Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reactions to Top Chef Las Vegas Episode 10

This week, our intrepid cheftestants split their time between cooking gourmet-ified TV dinners inspired by classic TV shows for the TV Guide-Isn't-Even-Food-Related Quickfire and running out the clock making vegetarian meals for an impossibly adorable Natalie Portman.

The judges favorite dishes came from Michael V. (full of humor, and somehow tasty, too), Eli ("I'm not in the middle anymore! The Force is with me!"), and Kevin (mushrooms=meat). Kevin took home the big prize - his fourth so far this season - and he even won the Quickfire, too, for his Sopranos-inspired meatballs. Lucky guy is probably installing that suite of GE appliances in his home kitchen right now.

Less lucky were Jen (so nervous she spilled sauce on the diners), Robin (aka Jesse Spano during the very special "speed" episode of Saved by the Bell), and Mike Isabella (do I even have to call him DoucheyMike?). In spite of his self-confidence, which appears quite sincere, and the fact that his mom was a vegan when he was a kid...and that he cooks about 20 vegetarian dishes at his restaurant (which is, by all accounts, excellent), Mike Isabella was PPYKAG'ed, leaving the mansion minus one d-bag.

A few questions and thoughts on this episode:
  • Top Chef frozen dinners? Seriously, Bravo? At what point does the whoring stop? WHEN WILL YOU HAVE MADE ENOUGH MONEY OFF THIS FRANCHISE?
  • Padma and jumpsuits. Discuss.
  • In a movie star/vegetarian girlfight, who would win: Natalie Portman or Zooey Deschanel? What if each one could only use her cuteness as a weapon?
  • Is it possible that Jen, who's been one of my favorites since the very start, is actually going to implode before the finale? I do not want to hear this.
  • As a corollary to the above, Robin is actually still there? 85% of the viewers who voted in Bravo's poll want her out. Is this not American Idol? Oh, right.
  • Things we learned about the cheftestants this week: Robin wasn't allowed to watch TV as a child, Kevin likes frozen food (all food, actually), Michael V. is a bad loser (even when he doesn't totally lose), Jen is looking for a guy to drag her around by her hair, and Eli is a Star Wars nerd. I'm guessing he is not the guy Jen's looking for.
  • And Kevin. Sweet, sweet Kevin. Kevin who lives on the same street as his whole family, who eats breakfast with his grandmother every day, and who, with his wife, gives up meat for all of Lent. The pig guy who wins the vegetarian challenge. Could you have captured my heart anymore? I don't even miss my gay boyfriend Ash anymore thanks to you.
But what did you think? Was Michael V. robbed? What about Mike I.? Will Jen make it? Can Kevin get any better? Please leave a comment with your thoughts...

17 comments:

ellen said...

Another great episode. As Tom said about Restaurant Wars being the best of six seasons,(and no hype - I'm talking to you Tim 'best season of Project Runway ever' Gunn) this season's finale will also be amazing. In the final stretch, you see some chefs rising,and others, losing it. It's a good object lesson in how to react under intense pressure. From ads on Bravo, it looks there's a reunion show next week...

theminx said...

Ellen, yes - a reunion for the previous 5 seasons. Should be amusing to watch!

MCWolfe said...

Kevin, to me, is a Stephanie Izard type chef - insane cooking skills, decent human being. He knows what people want to eat and he gives it to them very well. Brother Mike is still too arrogant. He strikes me as one of those chefs who basically think diners are stupid and need him to tell them what's good. I personally hate that kind of food and avoid restaurants where it is served.

I'm disappointed in Jen but not surprised by Robin still being there. She has what the hubs and I call SSM syndrome (SSM meaning someone sucked more - her food is bad but one of the better chefs has crashed and burned). Reference Lisa and, in my mind, Hosea. Neither one of them had any business being in the final three of their seasons.

Paula said...

