Scenes From A Top Chef Reunion
Ken and Stephen keep calling each other names. The judges try to shut Ken up, but he starts yelling stuff about Stephen's tee-shirt. I don't know. Anyway, Stephen faces Candice and says, "I just want to express my deepest apologies to you, it -- it was in the heat of competition and I did not mean anyway to disrespect you. When I was in culinary school, I don't think I would have had the you-know-what to come into this competition and just rise above everybody, and you did awesome, you lasted beyond this guy --" Stephen indicates Ken, who drunkenly and sarcastically agrees, "You sure did." "Candice, props to you," Stephen finishes, "all from here -- everybody!" The cheftestants clap. Candice is touched and she hugs and kisses Stephen. Aw, Stephen don't go changing to try and please us. We hate you just the way you are!
After commercials, Bot excuses Harold, Lee Anne, and Tiffani and wishes them luck. Once they're gone, the judges want to know if the ousted cheftestants agree that they have the correct final three going to the finals. No, Andrea wanted Lee Anne. "Instead of who?" Gail asks. "Tiffani," Candice answers. Colicchio asks if there's anyone there who thinks Tiffani will win. Ken thinks Tiffani is a good cook and remembers that her pumpkin dish was his favorite. Cynthia wouldn't hire Tiffani in her own kitchen. Lee Anne says that Tiffani is a smart cookie and her dishes are creative and innovative. I think Stephen's totally drunk. He's holding an empty bottle of Sofia Blanc de Blanc and seems to be struggling to sit up. Lisa goes off on how Tiffani treats people, but Gail says it's not a popularity contest and brings up Harold. "It's not a popularity contest," Miguel agrees, "but it's about being consistent, it's about being two words: top chef." Which, as many people who work in a professional kitchen would agree, is about how you treat people. If you're mean to people in your kitchen, if you talk down to them, if you let your hard-boiled ego get in the way, you are not a leader and you will not get good solid work for them. Ruling by fear, insults, and intimidation is no longer acceptable in the kitchens in the best restaurants across the country. Tiffani may be a kick-ass chef, and I do believe that she is, but she is not a leader. She is not someone who will inspire respect, dedication, and admiration in anyone who is unfortunate enough to work under her. She is not a top chef.