Joe Doe Hits Television, Somehow Isn’t Famous Yet
Remember Joe Dobias, the mercurial chef-owner of JoeDoe who called out bloggers, publicists, and reviewers on Grub Street? Well, around the time of that interview he started a Twitter, and we’re wondering how the hell we didn’t notice it sooner. Some sample tweets, in no particular order.
Why is every a**hole with a camera allowed to be a food critic? Your wife didn't seem to mind the pork belly as she woofed it all. Douche
Bloggers...grrrrrrr~! Pics in restaurants, how is it not rude, period? Blog posts get nasty when their photo skills are insulted? Grrrr
I am not a bad dude....misunderstood, with a big mouth, yup. But a nice guy...
you guys suck! all of you! But I love you too man, I love u!
Sweating my nards off....late rally at the Doe tonite. Summer blows when your not rich and famous. Algun Dia!
Waiting for sam sifton
Adam platt is frustrating, who the hell picks his reviews?
Ed Levine in the house tonite! Seems like an ok guy, even let'em take pics hahaha!
Finally slowing down, what a day. Sifton might have been here?
Why do waiters lack brain cells the rest of us have?
Waiting for my moment......
Actually, regarding that last tweet, Dobias got his moment when he appeared on Chopped a couple of weeks ago. Somehow, the food blogosphere failed to register it, but we finally got a chance to watch the episode, and it was pretty extraordinary.
Joe went up against Fabian Ludwig (the executive chef about the Gramercy Park Hotel, who went down first despite carping about having the most experience), and self-declared “sexy chef” Ayesha Nurdjaja of now-closed Il Bordello, but his real competition ended up being Joshua Whigham, an easygoing dude who longboards to work at Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar.
As combative as Joe Doe can be, the most memorable exchange was actually between Whigham and judge Scott Conant, who, during the first course, told Whigham he doesn’t like raw onions, and then during the second got really steamed when Whigham decided to use them (albeit with a lighter hand) regardless. This exchange ensued:
Conant: “I’m going to talk about this raw-onion thing. I don’t understand why the onions are there after we told you (especially myself) I didn’t like raw onion. And you used them in the first course, yet they’re here. And I taste them. And it kind of makes me angry.”
Whigham: [Starts trying to defend himself, with a look on his face that says, “dude, are you for real?”]
Conant: “You don’t have to answer it unless you really want to because they’re here, and if you’re not going to listen to me, I’ll just stop talking.”
Whigham: “ I really wanted the freshness.”
Contant: “The freshness of the raw onion? If you move on to the next course (the dessert course), please do not use raw onion.”
Whigham: “I was thinking an onion jam.”
Ha! Touché! The sexy chef also used raw onions (despite knowing better), and Marc Murphy valiantly rose to her defense, telling Conant there was very little raw onion in her dish, but Conant wasn’t having it: “There’s not very little in here — my mouth is filled with raw onions.”
Amazing! Needless to say, the sexy chef got axed and Conant wasn’t loving Whigham. Joe Doe, on the other hand, wowed the judges with a cherry vinaigrette made by blending in bread, and a mango-bacon purée that Chris Santos said he was going to steal. He was well aware that the $10,000 was his to lose, and boy did he want it: “$10,000 would be the shot in the arm the restaurant needs,” he said. And also: “We haven’t had a paycheck yet. I want to wipe the floors with these people.”
And that’s when Joe Doe decided to bake during the 30 minutes he had to prepare a dessert course. Predictably, his banana bread came out mushy — with two minutes left, he tried to turn it into pancakes, but he didn’t have time to plate them, and when the judges asked Whigham whether he would allow Joe Doe to do so (an unusual move), he said no (it was a competition, after all). Joe Doe was struggling not to cry, but then he toughened up: “Along the lines of competition, my first two dishes blew him out of the water,” he told the judges. “I don’t think we were even on the same playing field.” Nice!
Actually, as much as they were blown away by the sauces, the judges did have some quibbles with the dishes. They complained about the portion size of a hamachi dish, and his crusted beef tenderloin wasn’t properly cooked. But in a stunning turn, they gave him the win anyway, botched dessert and all. Conant suddenly went soft on Whigham and told him it wasn’t personal, and it wasn’t about the raw onions, but yeah: Don’t ever serve Scott Conant raw onions. (Seriously, dude? Not even on a burger when they’re awesome?)
So there you have it: Joe Doe is finally famous! Except, not quite. Those bloggers he said would make him famous? Somehow they’ve ignored the episode. Hence Joe’s post-appearance tweet: “So when does the fame theme song start?”