Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top Chef Las Vegas - Part Two – Michael Is Still Rude And Full Of Himself

The judges come strolling in with Padma wearing HIGH heels with fringed ankle straps. Intriguing. Eli greets them. Tom laughs at the name, REVOLT. Padma says “I don’t know about this name.” Tom: “It’s a terrible name,” Eli starts talking away and Padma kind of cuts him off and says we just need two of everything. Rick likes the way they set up the menu.

Eli brings out the first two dishes.


Smoked Arctic Char With Beets, Horseradish Sour Cream & Potatoes

Michael V.

Pressed Chicken With Calamari Noodles, Tomato Confit & Fennel Salad

Padma: “This chicken is amazing,” Rick: ”Wow, I love this. I would order this.” Tom:”Can I get more chicken?”

I’m totally confused. First they said Eli was making the char and then as Eli brought the dish, he says it’s Bryan’s and Bryan’s name was above it on the description on the screen and now Padma is asking the judges what they thought of ELI’S Char. I’m going with it being Eli’s.

About the arctic char – Rick: “It was a little one dimensional.” Toby: “It didn’t really pop.”

Toby says there is a little too long a gap between the first and second courses. The brothers are fighting. What else is new?

Eli apologizes for the wait. He says it’s like opening night.


Duo Of Beef

Braised Short Rib & Prime NY Strip

That sounds kind of boring.

Michael V.

Cod With Parsley Sauce, Billi-Bi Croquette & Zucchini Tenderloin

The cod – Rick: “It was melt in your mouth, sustainable, delicious.” Toby: “It picked up quite a lot of the mussel flavor.”

The beef – Toby: “I wasn’t overwhelmed.” Tom: “I enjoyed the dish.” He wished that it had been hotter when it came out.

Some of the other guests say the beef was actually cold.

Oh, this is good. Bryan tells Robin to cut her desserts smaller. She says it’s her dessert and she’s plating them. Again she says it’s her blankety blank dessert and Bryan actually says, “Cut them smaller and don’t cuss at me again like that. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” He repeats it multiple times. What a jerk.

Maybe he’ll be out for his cold beef. Jerkity, jerk, jerk.

WAIT!!! I take it all back! It was MICHAEL, NOT BRYAN, that said all of that. Oy! They continue to fight. Michael says, "Relax, relax, relax," to Robin. Hate him.

The desserts are brought out finally.


Ganache With Spearmint Ice Cream & Chocolate Tuiles


Pear Pithivier With Vanilla Ice Cream & Elderflower Syrup

(That dish does NOT look good.)

Well, that shows what I know. About the pear pithivier – Toby says it’s “easily” the best thing Robin has done so far. (Could THIS mean that Bryan is going home? And is that the shocking thing Toby was talking about?) Rick: “This dish was put together with so much consideration.” But, truthfully, wasn’t it Michael (or was it Bryan) that in the planning stages told Robin to add various other elements?

The ganache – Toby: “Beautiful,” although he says it could have done with more mint ice cream. Tom: “I think it’s delicious.” Rick: “Silky.”

Padma asks how they thought Eli did in the front of the house. Rick says he likes his intensity.

They go to the other restaurant. They notice immediately that there are no desserts on the menu.

They all think the arctic char needs salt and Padma actually asks Laurine for some. She’s a bit thrown by that. They have really screwed up the post-production of this episode. There are no titles describing the dishes, but, luckily, I got them from earlier.


Asparagus & Six Minute Egg

Arctic Char Tartare

I guess it’s the tartare they think that lacks salt. Padma likes the asparagus. The others are not overly impressed with the asparagus dish. The best Rick can come up with is that he didn’t DISlike it.

There’s a big wait time between courses.

Laurine is struggling. Padma actually says, “How long is it going to be?” Laurine tells them it will be one minute…It isn’t.

Oh, the reason they didn’t show the names of the dishes is apparently because Laurine just put them on the table without any explanation. Sneaky. Now Padma ASKS her to tell them about the dishes and, voilà, the titles are there.


Trout With Brown Butter Emulsion, Hazelnuts & Braised Endive

Alaska Halibut With Mussels, Clams & Saffron Aioli In Consommé

Tom: “I think the halibut’s actually cooked okay. BUT this is not consommé. It’s not clear.” WHOOPS! Rick: “It’s not clear, but it’s probably the best part of the dish.“ Toby: “It’s disappointing.”

