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July 16, 2010

Timothy Dean defends Maryland-style crab

Timothy DeanI'm not sure how long I'm supposed to respect the "Top Chef" cone of silence in this DVR, watch-it-when-I-get-around-to-it era, but best not to take chances lo these 36 hours after Wednesday's show aired on national television.

Whatever possibly still-unspeakable thing happened to Baltimore chef Timothy Dean on the episode, he talks about it in a story I wrote in today's Sun.

Spoiler alert: Don't read the "Top Chef" story, or the rest of this blog post, if you don't want to know.

In an interview Thursday afternoon, Dean acknowledged that the bland turnips that got him ousted from the show were a disappointment. But he also said the cooking conditions -- out in a field, using hot plates and grills -- didn't help. 

"I personally think I should have cooked another day, but God bless everyone on the show and Bravo," Dean said.

Earlier in the episode, Dean failed to impress judges with a dish that should be a cinch for a Maryland chef: crabs. But Dean said the the judges -- the panel included guest judge Patrick O'Connell of the Inn at Little Washington -- seemed not to appreciate the straightforward way Marylanders like their crustaceans. (They favored Asian-inspired crab dishes over Dean's.)

"You know in this region, we don't do a lot with our crabs but put some seasoning on," Dean said. "I kept it really simple-and-clean flavors. … The Maryland crab is the star. We let it sing."

Dean said the show has given a boost to his Fells Point restaurant, Prime Steakhouse. He also said he plans to open another Prime location at Boulevard at the Capital Centre in Largo, in the 7,000-square-foot space that previously housed The Sideline, a now-shuttered restaurant owned by former Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington.

Dean's lawyer, Jimmy A. Bell of Bowie, said that restaurant is slated to open in 90 days and will not be affected by the bankruptcy proceedings related to Dean's defunct Baltimore bistro and lounge.

"That's a whole separate entity," Bell said. "He's not doing anything Donald Trump isn't doing. When you start a business, you create separate entities."

Bravo photo

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 11:18 AM | | Comments (14)


What happened to lawer Peter A Prevas?

It is pretty sad I know who a chefs LAWYER is because of a FOOD blog.

Every Dean post, it seems, has a quote from one of his slew of lawyers. What other chef in baltimore has that? DO YOUR THING TIMMY DEAN! YOU DA MAN!

If you really want to know, Peter Prevas has represented Dean before the Baltimore liquor board. Stephen Prevas represents Dean in his bankruptcy case. And Jimmy Bell represents Dean in his lawsuit the against National Harbor developer and in his real estate deals.

Laura, there was never a cone of silence about talking about Top Chef, or any other TV show you would like to post about. The point was that the considerate thing to do is to not announce the outcome in a bold typed headline on the front page, and then continue to talk about without putting in a jump. Especially when posted less than 24 hours after it aired.

Some of us have cranky babies who didn't want to sleep that night, and so instead of watching Top Chef in real time, as I wished I was doing, I was calming the cranky baby, then fell into bed exhausted at midnight. So, yeah, when the next day, on my lunchtime at work, I open D@L for some enjoyable lunchtime reading, and am smacked in the face with your headline, it is kind of aggravating. So, please, out of consideration for others, feel free to talk away all you want about last night's show. Just do it AFTER the jump. /Lesson on Basic internet etiquette.

I thought TD did a fine job with in the quick fire and I was surprised that they picked the asian flavored dish. Makes me think they would pick a Phillips crab cake (with asian crab meat) over a true MD crab cake. He did deserve to go though, since he was constantly at the bottom and didn't show he had the ability to compete.

Whatever on the internet etiquette - People that DVR shows should stay off of message boards until they are caught up.

Gee, I guess you have to worry about people with cranky babies now, what next? Simple solution Dawn, don't read the newspaper or the blogs until you've caught up with your DVR, if it's that important to you.

Hey, Dawn. I've been there with the cranky babies, so I don't envy the loss of sleep. And I am sorry if I spoiled the surprised for you.

I think newspapers -- and newspaper bloggers -- are in sort of weird territory here. If we write news stories about a local guy on reality TV, we're going to report it as news when he loses (or wins). When the Voltaggio brothers were in the finals last season, we had that news up on the website right away. There was no spoiler alert on the news story.

You could argue that the news value here wasn't that strong. After all, Dean wasn't in the finals. And I could have had a spoiler alert from the start on the blog. But there's no way to write a news story without saying right up front that he'd been eliminated.

Thank you, Laura. Honestly, it did not enter my mind for one single second that when I clicked on the D@L link yesterday that the results from the night before would be staring me in the face. Had this been the reality TV blog, maybe. And, of course, I am very careful not to visit entertainment sites, or obviously, the Bravo Top Chef boards until I have watched it. But even then, those websites always, always wait until after the jump to discuss anything that "spoilery". So, yes, thank you, Jack and Jay, for that pointing out. I was aware.

Again, please let me reiterate my point that my disdain was not for the fact that it was being discussed, just that it was being discussed without a warning jump. I understand your point about not being able to write the story without saying it upfront, I just felt that considering that it had not even been 24 hours since airing, in this day and age, maybe it could have been framed better.

I will now know better in the future to stay away even from D@L. As Poe would say, Forevermore.

Well, yikes! I'm probably not doing my job right if I've convinced you to stay away from the blog. Next time I won't spill the beans in the headline.

Thanks, Laura, greatly appreciated. Now, Go Team Big Daddy! Also, I never was rooting for Timothy Dean, so am glad he's gone.

It seems like many of the contestants this season haven't watched many of the previous seasons. Having to cook in a field on short notice is pretty predictable on Top Chef. Whether it's a valid test of a chef's ability or not, that's how the show works.

Dean didn't seem to understand the judge's criteria. Anyone who is surprised to be in the bottom 3 usually won't be around long. He seemed to think doing things the way they're done in Maryland was enough, but the judges expect contestants to know how they're done at Craft, Le Bernardin, WD40, and Per Se. Deep admiration for the judges and knowledge of the judges' styles of cooking is expected of the contestants. Dean seemed a bit out of his depth, not necessarily in terms of his cooking, but in his understanding of the show's workings.

Oops, I meant wd-50.

Yes, WD-40 wouldn't be a terribly appetizing name for a restaurant.

I know that Timothy trained under Jean Loius Pallidin, one would expect more. No?

Dean didn't make a single impressive dish during his stint did he?

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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