My husband and I had dinner last month at Mike's restaurant, Zaytinya. We were very impressed with the food, especially the vegetarian offerings. I'm dumbfounded as to why he didn't turn to something he knows well, and make a middle eastern dish. The "leek protein" was a joke, and made him look like an ass.

Our server was quick to tell us that Mike was really "a humble guy," and that the show was cast and edited in a way that put him in an unflattering light.

frogponder said...

Could the Magical Elves be any meaner? That poll about Robin - right out of the schoolyard.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Mike I. didn't cook a Greek vegetarian dish. He could have rocked this challenge. But I was glad to see him go. Didn't like his attitude, and I was starting to be afraid that he would get into the final three as Hosea did, by thinking his performance was equal with the best, but coasting in the middle. Eli's the same way. Hope he goes next. Kevin is possibly my favorite reality show contestant ever. Maybe tied with Rick Bayless.

Kristine said...

I loved (not) Eli's comment that the only "important" thing Natalie has done was Star Wars. I guess when you're 12, you have no concept of an actor's body of work other than what you're drawn to.

Kit Pollard said...

MCWolfe - I am definitely going to start using "SSM" in everyday conversation. I love it. And I absolutely agree about Lisa and Hosea. At least Lisa was a villian, though. Hosea was just kind of boring.

Tina said...

Between Natalie and Zooey, and their friends, there is no competition: Natalie & Co. would win hands down. I loved Natalie's playfully naughty sense of humor, and her friends as well (like when her guy friend made a reference to how Jen's dish would be a nice side along with a big piece of steak). Zooey and her friends, by contrast, came off as a bunch of vegan bores, as though there was some correlation b/w being a vegan and a lack of imagination. On the other hand, I agree with sexy Mike V: he was robbed of a win.

theminx said...

Kit, you crack me up with your questions and thoughts. Whoring is right.

And if Kevin doesn't win this...it's not American Idol, it's more like season 6 of Project Runway.

ellen said...

Re: Mike I. not cooking 'his food' - he made a comment about how there weren't his ingredients around - he mentioned yogurt. I ate at his restaurant, just stumbled upon it walking in the Penn Quarter last spring. It's spacious, airy, service very professional, and the food, just great. I've heard from others that he got the 'jerky guy' edit. I don't know about that - but he is running a seriously successful restaurant in D.C. - which is no small thing.

theminx said...

Ah, but Ellen - Mike's restaurant is owned by Jose Andres, and I'm sure much of the success of the place is due to Andres' reputation as much as Isabella's ability to run the kitchen.

lou said...

Don't forget -- another reason to love Kevin is he gave up a scholarship to MIT to cook. How could anyone not love a guy like that?

My poor girl Jen is flaming out.

Zaytinya is a great restaurant. But it was a great restaurant before Mike I became head chef.

ellen said...

I don't know anything about Jose Andres, or what percentage of the success of the place is due to the owner or Chef Mike. The point I wanted to make is that his TV persona seemed somewhat constructed (edited) to make him appear to be a complete jerk - and that in 'real life' - well, who knows, maybe he's a nicer guy.

eric3000 said...

Were they making vegetarian dishes or were they making vegan dishes? Could they not use eggs? If it was supposed to be vegan, why did some chefs use butter? Has the definition of vegetarian changed? Did the chefs think pasta was too boring or was there another reason they didn't go in that direction? What is the obsession with making everything look like scallops? Is this Top Scallop? Am I asking too many questions?

Kristine said...

Eric, I miss your TC recaps.

Cliff O'Neill said...

DoucheyMike: In like a Douche. Out like a Douche. ... Character growth, I imagine, involves having some.

Kevin: Just so damn adorable. But I can't help think of him as a big human-sized teddy bear. (If you saw Sharon Gless' character on Nip/Tuck, you would know that that's actually more than a touch disturbing.) Do love him, though.

As for La Portman: Lacto-Ovo vegetarian. Which explains why they were using butter.