Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reactions to Top Chef Las Vegas Episode 13


And then there were four.

This week, it was off to Napa for the first part of the finale. As the episode opens, a newly curly-haired Jen met Kevin (somehow scruffier?) and the brothers Voltaggio (still emotionless, even when they're discussing emotions) at a train station in Napa Valley.

The episode was all about Napa: grapes, local foods, an oddly humble Michael Chiarello. And, of course, Padma's baby bump (and her bangs, which I can't get used to). After a Quickfire in which they team cooked on the Napa Wine Train (and Michael V. won a 3G Prius), they were tasked with cooking two dishes, one vegetarian, one featuring a local protein, for 150 guests. The catch: only use local ingredients. Not exactly the most miserable challenge they've faced. Napa during crush is local ingredient heaven.

From my sofa, it looked like all the food created was pretty fantastic, and the judges made it clear that nobody was going home for major mistakes. Kevin's brisket was a little "toothsome," Michael's egg was a tiny bit undercooked, and Jen's chevre mousse was unevenly salted, but this episode sorely lacked the major food disasters we've seen in past episodes.

Ultimately, Bryan won with his goat cheese ravioli with squash puree and fig-glazed short ribs. Jen, unfortunately, got PPYKAG'ed, for the oversalting and some scattered behavior in the kitchen.

A couple of observations:
  • Kevin's beard has a Facebook page? I'd join. As a side note, I like the way they show the contestants talking about the effect of the show. It's more real than shows that pretend they're really living in the real, non-reality TV, world.
  • Poor Jen still drives a 2000 Chevy Cavalier. I do not, however, feel sorry for her that she still listens to her high school mix tapes. I love high school mix tapes. And I would love to know what's on her tapes. I'll do a tape trade with you, Jen!
  • Eric Ripert is proud of Jen. Thanks for the reminder that you have instant access to the hottest chef EVER. Chef-loving ladies (and some guys) all over the world are jealous of you, Jen.
  • Padma's maternity gear: an off-the-shoulder hoodie at the QF and red hooker boots for the Elimination? Nice. In all seriousness, she looks fantastic. I couldn't help but wonder how pregnancy is affecting her taste buds, though. During my own time as a pregnant lass, I never could've judged a food competition, unless the contest was "best Mexican/Thai food" or "best cheap chocolate."
  • The Michael-Kevin rivalry (technique vs. flavor) has got to be the mildest rivalry in the history of any show ever.
  • Finally - HELLO, Gail's boobies!
They certainly are an impressive, professional crew (the contestants, not just the boobs). But what did you think? Foodie and fabulous or lacking in that reality TV drama we all know and love? Please leave a comment with your thoughts....

13 comments:

NYCMenuGirl said...

I was really disappointed in the results last night. First off, I am a Kevin fan all the way, and I second off, I think Michael Voltaggio is a jerk. I think he is cocky and annoying.

I think it was clear last night that Michael was the loser. Yes, his foie gras dish was good, but too much soup. And is egg dish was really not good. And Jennifer gets sent home for not watching the oven and oversalting?! That is BS. They sent her home because they want the brothers to duke it out in the finale. The producers manhandled this decision, and I am not happy.

Debby said...

Just a note on Kevin's beard...I checked...various Kevins have FIVE different FaceBook pages for their beards. OUR Kevin's Beard came up as the 1st one...but amazingly, all the Kevin's sport various shades of red!

Kristine said...

From what they showed us, I thought Kevin could have gone home as well (and I like him a lot and hope he wins). He undercooked his brisket (Antonia undercooked her peas). They even showed him saying, done or not, it's going on the plate. I'll read Tom's blog, but it did appear they looked for excuses to send Jen home. If she had just said, I changed my plan, I'm happier with the confit duck, would she have gone home?

Laura K said...

I agree that it seems like the producers wanted a sibling showdown at the end, but I believe that the brothers deserve it.

Can't wait for next week!

Susan said...

My heart was about to break last night when I thought Kevin was going home. Alas, they sent my number two, Jenn, home instead.

I'm all for Kevin winning, but now it's also turned into as long as Michael loses. Bryan has become very likable the last few weeks, especially when he chose to help Kevin rather than let him flounder during the previous episode.

David Dust said...

When are they going to give Gail's boobies her own show?!?...

XOXOXOXOXO

MCWolfe said...

@Susan, I am completely with you on the I hope Michael loses thing. His food might be wonderful but I would never go to his restaurant because of the bad behavior I've seen on the show.

I do love Kevin. He seems like a genuinely nice guy and just about everything he's cooked seems like something I would actually want to eat.

Bryan, however, is my homeboy and I am rooting for him all the way. I won't be unhappy if Kevin wins but I will be ecstatic if Bryan does. If Micheal wins, I'll be very unhappy but I accept the fact that its Top Chef not Top Decent Guy.

Sarah said...

"David Dust said...
When are they going to give Gail's boobies her own show?!?..."

or better yet, their own facebook page!

sad to see Jen go, she was my fave, but still looking forward to the finale.

Anonymous said...

I felt the decision to off Jenn was rigged -the judges raved about her food during the tasting, and since when is raw food, such as Michael's, given a pass? Finding her behavior 'scattered' -is relevant to the judging because.....? It's really a pity that the brother drama takes precedence over the best performance.

Kristine said...

Not to mention that Michael put a protein in his veggie dish. Was the egg OK because they didn't say "vegan?"

theminx said...

Well, technically, they had to make one "vegetarian" dish, not a "vegetable" dish. Kevin, Jen, and Bryan all used cheese in theirs, also a protein and an animal product. I think Tom's blog on the Bravo site makes mention of this issue as well....

RantzGrotto said...

I had dome really mixed feelings about this episode. I really thought Bryan would be the one to go home since they kept talking about his lack of salt. When they said the winner was said to be the closest to perfect in seasoning I was shocked they announced Bryan. He was my favorite at the start of the season, but if I could eat at any of the top four's restaurant's, it would easily be Kevin's. His idea if simplicity and taste over fanciness.

I find Gale's... Largenesses to be very... Eye catching. Her eyelashes were overdone to the point they captured my eyes more than her cleavage, which was hard to do.

Cliff O'Neill said...

Oh dear. I miss Jen. Though, it seemed she was on tap to be leaving no matter what she did, IMHO.

The food was great, but the drama was non-existant.