What IS clear is that THIS team is not winning. BUT IF Laurine were going home, why would that be such a big deal at the Judges’ Table? Toby said there was a lot of disagreement. I really am thinking it’s going to be Jen, which is so ludicrous (to quote Kevin) if Robin outlasts Jen.

It gets worse: “Jennifer’s trout is an absolute disaster. The butter sauce broke…All you taste is grease…Her mentor would not be happy with her right now.”

There are problems with Kevin’s lamb too. Some people are sending it back for being too rare. Kevin says he and Laurine are having communication issues. Padma asks again for Laurine to tell them about the dishes.


Lamb With Carrot Jam, Green Bean Salad & Morel Mushroom Sauce


Glazed Pork Belly, Pork Sausage, Cornmeal Mousseline & Red-Eye Gravy

Tom says if they wanted to serve rare lamb, they succeeded. Ouch. Toby is fed up that they didn’t ask how he wanted his lamb. They all like Kevin’s pork dish, but Toby says he misses dessert.

The Revolt diners liked the food. Mike is pretty sure his team is the losing team. He tells the other team in the stew room, “If we win, you guys must have done a horrible job, because we didn’t do a good job.”

Jen is going home, I think. I hate to say it.

There’s an inexplicable scene where Michael is saying there’s no place for arrogance in the kitchen. HUH?!! WHO is saying that? THEN he says, “People mistake arrogance for confidence.” I'm definitely mistaking him for someone who needs to shut it. “I probably have the biggest heart here.” What a windbag.

Kevin says that must have been some of the worst cooking they did in their careers. THAT was when Mike makes that remark and you know what? I BET I’M RIGHT THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE MONEY. Remember that, if you’re ever in the same situation.

Padma asks to see the members of Revolt. They win. Toby says after he had made fun of the name and chastised the front of house manager for being woefully underdressed (I’m scared that Toby and I share a brain), he would have given the restaurant 3 stars. (Out of how many though?)

They loved Bryan’s mint ice cream and short rib.

Rick says Eli’s dish didn’t blow him away, but it was a good dish and he did a good job at communicating while he was running the front of house.

They loved Michael’s dish and Robin’s dessert. Tom says it seemed homier than the other dishes and wondered if there was a discussion about it. They pretend there was no fight at first, but then Robin rolls her eyes as Michael goes on a bit too long about his help with the dish.

After Tom asks her about it, Robin says, “There’s a fine line between being helped and being dominated.”

That remark went nowhere, because their team already won and they picked Michael as the winner, so the judges obviously don’t care that he’s a pig. (I’m not saying they should care.)

Michael wins an autographed copy of RM’s book AND gets the $10,000 that the other team forfeited. He decides to split it with his team. Why don’t I think that makes him any nicer?

The other team goes in, while the brothers have another ugly moment. Michael asks why Bryan doesn’t look happy. (HE didn’t win and his brother did. I guess that tortures him.) Robin tells Michael that was very generous of him to share the money. Bryan says he can keep his (Bryan’s) share. Michael asks why. “They gave it to YOU,” he says.

Gosh, this is getting tiresome. If Michael wants to play the big man, let him. Bryan doesn’t have to play the martyr. Bryan says something about how Michael deserved to win, but something or other was unprofessional behavior. His fight with Robin? Or did he mean splitting the money? I’m confused. Oh, his being a control freak maybe…

Back at Judges’ Table, Tom asks if the division of the dishes was a good idea, because they each got slammed at the same team. Kevin agrees they didn’t organize that well.

They go through the menu. Jen says she should have steamed the clams and mussels in advance. Rick asks, “You steamed them to order?!!” She says yes. He says wow.

Then Rick says, “I think you cooked the halibut perfectly.” Maybe that will save her, but no, not so fast. Tom tells Jen her sauce was broken. She says she doesn’t have anything to say and that she’s feeling pretty broken right now.

They didn’t like the lamb. Rick says it didn’t rest and that the center was like Jell-O.

Toby says Laurine looked like a deer in the headlights and that she told them nothing about the first dishes and only talked about the others when prompted. Tom says it sounds like the problem was that there was no leader. Kevin agrees.

They leave and Rick says “the wheels came off the bus.” Tom says there was too much overconfidence going into the challenge. Tom and Rick agree that it was insane of Jen to steam the mussels and clams to order. They keep talking and each person is sounding worse and worse. I hope it’s not Jen.

