Monday, November 2, 2009

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Las Vegas Episode 10

This week on Top Chef: TV dinners, meatless starlets, and the departure of the most negatively nicknamed cheftestant since Lisa. So what do the bloggers think?

Cliffieland on the TV shows the chefs should've been assigned: "Allow me to suggest more apt pairings. Chef Kevin gets … The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin. Chef Jennifer gets … Wonder Woman. Chef Robin gets … My Mother, The Car. Chef DoucheyMike gets … Entourage. Chef BrotherBryan gets … The Six-Million Dollar Man. Chef Eli gets … The Teletubbies. Chef BrotherMichael gets … L.A. Ink."

Jordan Baker with good news: "On the good news side: no more Mike I! Whee! Though they’d kind of backed off of the “fucking sexist douche” emphasis in his edit in the last few weeks – mostly by cutting back on his interview time in a big way – he still came across as a jackass every time he opened his mouth."

Minx Eats on what's going on with Jen: "Maybe she needs one of the guys to play Bam Bam and drag her around by the hair? How does Eric Ripert train his chefs, anyway?"

Diana Takes a Bite on Robin's confidence: "The only chef who doesn’t seem nervous about going home is Robin. “[She’s] really happy with how restaurant wars worked out.” Translation: She’s really glad she was on a team with the Volts and Eli so they could carry her through to the next round. But she knows she’s “here for a reason” (to piss off Mike?) and truly believes she’s holding her own."

Reality Check (Baltimore Sun) with a questions the judges also had: "Justine wonders why no one has decided to make pasta. Can vegetarians eat eggs? Does Craftsteak have no flour?"

Rochester City Newspaper on Mike I.'s losing dish: "Mike I did roasted leeks with onion jus and baby potatoes. He had no protein on the plate, which annoyed Padma. The leeks were undercooked. Natalie really tried, saying that she loves leeks, and purple is her favorite color, but you could tell that she did not like it."

Herald Mail (Frederick, MD) on Michael V.'s trippy dish: "Michael’s dish elevated him to one of three favorite dishes for the elimination round. Portman said she found his humor in the dish. 'I was like, ‘Who is his dealer and does he want new clients?’' she joked."

Slashfood summarizes: "Rattling off the random highlights of the episode sounds as scattered as Robin's cooking philosophy: Dirty jokes! Vegetarianism! Natalie Portman! No Toby Young! A Quickfire challenge that revealed itself to be a desperate marketing ploy! Make that two marketing ploys!"

Crabby Go Lightly on Kevin's winning dish: "Kevin makes a hearty dish of mushrooms and smoked kale, candied garlic and turnip puree. Natalie thinks it's a manly dish and she says she doesn't feel like she was missing anything by not eating meat."

Entertainment Weekly on Robin's TV non-habits: "Robin doesn't watch TV. In fact, she's never even heard of the concept and is still a little unclear on why the men with shoulder-telescopes keep following her around while she's cooking in this fun competition. Luckily, she was assigned Sesame Street and was able to vaguely connect that to the names Cookie Monster and Big Bird." with praise for Portman: "Unlike past celebrity judges who have imposed restrictions on the chefs — ahem, Zooey Deschanel on Top Chef Masters — Portman was delightful, uninhibited and chatty at the table"

Onion AV Club on the Elimination twist: "The Elimination challenge was a classic bait-and-switch, though crueler than usual. After the chefs spend all night fantasizing about the high-quality meats in Tom’s Craftsteak, and then get so far as to tour this omnivore’s wonderland for the perfect cuts, out comes the rug. In walks the impossibly tiny Natalie Portman and the chefs hear the deflating news about why she remains impossibly tiny: She’s a vegetarian."

Movieline on the big-little exchange: "The night took an R-rated turn when Padma observed that Michael V.’s garlic clove felt 'like a little prick on the tip of [her] tongue.' Natalie chuckled, saying, 'No, don’t say that! That’s awesome!' Tom, in full-flirtation mode, felt that the entendre needed to be completed and offered seductively, “It went from a little prick to big in THE mouth” as one of Natalie’s friends added, 'That’s what usually happens!'"

