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Top Chef: Season 6 – Las Vegas


Chris Hennes
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[quote name='KristiB50' date='09 October 2009 - 10:19 AM' timestamp='1255105187' post='1703960'

And Padma needs to burn that green jumpsuit.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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As for the lack of personality, I wonder how much is just an editorial decision on how to cut the episodes? They simply don't have the time to build up too many personalities. The recipe from previous seasons seems to be 1-2 personalities are heavily framed (Stephan, Spike/Lisa...). It also seems that the chosen personality usually makes it pretty far (or else they wouldn't focus on him in the editing room...although Spike was an exception). That would bode well for Mike I. Sounds/looks like Eli and Ash have some pretty big personalities that don't get too much time.

Aren't we nearing the stage of the season where we lose one of the top contestants as a result of an unexpectedly poor performance (thought that was Mike V last week)?

Will Eli and Mike I. ever cook up to their pedigree?

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Whenever there's an equipment problem, the judges say "What went wrong?", the chef says "this happened" and the judges say "we don't accept excuses".

It seems to be a conceit of the show, and I suspect Colicchio knows that it's hogwash. If these mishaps happened in his own restaurant, Colicchio would have many options these chefs don't have, such as cooking the dish over again, offering the guest something else if that is not possible, and so forth.

As I recall, Colicchio asked Ashley whether she would have considered sending out her plate without the ruined shrimp. Of course, he's right that you shouldn't send out a plate that you know is fatally flawed, but sending out a plate without the protein would never be a practical option either. In a real restaurant situation, there are usually alternatives. On Top Chef, when the bell rings your dish must go out, and there is seldom enough time to change gears if you realize your original plan is going down the tubes.

I suspect that if Mike/Ash's dish had been equally bad as Eli/Ashley's, the extenuating circumstance of Mike's equipment failure would have been the tie-breaker that kept him on the show. All else being equal, that shouldn't be the reason for sending someone home, at least not at this phase of the competition.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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What did Eli get for winning the quickfire? There is usually immunity, a prize, or a specific advantage in the elimination challenge. I must have missed it, but he didn't seem to gain anything.

Good point. Have we reached the phase where there is no longer immunity? In past seasons they've always made a big deal out of that.

Hopefully he didn't win a crate of those potato chips. The ones I've tried are nasty and artificial tasting.

I find it interesting that the brothers never see Kevin as a danger. They've talked openly about who they're worried about, and my favorite gnome never makes the list. My guess is that they think he lacks the technical skills that they possess. No doubt true, but it seems (hard to tell from a TV show) that he has amazing instincts for putting flavors together. That's no small talent.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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What did Eli get for winning the quickfire? There is usually immunity, a prize, or a specific advantage in the elimination challenge. I must have missed it, but he didn't seem to gain anything.

I rewound and nothing was said. I think he just won....

When will Gail be back? Toby with his hairy armpit wine comment-ughh. Although the expression on Tom's face was funny.

I'm glad Kevin won and that pate looked great! Jen is so hard on herself and then she does really well. Although I thought she said she was making pork and beans?

I think any one of the bottom three could have left although I really thought it would be Laurene.

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Interesting to see next week with Restaurant Wars coming up, if any of the top four chefs will be at risk. It seems likely that two of them will be the exec chefs of the teams, which usually puts a target on your back.

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I'm glad Kevin won and that pate looked great! Jen is so hard on herself and then she does really well. Although I thought she said she was making pork and beans?

On his blog, Colicchio tipped his cap to Kevin, pointing out that terrines are extremely difficult to do well under the time constraints of an elimination challenge. I am a fan of Jennifer's, but her anxiety is starting to get on my nerves. I have a feeling that, one of these weeks, she is going to worry her way out of the competition.

I think any one of the bottom three could have left although I really thought it would be Laurene.

There were two reasons why Laurine survived. First, although she did not prepare the rillettes correctly, the concept could have worked. And second, there were other things on her plate that did work.

In contrast, Ash's dish was a complete disaster. I am not a chef, but as soon as I heard that he was doing cold pork, I wondered, "How could that be good?" Even with perfect execution, I don't think it could have been a great dish. It also didn't help that he had intended to do something else, and let Mike Isabella talk him into this flawed idea. As Colicchio put it:

Ash spent his time in this competition telling us that he had not yet had a chance to cook “his own food,” yet looking around at all times to see what everyone else was doing instead of just presenting his own style. He’s been very unsure of himself, has second-guessed himself throughout, and that lack of confidence has come out in his food; his cooking has not only been tentative in feel but in flavor. And never more so than in this challenge.

I know that the competition isn't cumulative, but there was justice in this outcome. In eight episodes, he was never in the top 3, and he was in the bottom 3 four of the last five times. Laurine has been in the top 3 twice, although she has not won.

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Interesting to see next week with Restaurant Wars coming up, if any of the top four chefs will be at risk. It seems likely that two of them will be the exec chefs of the teams, which usually puts a target on your back.

