So now we're two episodes down, with more Vegas cliches under our belts...and still too many contestants to remember. But, hey, shots! And bloggers:
Cliffieland on the not-exactly-dramatic rivalry: "BrotherMichael is making a liquid nitrogen-assisted, cloud-producing gazpacho with his eight ingredients. And BrotherBryan thinks he’d rather stick with more traditional techniques. (Wow. What a rivalry! It’s a wonder these two don’t kill each other overnight!)"
Minx Eats on woohoo! Shots!: "The happy couple, Karen and Greg, arrive bearing trays of shots. They want the party food to match with these drinks - Moscow Mules, tequila, and something called a 'Golden Delicious,' which Ash describes as 'sweet, gooey, and disgusting.' Sounds dirty, at least the 'gooey' and 'disgusting' parts."
Jordan Baker says goodbye to Eve:
"It’s all about Eve
And her shitty ceviche
Au revoir, Ninja."
My Monkey Could Do That on the gay man's flower secret: " The boys buy orchids and Michael tells Ash that it’s his job to keep the flowers alive because he’s the gay guy. Ash kind of shrugs and says it’s true, gay men are better at keeping flowers alive. (Me: 'Is that true?' Kmanpat: 'Straight guys don’t check them frequently enough.')"
Food and More (Atlanta Journal Constitution) on poor, poor Eve and her home state: "Poor Michigan. The Wolverine State has not had a good run of things lately. First Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick obstructs justice. Then General Motors goes bankrupt. And now Eve, mauler of shrimp, heads home to the land of “pets or meat.”"
Reality Check (Baltimore Sun) on Kevin's naivete: "Kevin the bearded wonder admits he has never gambled been this close to a craps table. He loses cool points with us yet again."
Reality Wanted on seriously? More ceviche?: "Does anyone else feel like they hear the word ceviche more on Top Chef than any other word? Me too."
Ann Arbor.com on the big winner: "Todd explains that it comes down to the siblings, and as if the fates wanted to even things out after the quickfire, Bryan's macaroon had the texture and playfulness to become the week's winning dish."
Top Chef Examiner on the political drama: "Ashley Merriman made it about politics, getting very worked up about having to honor a tradition that isn't legal for everyone. Yes Ashley, Bravo knows and everyone who watches Bravo knows. And is most likely on your side. But lets get back to concentrating on the cooking. That is why you are here."
PB Pulse on brothers, brothers, brothers: "And the Brothers Voltaggio, who are also from Maryland, remind me of the Hanson Brothers (the crazy competitive ones in 'Slap Shot' who like smacking people around, not the MMMBoppy ones.)"
Clean Plate Charlie on the Quickfire: "the chefs have 30 minutes to complete this challenge, and they all seem to want to roll a lower number, meaning less ingredients. Kevin rolls a 10 and looks discouraged, but he gets real close to winning. Michael V. takes that distinction, that Tony Hawk looking mofo."
Slashfood on something that is, well, true: "If there's a lesson to be learned from the latest installment of 'Top Chef Vegas,' it's this: Drunk guys at a bachelor party will happily inhale whatever food you put in front of them. And if it's served with a shot, they might even compliment you for it, no matter how gristly, limp and flavor-deprived it may be."
Time Out Chicago on Mattine: "Oh that scarf. The scarf is pandering to gay viewers more than anything else on the show."
Best Week Ever on the arbitrariness of it all: "I loved Jen’s complaint, 'I hate this Battle of the Sexes – it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or girl.' Well, yeah, but have you seen how frickin’ arbitrary the team divisions usually are?? Is Girls versus Boys really lamer than having Chefs randomly draw knives that say 'Falcon,' 'Neptune,' and 'Neil Young'?"
Foobooz on the guest judge: "Todd English took some time off from selling his GreenPan on HSN to guest judge."
Premium Hollywood on nicknames: "At one point during the episode, one of the chefs was talking about how he had nicknames for all of his fellow contestants….so I’m going to start using a few of my own nicknames too. Kevin will now be known as Kris Kringle. Ashley will now be known as Ben Folds."
Grub Street with the story behind the gazpacho: "The showstopper was Michael’s “nitro gazpacho” with compressed cucumbers, made with so much liquid nitrogen that dude looked like Michael Jackson standing over a steam vent. But don’t think that just because Slim Shady said that “the secret ingredient was innovation,” he made the dish up on the spot. He actually served it at José Andrés’s Bazaar, where (funny enough) Marcel Vigneron was his sous-chef."
Diana Takes a Bite on the bottom tier: "If last night’s episode was any indication, it’s also a battle to see whose whine can shatter the glassware in the GM kitchen first. Jesse’s tears are pretty righteous, but my bets were still on good ole golly gee whiz Eve from Michigan until she had to go dig herself into another shrimp hole."
Left Coast Catering (Laurine) on Top Chef vs. the real world (note: not The Real World): "There is obviously quite a difference between a top chef in the real world and a Top Chef on Bravo. Bravo seems to think that a chef should be a highly driven, hyper-competitive badass with the ability to create well-executed food in any kitchen, on any day, in any amount of time, to meet each week’s unexpected challenge."
Seacoast Online on the lack of Mike I.: "Hey, where’s the obnoxious Michael I.? I guess he was too obnoxious to give more air time to."
Reality TV Examiner on how (some) recappers differ from the contestants: "Todd English is the guest judge this week and Kevin says that as they walked into the kitchen, he immediately recognized him. He says, 'Who wouldn’t recognize him?'” Ummm, me. That’s who. I have no idea who Todd English is. Wikipedia tells me he’s a celebrity chef. I’ll take their word for it."
Poptimal on the faves: "Over with the men, the brothers receive the most compliments – Michael’s apple sorbet & goat cheese cookie ('ridiculous,' as in good) and Bryan’s sweet and sour macaroons (great, with extra points for difficulty) wow the judges. Also favorites are Eli’s tuna tartare (great acid with excellent seasoning), Hector’s tofu lemon-lime ceviche (interesting with nice flavors that highlight tofu), and Ash’s chicken wings."
Speakeasy (WSJ) on the underlying themes: "Top Chef Las Vegas dug deep, like Old Testament-deep, for last night’s themes."
Meal Ticket on the Quickfire losers: "Who sucked? Jesse, whose mushy, sear-less scallops looked anemic (English called them 'blonde' … is that a term?); Eve, who couldn’t balance the eight flavors of her grilled asparagus salad; and non-tattooed lifeguard brother Bryan, who used too much yuzu when sous-vide poaching his black cod."