Chatterbox, Ep. 6: Hat’s Off to Running With Knives

by in Community, July 18, 2010

Maybe it was Frank Sinatra's swank piano-shaped pool or the breezy Palm Springs air. After teetering along in past weeks, as Bob Tuschman said, Brad the Tin Man got his joints oiled, showing off a newfound swagger. As he wrapped up his reinvention of chicken cordon bleu, he sprinted across Sinatra's lawn with a knife (don't try this at home!) to finish on time, but then was cool as a Rat Packer before the Selection Committee, Ted Allen of Chopped and Food Network Magazine's Maile Carpenter. Fans chatting with us liked what they saw--though the jury's still out on the Justin Timberlake lookalike's "Pro" moniker. Former finalist and funny guy Adam Gertler, host of the sweet new show Kid in a Candy Store, stopped by to chat again, this time not only, ahem, complimenting Serena's pout but also sharing his awe at Susie's perfect hair. Don't doubt it, Mr. G, it's coiffed daily in a way that dazzles. Less perfect were performances by Aarti, Herb and Brianna. Unfortunately, Brianna's distaste for tuna noodle casserole showed even after she amped up her own version with crab and Brie. Poor diva downer--if she had gotten a different dish or minded her toasty 'shrooms, would she still be around? Smart cooking tips and techniques, creativity, salesmanship and a positive point of view aren't too much to ask more than halfway through the competition. (Who's doing all of the above best? Vote for your favorite finalist daily.) Check out the chat archive below, then watch our vlogs to see what Bobby would have done differently this week and what Bob, Susie and Giada had to say about what and who got burned--and whose cooking simply sings.

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Comments (2,677)

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  2. Karen in California says:

    Even though Brianna was my least favorite contestant, I was shocked that she was the one to be eliminated tonight. Both Herb and Serena made bad food and weren't impressive in their presentations. At least Brianna's food tasted good! I was so glad to see Brad win - I like him more and more every week. My former favorite (Aria) seems to be slipping into mediocrity and Aarti was pretty much a disaster with her "devilish" egg dish and the curry thing she made. My new "least favorite" is the ANNOYING Serena! I hope she doesn't win, because I'll never watch her show.

    • Pam in WV says:

      I agree completly. Also I do not trust Serena's cooking skills. She has shown me nothing!

  3. Lissa says:

    I'm still mad about Paul's comment about Home Cooks, does he not realize that most of the people watching the Food Network are "just" Home Cooks? I really hope he is eliminated, what a nasty attitude.
    Other than that I am enjoying the show :)

    • applestycx says:

      he has was eliminated last week

    • girloftheworld says:

      Paul was just not a well thought persona...I am hoping in "real life" there is someone else.
      he kind of looked like "sloth" from Goonies

    • girloftheworld says:

      Paul was just not a well thought persona...I am hoping in "real life" there is someone else.

      he kind of looked like "sloth" from Goonies

  4. James says:

    (I can't believe I'm...first? wow!)

    Tonight's episode: BRAD was Totally Rad! :)

    LOTS to say:
    AARTI: While Aarti has made alot of tasty food. I could already tell before it was over tonight that Aarti doesn't seem to do that well under "speed pressure". She even said this was the most chaotic its ever been. Other cooks seem to handle it better.

    ARIA: I woulda thought, that after PAUL making the wrong dish, or, making something OTHER than what was asked for, that no one else woulda made the same mistake after Paul. But tonight seemed to me like Aria "pulled another Paul" by not quite making what was asked for.

    HERB: I've been wanting to forgive Herb for his nerves and inconsistency....but was disappointed that tonight he seemed to lack focus/direction. The judges seemed confused over his food. From the LOOKS of Herb's food, I had thought it was gonna be really great. Herb also needs to better explain his food and why the way he makes this or that dish is good. He is not selling the viewers on his cooking.

    BRIANNA: Well, what can I say? There was certainly plenty of posts/messages on these forums saying people are not wild about her. In fairness to Brianna, she DID makes excellent stuff, several times. But she lost it on communication/attitude.

    SERENA: She HAS slowed down. Good. Tonight, I am beginning to wonder if she has enough technical know-how with the food. Maybe she does. It may have just been a not-so-good night. Even so, I am still holding out hope for Serena as I still think she is doing better that Aria or Herb.

    TOM: Tom and Brad were the two big stars tonight. TOM was quite relaxed and conversational. Maybe more-so than Brad, (slightly)...BUT---Tom's admited he forgot to oil the grill or the wrack and the Lobster was "massacred". Wasnt that the word he used? And I remember thinking when I saw that: "Brad, would not have made that mistake"...which leads me to: . . .

    BRAD: THIS was the Brad I was hoping for! LAST week I was thinking: "This is it. He either pulls it out next time or he's gone." And tonight, BRAD did even better than I hoped for. I dunno how he did it, or where it came from, but tonight is someone I could watch week after week. Some details:
    1. Brad's food: like Sinatra, Brad did it his way---and it turned out Fabulous! The food has to come 1st, and Brad really delivered.
    2. His conversation and "connect-ability" with the judges. Niiiiice! Authoritative, yet still humble and sincere. Confident, without snobbishness.
    3. Brad's "On Camera" was: "relaxed/informal" with a tinge of humor, which made it easier for HIM to connect/relate well to "the committee". The smile helps too, and Brad doesnt talk to fast. I hope Brad plays back tonight and watches himself. Dont try to magnify it more--and while the little touches of humor WERE good, I wouldnt try to add any more of them or do them more often. 1.Focus/repeat on the food-quality (again). 2. Focus on Confident yet relaxed, (like tonight, again) and SMILE as explain how you made the food and let us know why its delicious. Let all that-- be 80%, and a touch of (not overdone) humor, be the other 20%. (less is more).
    Tonight Brad rocked! I wouldn't try to "magnify" it 3 times over.
    Rather, I'd go for a good, solid, duplication/repeat of tonights excellent job.