Poptimal with more: "This episode is called 'Meat Natalie.' Which sounds a little dirty, if you think about it. But let’s save it for service, because I’m not the only one who’s a fan of That’s What She Said."

Grub Street on Mike I's fatal flaw: "Mike ignored that tried truism (“this is Top Chef, not top scallops”) and tried to wow everyone by searing whole leeks so they looked like scallops (hey, at least he didn’t go for a leek seviche)."

Food and More (Atlanta Journal Constitution) on Natalie Portman's most important role: "Padmé Amidala, as you may recall, is the queen/senator/cradle robber Natalie Portman portrayed in three 'Star Wars' movies and, as Eli informs us, this role is the 'only important thing she ever did.' Graduating from Harvard? Not important. Oscar nomination for “Closer?” Not important. Slapping on some kabubi makeup and a gilt head vise to share screen time with Jar Jar Binks? Vital."

Speakeasy (WSJ) on Michael V.'s sour grapes: "After Kevin wins for his hearty kale, turnips and mushrooms, Volt snarks that he could’ve done that in his second year of school and, like, it was just a pile of vegetables. If he’d known that the judges just wanted a mushy pile of vegetables, he could’ve done that too blah blah someone tell him to stop talking."

Best Week Ever on Mike I.'s Seinfeld ignorance: "I literally do not know how Michael Isabella could have lived his life without seeing an episode of frickin’ Seinfeld. Whenever he’s near a television, does he just close his eyes and ears, ball up, and roll away screaming?"

Gawker on the cheftestants' faulty assumption: "To assume they'd be cooking steak at a steakhouse in Top Chef's bizarro universe is as presumptuous an assumption as expecting that when you swipe your unlimited Metrocard you'll gain entry into the subway and not, as the turnstile turns and you through it, end up on the 30th floor of a tuna salad skyscraper."

Fork in the Road (Village Voice) on our glimpse into Jen's fantasies: "Aside from Jen's weirdly fascinating admission that she related most to the Flintstones's Pebbles because the idea of having her hair pulled by a caveman boyfriend was kind of, you know, a turn on, the challenge inspired some largely unforgettable dishes."

Food Network Musings on Kevin's adorable family: "Kevin tells a darling story about how his family all lives on the same street, including his grandmother. She makes breakfast every morning for the entire family. That’s too sweet." on Mike I. and his yogurts: "When he was in the Pantry, he said 'I didn't have my yogurts,' which made me think that he normally travels around with a coterie of various yogurts, which is both chilling and delightful"

Reality Shack on fan fave Kevin: "No question about it, Kevin is the chef to beat and is getting the hero edit. He has the more polished and technical chefs criticizing him. And Kevin continually gets the funny lines. While the brothers make an art form out of expressionless and emotionless answers – it’s like Shaq is being interviewed – Kevin gives us great humor when talking about eating 130 wings in an hour, or chuckling and merely acknowledging his growing list of prizes won. Clearly the fan favorite this season."

Meal Ticket on why NatPort went veg: "She actually turned vegan after reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, and she wrote an essay about her decision for Huffington Post, which is quite possibly the whitest thing to happen to America since the theatrical release of The Big Chill."

Max the Girl on on the evolution of Jen: "She went from bossy, supercilious, unstoppable—a glorious combination of Sue Sylvester from Glee and Anthony Bourdain—to, quite literally, a quivering mass of insecurities. Her hair is askew, her sweatshirt is zipped up protectively over her chin, her mind is probably racing with dark and destructive thoughts. It’s like some horrible social experiment gone awry."

Limecrete on what gets harmed: "Oh, and if you've tuned in because you were looking to avoid violence, you should know that while no animals were harmed in the Elimination Challenge, the English language is brutally murdered throughout the episode."

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