I am not a TC historian, but I believe that the leader of the losing restaurant is practically always, if not always, the one sent home. Someone pointed out last year that this is a good week to lose the quickfire.

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The best comment, IMHO, was Dana Corwin's crack about Laurene's rillette being "catfood" - I was so sure that was a chef-eliminating decision right there. But, no. I guess the judges finally decided that Ash would never grasp how to put flavors together or put out the dish he actually originally intended. Robin? Still hanging on - amazing! You get the sense that everybody just wants her gone not because she's a threat (and not because she's obviously not), but simply because she's annoying the crap out of all of them (except maybe the V Brothers.)

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The best comment, IMHO, was Dana Corwin's crack about Laurene's rillette being "catfood" - I was so sure that was a chef-eliminating decision right there.

Colicchio said on the blog that the rest of the judges didn't think it was that bad.

Robin? Still hanging on - amazing! You get the sense that everybody just wants her gone not because she's a threat (and not because she's obviously not), but simply because she's annoying the crap out of all of them (except maybe the V Brothers.)

Robin is living proof of the element of luck in this show. She's the only remaining chef that has never made it to the top 3 in any episode. All of the others have done so at least twice. Lucky for her, whenever she screws up, someone else screws up worse. Among that group, she's the one I'd least like to hang out with.

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[

I find it interesting that the brothers never see Kevin as a danger. They've talked openly about who they're worried about, and my favorite gnome never makes the list. My guess is that they think he lacks the technical skills that they possess. No doubt true, but it seems (hard to tell from a TV show) that he has amazing instincts for putting flavors together. That's no small talent.

Charles a food and wine addict - "Just as magic can be black or white, so can addictions be good, bad or neither. As long as a habit enslaves it makes the grade, it need not be sinful as well." - Victor Mollo

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I'd disagree as to the technical skills, Kevin as showed he has the skills.

I didn't say that Kevin lacks skills, but he doesn't seem to have the range of cutting edge techniques the brothers possess. I don't see that as a fault, just a stylistic difference. My sense, though, is that the brothers see it as a fault.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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I'll tell you what, I'd rather have her cooking for me than that backstabbing forked tongue Mike I. I wonder if he's going to find it difficult post-show to find anyone willing to trust his smarmy self.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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In contrast, Ash's dish was a complete disaster. I am not a chef, but as soon as I heard that he was doing cold pork, I wondered, "How could that be good?"

As soon as he explained it, I shuddered. But there is a good way to serve a good pork dish cold: see Kevin!

BTW, I've been surprised by Mike I's versatility in various ethnic cuisines, but I'd rather see him master one than be a jack of all trades. He doesn't seemed very focused and able to just put out a great dish. Even though Jennifer had seemed to only know fish, that doesn't bug me. Unless, of course, she were to only use scallops.

Edited by Reignking (log)
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Michael V interview:

http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/burning-questions/michael-voltaggio-here-to-compete

Bravotv.com: Charlie Palmer as Guest Judge: What was that like for you?

I have a lot of respect for Charlie so I was happy to hear his critique. He is a real cook at heart unlike past judges i.e. Tyler Florence, who just plays one on TV.

Boom!

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I'd disagree as to the technical skills, Kevin as showed he has the skills.

I didn't say that Kevin lacks skills, but he doesn't seem to have the range of cutting edge techniques the brothers possess. I don't see that as a fault, just a stylistic difference. My sense, though, is that the brothers see it as a fault.

I agree that it's a question of style. He clearly has the skills. You don't just wake up one day and make a perfect terrine in 4 hours. He and Jennifer are my favorites. Even though I know that Michael and Bryan are incredibly solid cooks, I'm really pulling for Kevin & Jennifer.

If they won't eliminate Mike please someone should at least muzzle him. I can't stand him anymore. STFU.

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If they won't eliminate Mike please someone should at least muzzle him. I can't stand him anymore. STFU.

Every reality show has someone like him. Last year it was Stefan, but with a key difference: Stefan was also one of the best chefs there. Mike is no better than fifth-best (behind Jen, Kevin, and the brothers V), which makes him seem a lot more irritating.

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Poor Ash, I didn't think he deserved to go. I thought there was a lot worse dishes. If anything makes anyone think of cat food, that should be an automatic out.

I think for all the crap Robin is recieving she sure is hanging in there. I am surprised she made it this far cooking wise.

I think they are keeping Micheal around for the show factor.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Poor Ash, I didn't think he deserved to go. I thought there was a lot worse dishes. If anything makes anyone think of cat food, that should be an automatic out.

I think for all the crap Robin is recieving she sure is hanging in there. I am surprised she made it this far cooking wise.

I think they are keeping Micheal around for the show factor.

I think the only thing Ash made the entire time that received any praise was the ice cream he tried and failed to make but presented anyway as a custard. He deserved to go as much as anyone else did.

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Let's all give a big cheer for (I think) the first "i'm not here to make friends" this season from our pal robin.

"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

MetaFooder: linking you to food | @foodtwit

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