    It was good to see Brad thankful, yet not become too cocky, over his win. A sincere, "real" guy. He was on VERY thin ice last week. If he can just do more of what he did tonight, he may just go all the way. Tonight it seemed like ALL the judges and reviewers were happy. Brad gave us the "total package". Food-quality, relaxed authority, and the ability to teach/explain, with a smile. I hope he can keep this going...

  5. rowena says:

    I love the new brad and tom. I don't know what's going on with Herb but I hope he pulls through. The one person that I am not happy and impressed is Brianna. She makes so many comments that makes her sound so stuffy and makes it so hard to relate to.

    • worldgrill says:

      I think that Brad has huge potential and will hopefully improve from this point! The Food Network needs a younger point of view on the network and a new guy cook to help fill out the other chefs. I think he has what it takes to win. Though the remaing women contenders are also strong!

  6. Allen says:

    Way to go Brad. He's finally figured out what he was doing wrong, I hope. He was the man last night. I hope this was just one bad week for Aarti, we'll see. As I see the next few weeks Herb should be going home if he doesn't bounse back again, same for Serena. As for Aria, I've seen that he niceness and all American girl act we saw at the begining was a phony, and she's a bosy witch who wants things her own way even with the judges. She did what Paul did two shows ago, in not doing the dish assigned her yet she didn't get raked over the coals like Paul did. I'd like to see her get sent home, but we'll see. Bob and Bobby do seem to like her.

    • Ashley says:

      It seems that nobody is a fan of the idea, but I'm afraid I have to agree with you. Aria is changing her personality drastically. I just watched the preview for next week and her comment goes with how you are describing her. She said that it is in her best interest for Aarti to crack this week and in the preview she interupts Aarti. I'm sorry, but Aria is falling very quickly in my opinion.

    • Paul didn't get raked over the coals when he cooked pork - go back and re-watch the episode. The judges just said, "oh, so you made pork instead of steak" and that was it. He didn't win but he didn't end up in the bottom, same as Aria. And Aria explained her rationale well, and answered Bobby's questions without being a smarty pants, unlike Paul. And not for nothing, but Aarti made chopped meat on skewers instead of a roasted leg of lamb and she won that week.

      • Allen says:

        Bob did say to him that he took a risk and in his case it didn't work. Here Bob liked her shrimp. Also Bob said that during the judgement time while here no mentiuon of it was done to Aria during the judgement. Aarti's dish was supoosed to be lamb and leg of lamb and she made lamb kabobs, at least she made the right meat.

  7. Allen says:

    Tom is also getting better each week. I was supprised that it was Brianna who was sent home as they did like hr dish, and they didn't like anything about Herb's dish, the dish and the presentation. I think there they were playing favorites again. Plus I also felt the Aarti wasn't was bad a Serena and yet it was Aarti in the bottom 3. Do you think they did that just to put us off on how much they like her, and make us guess that she will make it to the last show at least, even though she probably will. We'll see.

    • Ashley says:

      Maybe they put her in the bottom to shake her so that she will bring out her fighting spirit. Who really knows. I hope she can pull it out, because I love Aarti.

    • Donna says:

      Perhaps the selection committee got a little worried that she was at the bottom of the audience poll.

      • Allen says:

        Perhaps you are right. Looking at the posts on this chat room Brianna was the least favorite of the fans, but remember this show was taped months ago.

    • Marie says:

      Brianna had to go because of her personality, which the judges have been discussing regularly. There is a natural limit to how long the judges can give the same kind of feedback. Which of course goes for EACH contestant. Breanna was my least favorite female this season but singling her out would be wrong.

    • marilyn says:

      I COMPLETELY agree about the playing favorites. Herb seems to continually get passes that other people wouldn't/haven't gotten. I have a bad feeling that Herb will make it fairly far. As for Tom, he kind of said it was his strategy to "play it safe" in the beginning and then pull out all the stops toward the end. But the longer he's there, the more I like him.

  8. Nancy says:

    Aarti has a very nice personality and seems to be a good cook. The problem is not everyone likes or wants to learn about Indian food. I think her appeal is very limited. Aria is obviously having some issues but I believe she is a more well rounded cook and with instruction from the food network she would have a much broader appeal.

    • Dee says:

      Not everyone likes or wants to learn about Southern food. Not everyone likes or wants to learn about Italian food. Etc. Specialty is OK, IMO. And Artie doesn't simply do Indian food. She also does Middle Eastern, having grown up in Dubai.

      Aria would do a decent job, but is she much different than last year's winner? It just seems like she'd give us the same kind of show and make the same kind of food. The problem with going for "broader appeal" is that you invariably homogenize your talent.

      • I think if Aria won they'd have her play up the 'farm girl' thing, focus on country cooking. Melissa's POV is busy- suburban- mommy- on- a- budget, trying to get something fast on the table that even the kids will eat.

  9. sam says:

    looks like arrtie could be next in the line to go home! what happended to her is the pressure if she's gone I do not know whom to watch.
    Sarena I am not sure
    Tom has great presentation I don't know about his food,
    Herb could be next if he has same attituted.
    Aria she is really getting somewhat annoying to me with her over action.
    Brad I can watch.

    But for sure if Aarti's sent I will miss her dearly.

    • James says:

      I didnt think so before, but Aarti's accent is becoming (annoying comes to mind, but I suppose I should just say): "harder to listen to."
      I am also wondering if she would be "fast enough" in the kitchen.

  10. Allan says:

    I think the right chef won and lost. Brad is amiable and talented. Brianna? A camera shy diva