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Top Chef: Season 6 – Las Vegas


Chris Hennes
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He scoffed that he could have pulled that off in 20 minutes.

And he should have.

Really any of the bottom three could have gone and I think Jennifer was hoping it would have been her. She's falling apart. she's probably a good chef on her own time and without restrictions.

I didn't get the sense she was hoping to get sent home. She wears her stress on her sleeve, but I think she's deeply competitive and wants to win. I watched that episode in a bit of a haze, but it wasn't really clear to me what was wrong with her dish.

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Natalie was a good judge. She really seemed to enjoy being there and didn't have a list of restrictions. I wonder if the kitchen had restrictions because with vegetarian you can still use butter, cream, and cheese and with the exception of Jens sauce I didn't see any of those items.

I was wondering the same thing. And why didn't anyone use pasta or a grain? It felt like they were instructed to use only the vegetables, which seemed odd to me. (ETA: other than the polenta)

Edited by daisy17 (log)
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I also noticed Brian followed the servers out with some little copper pots but I didn't see him put anything on the judges plates. Did I miss something?

I can't edit my post but I meant Michael V.

And ITA on his comments on Kevins dish. It actually looked more appealing to me.

Really? Kevin's dish, while I'm sure it was tasty, looked like something that would wash up on a beach to me. It was largely monochromatic and really kind of just heaped on the plate. I'm not making excuses for Mike V's behavior but based on looks alone I would have much rather eaten his dish.

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I also noticed Brian followed the servers out with some little copper pots but I didn't see him put anything on the judges plates. Did I miss something?

I can't edit my post but I meant Michael V.

And ITA on his comments on Kevins dish. It actually looked more appealing to me.

Really? Kevin's dish, while I'm sure it was tasty, looked like something that would wash up on a beach to me. It was largely monochromatic and really kind of just heaped on the plate. I'm not making excuses for Mike V's behavior but based on looks alone I would have much rather eaten his dish.

I love mushrooms :biggrin:

I agree it wasn't pretty but it looked like a more satisfying meal than some vegetables and a dab of banana polenta.

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I dunno, honestly i'm on both sides with this Mike vs Kevin dish thing. While I do think it was a bit much for Mike to get so worked up, I think if I were in that kind of situation, I might be a little annoyed too. I honestly think he was right to say that he could have whipped that up in 20 minutes, and honestly it did like a little on the unappealing side: brown + brown = more brown. I just think Mike brings a different dynamic to his dishes, that he is more fun, playful, and artistic, which to me does count for a lot. Is it the MOST important feature? No. Like people have said, food is meant to be eaten, but Tom Colicchio did say that he really did enjoy Mike's dish, just that in the end Kevin's was seasoned better, and I agree he was right to win - but I also don't think Mike's dish shouldn't be discredited.

I kinda feel like it's easy for home cooks and others to knock chefs down when they are creative to such an extent. I think they think because a dish is so artistic, or so out there, it can't possibly have soul, or that it can't taste good. I think he has shown that he knows how to make things taste good, but also look good, which I think should also be up there with qualities of a top chef. He cares about what he does, and he really enjoys the style that he cooks in,it makes him happy, which I think in itself is soul to a dish.

With all of that being said, I think Kevin is awesome and has always deserved the wins he has gotten. But I also think that a chef in this competition should also strive for all aspects of a dish, looks included. While it may have been filling, I kinda feel like if I had just a bunch of of mushrooms plopped in front of me after seeing a lot of the other dishes go out, I would have been at least a little disappointed ( I love mushrooms btw, so i'm not prejudice). I also kinda feel that if I were Mike, I probably would have been a little irked as well. When you put so much thought and creativity into something, only to lose to something you honestly could have done in a quarter of the time, I think anyone would have felt a little annoyed - he just kinda went a little overboard.

Also, I think Mike I going home was a good choice. While I do think, and most people think, that Robin isn't as up to snuff with the rest, Mike I really just didn't seem to care, and it bagged him. I think if he had focused he would have pulled through, since it was obvious Robin was going to be on the bottom, and I do think that if he had put 100% into it he would have beaten her. Robin has been incredibly lucky so far, and while good for her for making it this far, I wonder how much farther she can really ride this.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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Best funny lines

Tom C: "We went from little prick to big in my mouth." And a wry eye-roll.

