iron at flakes too. So even more reason. To get into Neo Canadian. Don't talk to me about it. But if I have to leave Kentucky for anywhere I wanted to be Canada. All right. So anyway, thanks to everybody throughout the course of the season. Anything else you guys want ahead? No, I'm good. Okay. Okay. Good Sarah for governor. That's all I have to say you have my vote. I will be the Lieutenant in that campaign. Let's do it. So we call it the left tenant the left ended. I think that's a that's a British carryover if I'm not mistaken. But yeah, we'll I'll be the left tenant. I'll be the Lieutenant will ever we want but happy to of of percents. Hopefully, she will run someday other than thanks again. Everyone for listening throughout the season in stay tuned. Maybe we'll have some more stuff to follow up on top chef Kentucky here or really in this feet. So just go to rob his website dot com slash pop. Chef and subscribe, thanks, again, everybody, you may now pack your knives and go. Wherever you go. 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