This is interesting…The poll results:

Which Voltaggio Brother is the bigger putz?

Bryan 99%

Michael 100%

Oh, okay, this is the poll:

Which Voltaggio Brother is the better chef?

Bryan 64%

Michael 36%

And the loser is…Jen looks like she’s about to cry…Laurine. JEN is really crying now. Laurine takes it ok. She is kind of cool. Someone asks Kevin what they said in there and he says he doesn’t want to talk about it. He’s really angry. At himself?

I think the Voltaggio fratelli are revolting and I’m happy that the bikini turned out NOT to portend bad things.


Anonymous said...

This is why sometimes this show is crazy. Should Laurine have been penalized that the kitchen was backed up? It's not her fault service is slow. It's her fault she didn't handle it more graciously. If they had said Jen was the leader, she would've been gone. It's always the "leader" who goes home in this.

Sue said...

Yeah, why were there NO leaders on either team? These are all experienced chefs. That's no way to run a kitchen! It wasn't Laurine's fault that the kitchen stank, but she did say she would be doing quality control and she did nothing. AND, let's be honest, she was way overdue to leave.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think it was either going to be Laurine or Robin, no matter what.

DebCarol said...

I agree that Laurine was probably overdue to leave but it shouldn't have been for this particular reason. There were far more serious offenses committed in the kitchen than she committed in the front of the restaurant.
And Michael was being a Gordon Ramsay clone, I'm thinking he should be ask to leave for having the worst attitude ever in Top Chef history.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Laurine has never struck me as impressive with anything. SHe always just seemed to coast along, so I knew she'd go eventually.

Boy, anyone named Michael is a jerk on this show. I'm glad it was Michael being a jerk, because I don't want anything putting out that fire I have in my pants for Bryan.

I can't hate Robin. Sometimes she manages to do something good and I hate the way the others treat her. She was good enough to get into the competition, although she's clearly out of her element now. Still, put her in her own element and I wouldn't be surprised if she did well. I'd eat at her restaurant.

Obviously the producers don't want Jen to fail. Sometimes on this show you're only as good as your most recent dish. Sometimes you're not.

Emily said...

Man, when I saw Jen in that bikini I thought FOR SURE she was going home. ;)

I knew it was going to be Laurine. I knew when she didn't explain to the judges what the dishes were. That's huge.

How is Robin still on the show?!

Jeff Timberwolf said...

Good recap and commentary and I'm glad you're not a Michael V. fan; regardless of how well he cooks.

All things aside, Jen should have gone home in this episode based on merit alone. However, I was so hoping she wouldn't, because she can out cook Laurine & Robin.

I agree with dis order cook about Robin. Even though she's way out of her league and talks too much, I think the others, except for Kevin (oh bless that man) is mean to her.

Sue said...

Me too, but they've tricked us before.

Hey DC!
I guess you're right. At the end of the day, if the food stinks, no amount of good service can make up for it.

BUT what do you think about horrible service and good food OR GREAT service and so-so food?

I'm really getting to the point myself of valuing good service over good food, because it seems in such short supply.

They couldn't have asked for a better temperament for the purposes of reality tv than MV. His ugly attitude, I'm sure, thrills the producers.

Hi Rach!
I certainly hope you're not referring to my fav Michael Chiarello. He had what amounted to 3 minutes of a bit of a highfalutin' attitude. He is nowhere as objectionable as the brother Michael.

And yeah, that other Mike, Mike I., IS jerky too. I agree with you.

I don't like Bryan. He looks like a deer caught in the headlights. I think both brothers are soo wrapped up in their identities as cool chefs that they've forgotten how to be cool people.

You'd eat at Robin's restaurant? Lemme know how it is, cause that's the closest I'd ever want to get to it.

I'm glad Jen hasn't gone and I personally wish they didn't judge just on the basis of their last dish, but on their performance as a whole.

Right?!! A bikini couldn't have been a good sign, but luckily it worked out okay.

Ludicrous is just the right word for it!

Hi Jeff,
Thanks! It gets hard to know who to send home. But if someone is consistently in the bottom, shouldn't that person go before someone that had one off night?

I think it's unnecessary that so many of the chefs are mean to Robin. It strikes me as really misogynistic. But, of course, Laurine, didn't like her either, so there goes that theory.

Kevin is great. I'm thinking he just may pull it out in the end.