Monday, September 21, 2009

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Las Vegas Episode 5

This week, our intrepid cheftestants went camping. And by "intrepid," I mean "super, super whiny and not into camping." Some food was made, some ceviche was expelled from Tom's mouth, Bryan V. took yet another challenge, and Monsieur Mattin went home. That's it in a nutshell. But what did the bloggers think?

Cliffieland on Michael V.'s take on things: "Chef BrotherMichael is most miffed at Hector’s eviction and makes predictions for the end, seeing himself, Chef DoucheyMike and Chef BrotherBryan as the only really talented chefs there.One wonders what Chefs Kevin Beardy McBearderson and Jennifer The Honorary Dude think of that assessment."

Jordan Baker describing my sentiments exactly: "But as an episode – you know, the human drama, the interesting food and all—it was kind of negligible. Especially when you compare it to last week’s festival of Frenchness and innovation and Magical Mushroom Kingdoms."

Minx Eats on Eli's attitude: "Chubby city boys don't much like to get all sweaty, do they?"

Reality Check (Baltimore Sun) on Mattin's writing on the wall: "Mattin laments about how he failed at the French food challenge last week even though he grew up in the French countryside and apparently had a best new restaurant award from Food & Wine magazine. He could have fooled us. (Justine ponders: if he already won an award AND owns a restaurant, why does he have to be on Top Chef?)"

The Celebrity Cafe on Ashley's childhood: "'The outhouse is familiar to me' said Ashley wistfully, reminiscing about her childhood growing up in the woods. A comment which only leads one to ask: where do the producers find these people?"

Fancast on the viewers' choice Quickfire: "Cactus. I’ll admit I didn’t vote, but if I had, I certainly would have picked rattlesnake or kangaroo (is that even legal?) instead, if only to see the look on guest judge Tim Love’s face when Kevin invariably presented him with 'candied rattlesnake jam.'"

Flat Hat News (the newspaper of William & Mary, aka my alma mater!) makes Glad happy: "In the ultimate yuppie moment of the week, they had to walk like lost lambs through the desert, holding their bags from Whole Foods. Like a freshly unwrapped leftover, they no longer had the protection Glad offers (little known fact: Glad requires that any analogy involved in 'Top Chef' features a member of the Glad family of products)."

Top Chef Examiner on cactus: "Just because something is edible doesn't mean it's good. And boy did the chefs struggle to make something tasty."

Gawker on strategy: "The red-face Voltaggio, tattooed and cocky, asserted that he wasn't going to debase himself for his hick audience. 'You don't change each dish for every customer as they come in,' he said, or at least something to that effect, 'they come to your restaurant.' The right choice considering a) it's true b) though the ranchers might be eating they certainly weren't voting c) despite the ranchers being ranchers, they aren't idiots and can certainly appreciate good food."

Slashfood on Ashley: "We wish we could just decide once and for all that Ashley is hateably high-strung and manic. But when she pulls a rabbit out of her hat like she did last night -- with a perfectly seared halibut atop a pile of bacon, tomato and braised romaine -- she reminds us of one of those brash, underachieving schoolkids who you know is capable of far better."

Frederick News Post on hometown boys the Volt brothers: "Judges said Michael's dish, based on a traditional Japanese 'fish fry,' was good and an 'unexpected dish.' Bryan's meal had many components including roast pork loin, corn polenta, braised dandelions and rutabaga. Judges said it was appropriate for the challenge and they would feel comfortable camping with Bryan as the cook. Both were among the top four favorite dishes but the challenge went to Bryan -- his third elimination challenge win."

Give Me My Remote on Jen and Kevin: "Kind of an off week for my favorites, Jen and Kevin, although I’ve gotta say that Jen made me laugh REALLY hard in her delivery during her talking head about Ron, when she’s so dry and saying, 'And then we’ve got Ron, looking for a sword.'"

Reality TV Magazine on cooking cactus at home: "The chefs then went about telling how us how to cook cactus in various ways and I am sure that will go great with the oatmeal I cook every other night. I mean, getting the water ready for the oatmeal takes it all out of me already."

TV Squad on the Quickfire disaster: "The Quickfire Challenge lived up to the latter part of its name for most of the people, as was evidenced by Tim's obvious attempts not to vomit up half the dishes he tried (and I don't blame him. Those tortillas that Ash made looked pretty horrifying)."

Speakeasy (WSJ) on things coming around and going around: "I can’t help but feel as if karmic justice has been served, given the young chef’s ease at throwing Ashley under the bus at judges’ table last week."

Premium Hollywood sums up the losers: "Robin’s prawns were not very good, and some of the judges thought the shrimp may have been spoiled. Ron’s drink was awful, and the judges said if he had just made the ceviche, he would not be up for elimination. And Mattin’s ceviche, though he thought it was good, was described by Love as 'like sucking on a piece of flooring.' Wow."

Durango TV on sleeping arrangements: "I don't know how it was decided who was paired with whom in the teepees. But the brothers shared a teepee. It looked very uncomfortable to me. The teepees were small."

Clean Plate Charlie on Ron's situation: "Ron's survived four elimination and four quickfire challenges. But he's currently hugging the bottom rung of contenders. He's never been in real danger of leaving the show, but he's certainly not doing great."

After Ellen sums up the Quickfire results: "Love declares Ash (too dry), Mike V (too disjointed) and Ron (too rancid) on the bottom. On top, however, were Laurine (nice flavor), Mike I (classically prepared) and Mattin (tequila!). But whose was the best? Mike I. Ugh, no comment."

Left Coast Catering (Laurine's blog) on the advantage of being a caterer: "Catering can sometimes be looked down upon by restaurant chefs, but I had a definite advantage in this case. At its core, catering is adapting." on the whining: "The chefs cannot stop complaining about not knowing where they will be cooking. More like a feature in Food and Whine magazine, am I right?"

Meal Ticket (Philly City Paper) on this week's Frenchiness: "Why does this dude, who’s the second-Frenchest Frenchman that I’m aware of (the chien supérieur, of course, being Georges Perrier), insist on reaffirming his Frenchitude with such All Bran-like regularity? I feel a little less American every time I see his little face."

Procrastiblog on why Robin didn't go home: "Robin knew she screwed up and admitted it: 'I’m not making excuses. I’m not proud of what I put out today.' She didn’t have much to say for herself besides—she didn’t even mount an argument that the shrimp had gone bad out in the hot sun and she shouldn’t be blamed—but she also didn’t fight an uphill battle against the judges’, um, judgment."

Max the Girl on what we really lost this week: "Just when it became clear that Mattin mentioning his Frenchness was the most awesome drinking game ever (and a one-way ticket to AA), he goes and gets cut."

Limecrete on that voodoo thing: "Ron sets up a formation of sticks that he tells Ash is a voodoo method of keeping snakes away from their tent. Ash shrugs that anything done to keep snakes away is something he can endorse."

Best Week Ever on Mike I.'s sudden actual cooking ability: "How did Mike Isabella learn to cook overnight? Last week he was like, 'Dahhhhhrrrrr, bear knees???' then in the Quickfire, he was describing the process to properly cure cactus. When did he touch that talent ball from SpaceJam?"

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