Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reactions to Top Chef Las Vegas Episode 6

Another week down, another chef-with-an-accent sent home...

This week, our intrepid chefs found themselves back in the kitchen at the M Resort, cooking their little hearts out in the most theoretically-driven way possible. The episode began with an ode to Mattin, when the chefs revealed that they really, really liked Frenchie, donning red scarves to show it. At the same time, because it's all about duality, the chefs began to reveal, one by one, more than a little anti-Robin sentiment. Mike I. and Jen C. both thought she deserved to go home over Mattin and, basically, it sounds like they're all tired of hearing her chatty voice.

All of which was a grand set-up for her Quickfire win, which included immunity.

The Quickfire itself sounded like something all the chefs could get behind: a dish that shows good and evil. An opportunity to cook one dish two ways? Is that something chefs ever say no to?

Miami chef Michelle Bernstein helped Padma judge her way through the dishes (mostly scallops), finally naming Robin the winner for her apple salad and apple crisp - a dish that the rest of the cheftestants obviously don't think it is complex enough to win. Eli says what I bet a lot of them are thinking - that Robin's setup, which was all about her lymphoma, might have had a little something to do with the win. We'll never know...

Onto the Elimination. When the chefs return to the kitchen, they get two surprises (well, three, actually): Penn and Teller are here, and so is Toby Young!

Penn and Teller are kind of awesome and way more entertaining than the magicians on the Doogie Howser ep of Top Chef Masters, but the contestants are not at all psyched to hear about Mr. Young. They just think he's mean.

The challenge is to deconstruct a classic dish, which about half the chefs (the Volt brothers) are psyched about, while it sends the other chefs (Jen C.) into a tailspin. Seriously, Jen was crying. Little Miss Badass in the Kitchen. Tears.

The challenge revealed some things about the chefs, too. Mike I. doesn't know how to make eggs florentine (but he does know how to cook cactus?) Laurine and Jen C. aren't much on deconstruction. Ash likes shepherd's pie, but he only kind of knows what it is...and he has got a major problem with texture. Eli might be anti-cancer-milking, but he and Kevin have a nicer side that they showed when they coached Ron on his paella rice.

Ultimately, sweet Kevin from Atlanta won a brand new set of Calphalon pans for his deconstructed chicken negro mole, and he was psyched to redeem himself after last week. Ashley's pot roast, Jennifer's much sweated-over lasagna and Michael V's crazy caesar salad were also favorites, though Bryan and his reuben (which the judges also seemed to like, though Penn was less of a fan) were conspicuously absent from the winner's table.

On the less lucky side, Ash, Laurine and Ron were called in front of the judges for their unsuccessful dishes. Laurine's fish was overcooked and sorely lacking in the chip department, and Tom said he felt like she just couldn't make the challenge personal. Ash's shepherd's pie just kind of wasn't shepherd's pie, plus the lamb was cooked unevenly. But it was Ron who had to pack his knives and go, for a not-really-deconstructed paella with overcooked seafood and dry-not-crunchy rice. Isn't it always the rice?

As usual, this episode's left me with a few questions:
  • Robin - she's really not that good, is she? I thought she might have been in the bottom three, over Laurine, if she hadn't had immunity.
  • Scallops again. Why always with the scallops?
  • Has Padma EVER missed an errant bone? She found another this Quickfire. Is it a gift or a curse?
  • How many times will Ash unsuccessfully try to make something that has to set before he gives up and just focuses on smoothies? Love him, but seriously?
  • Who else thinks Padma was jealous when she saw Michelle Bernstein show up at dinner? Tom was smiling. Good thing Gail wasn't there or there might have been a va-va-va-voom-off.
  • Toby Young - a little toned down? Yes, there was the bull's testicle thing, but that was sort of funny, thanks to Padma and Penn. I was thrilled to be spared any and all "weapons of mass destruction" comments.
  • Toby Young says "pie-ella." Michelle Bernstein says, "Barthelona." Why can't we get a judge's ruling on "cev-eech?"
  • Has the reign of the Volts come to an end? Bryan had a crappy week this week, all things considered. Will he come back stronger for it? Or crumple?

But what did you think? Please leave a comment with your thoughts...


Laura K said...

Please let both Voltaggio brothers make it to the finals!

Len said...

I wonder if Padma took the story of "The Princess and the Pea" to heart, but misheard it as "bones" instead ...

theminx said...

Didn't Michele look pretty this episode? I thought she was kinda hard looking in her appearance last year, but then she did have to compete with the lovely, late, Natasha Richardson.

carolinachick said...

I resented Eli's comment about Robin's win because of cancer. I really thought her dish best exemplified the angel and devil theme. And she told about her cancer to explain why sweets were so bad and why they were her devil. I also think she won because she didn't do SCALLOPS! I mean, come on people-how much of a "devil" can scallops be for you-even cooked in butter!
Don't get me wrong. I don't think she has the talent the some of the other chefs have, but, I don't think she was that much worse than the others. I mean, Tom SPIT OUT Mattin's dish and the Tim Love said he wasn't feeling good after it. I'm sorry, you make people sick, you better be packing those knives!
I think the final four are going to be the Brothers V, Jen and Kevin (I'm pulling for Kevin-he's a talented chef and he doesn't talk smack about the others) The Brothers V-it's all about sibling rivalry with them! Jen's too catty.

Cliff O'Neill said...

Still laughing about Padma's bone-finding abilities.

Hmm. There's a lewd joke in there somewhere.

Yes, I'm 12.

eric3000 said...

Obviously Robin is a little out of her league but the other chefs were pretty out of line to be so rude about her quickfire win. Her dish wasn't amazing but at least it made some sense for the challenge. None of the others did.

This elimination challenge was fun. I like dishes that are interesting to look at, since we can't actually taste them. And that deconstruction Caesar salad looked pretty cool!