Susie’s Answers – Episode 4

by in View All Posts, July 3rd, 2009

Thanks for another great week of questions! I’m traveling sans video camera this week, so blogging answers to you instead. Back up vlogging next week (promise), so post all your questions for this Sunday’s Episode 5 over here.

Onto my Episode 4 responses…


Of course Teddy is the talk of the town this week! Courtney specifically wrote in wanting to know, “Was the decision to send Teddy home unanimous? If not, who did each judge vote to send home and why?”

I was really on the fence at first about whether we should let Teddy or Katie go. But Bob, and especially Bobby, really liked Katie and wanted to see more from her. I came down pretty hard on Katie for the under-cooked food, but Teddy just could not overcome being so forced and fake on camera. You saw in the challenge he had notes on his hand! So even though both of them were almost equally at the bottom for me, in the end, it was unanimous for us that Teddy needed to leave this week.

Jeffrey definitely had a tough episode this week. Debby asked me in the comments, “What the heck was Jeffrey supposed to do with blueberries and lobster? Since the baskets were chosen for them, are you trying to make Jeffrey fail?”

Bobby was actually very excited about Jeffrey’s basket and was looking forward to seeing what he would do with it. Look, I think it was a very, VERY difficult pairing of ingredients, but I’ve seen harder combinations on our show Chopped. This is where ingenuity, creativity and survival all come into play. The blueberries and taste of the dish weren’t his downfall; it was actually the consistency and preparation of what was, in fact, a failed pot pie. Jeffrey performed pretty poorly on this challenge, which is not typical for him. But his dish didn’t fail because it was blue; it failed because it was bad.

Megan wants to know, “Who is to blame for Debbie catching a pan in the face? Michael or Debbie? As a chef… if you are behind, say BEHIND!”

You are right. It was definitely Debbie’s call to let Michael know she was behind him. He had no idea that someone was there, especially with the pace and intensity of the clock ticking away. Just like when you’re passing someone on a bike, you should say, “on your left” or “behind you” – it’s more than just courtesy; it’s safety in a situation like that. Nonetheless, we felt terrible that Debbie got hurt, and we were absolutely worried about her. What you wouldn’t have known just by watching Episode 4 was that Debbie’s bruise was so severe, she had to keep applying and reapplying make-up as the bruise proceeded to grow and change colors. However, with all of that said, I feel a situation like this either makes you stronger, or you recoil in the face of obstacles. And in the end, I was disappointed that Debbie recoiled.

Dee, Susan, Brian, and Jennifer were all curious about the faulty equipment on this week’s episode. Dabney said, “It appeared not all of the stoves on the Intrepid were calibrated, resulting in some really bad dishes. Was this by design to see how the contestants would compensate?”

We didn’t plan to send the finalists into a faulty kitchen as a part of the challenge. However, I think cooking in different environments always presents different obstacles, so you have to be prepared to improvise. I was recently at a festival in San Francisco in which Guy Feiri, Aida Mollenkamp and Anne Burrell all performed culinary demos in the same outdoor kitchen. The wind was blowing hard that day, and it was very hard to keep the flame going. I noticed each one of them working through it, and even though they all handled it differently, everyone overcame the challenge with grace. These are very real situations the finalists are facing, and it tells us a lot about how they may face adversities as a Food Network star.


Remember to send in your questions for this Sunday’s Episode 5 in the comments section of the Ask Susie – Episode 5 post.


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Comments (226)

  1. S says:

    One all American dish with lobster and blueberries that would have been very simple to cook even with a faulty stove is chilled lobster cocktail using the cooked blueberries as a sweeting component of the cocktail sauce. He could have plated it up with a white horseradish sauce and some fresh blueberries to make the dish patriotic as well. Where Jeffry came up with pot pie with blueberries in it I do not know. That does not even sound appealing. He as a cook is uninspiring and about as much fun to watch as dirt. He comes across as very disingenuous and smarmy.

  2. Jean says:

    Debbie shoud have helped the others. She was selfish. Michael doen`t like the camera, that is important if they are going to be the next foodnetwork star.

  3. Julie says:

    My comment is,Is more of a question to you, Now that it is getting closer to choosing a winner, and as I look at the votes for the fan fav’s ..I recall last year the fan fav getting booted off! My question is: Would it not be something that the network looks at choosing the fav to win since we are the one’s that are tuning into watch the show? I would totally watch Melissa so I am glad she is doing well. Last year I loved Kelsy and Lisa and was sad to see them lose. The year before same it seemed the fan fav did not win!

