Monday, September 28, 2009

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Las Vegas Episode 6

This week, we learned that while many chefs aren't that into deconstruction, almost all of them were really, really into Mattin. As it turns out, so were the bloggers:

Cliffieland watched the show avec Mattin, who accidentally gave away the ending and then had this to say: “Oh, sorry. We have a satellite and we saw what happened a few hours ago. I don’t know if you knew that he was the eliminated one already.” Oopsie!

Jordan Baker waxes poetic about Ron: "Oh Ron. Ron, Ron, Ron. The man with more back story per ounce than any cheftestant in history. The man whose vice was coming from Haiti on a boat. The man whose history included being some sort of chowder champion. The man who asked for a sword to cut his coconuts."

Minx Eats channels Mattin: "Hon hon hon! You cannot geet reed of me zat quickly! Zees ees Mattin, an I am honored to be doozing zees, how you say? recap."

Reality Check (Baltimore Sun) on - who else? - Mattin (I sense a theme): "It seems as if the remaining chefs miss him, too. Jaunty scarf time! They wear scarves in memory. How cute."

My Monkey Could Do That on deconstruction: "Generally I think deconstruction is in a class with molecular gastronomy: pretty cool but not something for all the time. And I’ve seen it go very, very, wrong on this show."

Reality Wanted on foreshadowing: "Eli doesn’t seem to think that Ron understands what deconstructing a dish means… we’ll see if he does when he faces the judges a little later on."

Reality TV Magazine on the problem with the Quickfire: "The chefs had thirty minutes to make two dishes that signified that concept of Angel and Devil, and sometimes you gotta wonder how they make the connection because I just didn’t see it in many of the dishes."

Premium Hollywood on Eli's pressure cooker disaster: "As they were cooking, Eli’s pressure cooker blew its top….and considering that he brought his own pressure cooker and the kitchen had plenty of their own, we had to wonder why he did this. And who travels with a presssure cooker anyway? Oh wait, my mom does, to make her famous mashed potatoes when she visits us."

Food and More (Atlanta Journal Constitution) on the Robin-hatin': "Who would the chefs rather have seen go? No secrets there. That motormouth, Robin. Why, she couldn’t microwave a Steak-uum to save her life."

Mama Pop on guest judge Michelle Bernstein: "I was distracted when Padma introduced Michelle Bernstein as the guest judge. She is a badass and plus I like her hair."

Creative Loafing on the winning dish: "Kevin, Atlanta’s best shot at a final four slot, won last night’s elimination challenge for his deconstructed chicken mole negro with a pumpkin and fig jam, impressing guest judge Michelle Bernstein with perhaps the prettiest dish of the night. Although not as fancy as Michael Voltaggio’s version of caesar salad, which was a magic show in itself, Kevin’s dish managed to seem hearty and yummy even in fine dining portions."

Max the Girl on Ron's losing paella: "Tom calls Ron’s paella a 'sad plate of food' (if Ron had tied Mattin’s scarf around that plate, it would’ve truly been a tear-jerker.)"

Express Night Out on the cancer card: "As she talks about her struggle, there is a palpable lack of sympathy in the room; in fact, the other chefs seems to be seething with resentment at her playing the cancer card. But none of them would ever admit their annoyance, right? Wrong. Both Eli and Laurine suggest Robin's win is cancer-related. Eli comes out with a direct: 'That's a pretty good way to win a quickfire — just tell people you have cancer.'"

Eat Jax on Jen C.'s freakout: "Jennifer C., who works for Eric Ripert, finally began to show some weakness in this round. She appeared frenetic and shaken, running from Chef Colicchio to avoid answering questions or losing time."

Clean Plate Charlie says a big South Florida goodbye to Ron: "We're going to miss Ron on the show, his big, goofy smile and lighthearted nature. But by this episode, it became clear that Ron's simple, seafood-centric cooking style was not making it with the judges."

Meal Ticket (Philly City Paper) with a theory about the Robin-hate: "Everyone’s saying that they want Robin gone because they’re not impressed with her cooking, but if you ask me, I think it’s because they’re scared she’s going to pull a Hosea, bumbling through the season unnoticed until falling ass-first into the Top Chef title."

Speakeasy (WSJ) on Toby Young & the loser's table: "Young, who wears his Britishness loudly, grouses about Laurine’s fish-and-chips (not enough chips!) and Ash’s shepherd’s pie (where are the potatoes?). Laurine and Ash are saved when they explain they didn’t want to send out food (burnt chips in one case; gooey mashed potatoes in the other) that doesn’t meet their standards, but Ron’s soggy rice had no excuse."

Slashfood on Ash's disastrous shepherd's pie: "As if that admonition wasn't enough, the young cook went so far as to confess that the only shepherd's pie he had ever tasted was his own, which brought to mind nothing so much as Jodie Foster in 'Nell,' living by her own special language that no one else could understand."

Teleburst on Ash and his custard(s): "Ash – custard? Really? In 45 minutes? Why not just cook a whole pig?"

After Ellen on Top Scallop: "The challenge begins and Ashley, Eli and Jennifer all pick scallops. Hear that, chef Jamie Lauren? Scallops are the now the official ingredient of purgatory. You’ve been absolved."

Cooking Blog with the summary: "This week’s episode seemed like a flashback to high school, full of cattiness and cliques with a dash of deconstruction and molecular gastronomy."

Trouble with Toast with more on the cancer card: "There is much consternation amongst the chefs because Robin totally played the cancer card, which I can sort of understand because, hey, I’ve done that a time or two myself. Do NOT judge me. It’s one of the only GOOD things about having cancer. Anywho, I don’t think it really matters, since Michelle Bernstein would definitely tell you if your food tasted like crap, regardless of your medical status."

Procrastiblog on deconstruction: "Moving on to the episode, this might be a condescending way to look at things, but it seems a little, I don’t know, culturally biased to eliminate Ron on the “deconstruction” challenge. I mean, 'deconstructed' (actually 'decomposed') food should be an entry on Stuff White People Like. Ron clearly wasn’t with the program from beginning to end (though I wonder if Kevin and Eli’s pep talk didn’t send him off in the wrong direction, à la Tim “I am woeful, Johnny” Gunn)."

Limecrete on Jen C.'s smart realization: "The next day, Jenc interviews about how nervous she is. She appears to be the first contestant to realize that no matter how many times you're in the winners' circle, you're judged anew on each dish, so anyone could go. Thank you! I'm glad at least one of them gets it."

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