  4. Mike Norris says:

    Susan – what happened to my response from last week? I did by the way vote off Michael last week and I really did like him, but as entertaining as he can be, he could not get use to the camera.

  5. Debbie is not a team player; does that matter for a star? I believe her kind of attitude spoils her chance of being a really good star of anything. My dad taught me you can get to the top by climbing on everyone else or by being pushed up by those you work with — he said the trip back down is better if you take the latter approach!

  6. Mary Beth says:

    A little disappointed about the tools that the contestants are given – or not given. Faulty stoves, Michael did not have access to a shucker for the oysters and was noted saying that the knife for the salmon was not great – I suppose meaning that it was not sharp.

  7. Linda says:

    I understand Michael being eliminated, but I would have eliminated Debbie first, for her role in the failure of the party, It was a “Team” compitition,

  8. Andy says:

    A Couple of things:
    Why, during a team challenge, where teamwork was an integral part of success, did the person who showed the least effective team working skills not get eliminated? As a chef/caterer with over 20 years experience, I know that when people are hungry after the first hour of a cocktail party, the kitchen is not doing it’s job. Unspoken teamwork is/was the essential ingresient for a successful cocktail party.
    Granted, the judges found her appetizers “most tasty”; however, Debbie is a one note pony with Korean this and Korean that. I am glad to see that next week she will have to rely more on her culinary chops and not her arsinal of Korean ingredients. A possible show name for her show, if she wins, should be the Selfish Gourmet.
    Also: I know it is TV and hats and hair nets do not make for beautiful people or a clean shot but, come-on, you are cooking for a great number of people and you don’t have anything protecting the food from stray hairs, chefs do not wash their hands after touching their face or hair. As a matter of fact, I have yet to see any contestent wash his or her hands before beginning. This sets a bad example. I worked one restaurant job where the owner was constantly telling servers to wash their hands whenever they touched any uncovered part of their body. Try a little basic sanitation! Finally; I know Michael said crowds were his thing, not the camera. I understand that might have been the fatal straw against him because, after all, this is about becoming a TV star, but it does make one wonder whether or not there is a show already formatted for the eventual winner and you are looking for the best match rather than a show being developed around the talents of the eventual winner.

  9. Ingrid says:

    It was really surprising watching Debbie tell lies on Sunday’s show: saying she was “selfless” and the only one working in the kitchen! We as viewers saw that Melissa and Jamika were working hard with their own dishes as well as helping someone elses. Unbelievable to hear Debbie talk! And no wonder her dishes tasted the best – she only concentrated and took her time on her two dishes not helping a bit with the others; whereas the others were “spread thin” trying to get all their assigned dishes out. And yes, it’s a relief to see Michael go: he had the easiest job Sunday night, was partying while the others were working. Plus he does not have a pleasant appearance when it comes to being around food. I hope Debbie goes next – she certainly doesn’t deserve another chance.

  10. What are you guys doing? Have you lost your minds? The worst results I have seen so far on any of the shows happened last night. Debbie should have been the one to go not Michael. I think no matter what happens she will be kept on this looks like a Big Setup. Debbie has Lied just about every show starting with the first one. She lied about the pudding in another show. She lied when she got hit in the face. Because her dish was not great or whatever but she had all the spices and prep done BEFORE THAT HAPPENED, so how could that have affected the outcome, oh it must have been another lie. The airport challenge another lie. Debbie is making a fool out of somebody or a few judges but she is not fooling the viewers. Her unkept appearance, her repeated comments of her being Korean , her unsanitary habits in the kitchen and who knows where else makes me want to vomit. I cannot believe that the food network could not help Michael get over his camera fears I am sure that is a difficult thing to master but Michael had so many other good things going for him, he was honest, funny, creative with his food and he was thoughtful of others and I admire him but I also feel he was not given the chance he desired. Instead, the judges voted to keep miss piggy who cares only for me, myself and I. Go figure I guess the network needs trash to live up to ratings. Well it is time to take out the Trash because she is Stinking up the entire network. Oh in case you don’t know what Trash I am talking about it is Debbie THE KOREAN. Please let me keep my faith in good programing and don’t make Debbie the Next Food Network Star I enjoy watching too much.

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