Friend of Natalie's: "Yes, that's what usually happens!"

racks right up their with "culinary boner".

Go Kevin. I really like this guy. Love to eat at his restaurant next time I'm in Atlanta

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Best funny lines

Tom C: "We went from little prick to big in my mouth." And a wry eye-roll.

Friend of Natalie's: "Yes, that's what usually happens!"

racks right up their with "culinary boner".

Go Kevin. I really like this guy. Love to eat at his restaurant next time I'm in Atlanta

Ha ha I was cracking up when that was happening. Just goes to show you can't escape the 'male member' jokes as when it comes to the food industry.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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Thankfully, a few glimpses of brilliance emerged. Eli’s smoky eggplant and perfectly firm, flavorful lentils did show a significant amount of skill. And although it took some getting used to, I will never forget the playful sweetness and creamy, bold texture of Michael’s banana polenta. As I write this I am still in awe that he chose to make it—and that we all could not get enough. But it was Kevin’s Duo of Mushrooms, Smoked Kale, Candied Garlic & Turnip Puree that saved us. As much as Michael would like to believe it was thrown together in an amateur way, this dish was far from simple. The bright taste and integrity of each individual vegetable was apparent with each bite. What’s more, they all made perfect sense when eaten as one harmonious creation. Cooking vegetables this way is no easy task. It was decadent and robust, and exactly as Kevin had promised in his description.

I don't know how to link things here but this is from Gail Simmons blog.

It's like they say, conceit affects everyone but the one who has it. When I think Mike V can't get any worse he does. Yes, I'm partial to Kevin because I too am a huge pork fan, I like his attitude, and while a native Californian I now live in the South (by choice.) Kevin, by aa good margin, has been at the top more than anybody thusfar. You'd think maybe Mike V would get the clue, hint, hint, Kevin's food tastes better! I'm impressed by Mike V's techniques and combinations as well as the stunning presentations, but to me his personality just sours everything. Granted it's about taste not personalities, but fact is Kevin's food has tasted better than the V boys. Like TC said, Mike V's is not as soulful and soul, which Kevin has, shows and is magnified in Kevin's flavors.

I think Robin's charmed run is about to come to an end. How I'd love though to see Mike V screw up and go home. I doubt that will happen though they tried to plant that seed of doubt in the promo for next week.

I must say, from early on I thought the final 3 would be Kevin, Mike V, and Jen. Now it seems Jen is folding. In the beginning she showed a great deal of confidence and ability to handle the pressure, now more than anything it is the pressure she just can't seem to handle. In earlier episodes it was just saying she was behind but perhaps that was a harbinger of what we're seeing now.

Now it seems like Kevin, Mike V and either Eli or Brian. For all that she lacks skill wise Robin at least doesn't seem to be/get panicked, scattered, but not panicked.

Mike I drew most peoples ire for his attitude from early on yet he had shown skills. It did seem like the last couple of shows he just mailed it in, and like TC said, felt he was safe as long as Robin was around.

It won't happen but I'd sure love to see Mike V get in Kevin's face, he may be jolly but I think he could put MV in his place.

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 must say, from early on I thought the final 3 would be Kevin, Mike V, and Jen. Now it seems Jen is folding. In the beginning she showed a great deal of confidence and ability to handle the pressure, now more than anything it is the pressure she just can't seem to handle. In earlier episodes it was just saying she was behind but perhaps that was a harbinger of what we're seeing now.

Now it seems like Kevin, Mike V and either Eli or Brian. For all that she lacks skill wise Robin at least doesn't seem to be/get panicked, scattered, but not panicked.

I generally don't buy into the theory that the producers regularly manipulate the outcome. (The fine print on the TV screen indicates that the producers consult on the elimination decisions, so the key word there is "regularly".)

But to the extent they exert any influence, I strongly suspect they want Jennifer in the final, because otherwise it would be all guys—assuming, which I think is likely, that there's no f*&^ing way that Robin makes it that far. So I think the final is Jen plus two of Kevin, Mike, or Bryan. I'm surprised that CtznCane is so positive that Mike V will be there, because Bryan has actually had more challenge wins to date than his brother.

Of course, there is an element of luck to this show, and sometimes chefs survive longer than they deserve to. Carla wasn't one of the three best chefs last year, but somehow she made it to the final (where she, predictably, flopped).

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I generally don't buy into the theory that the producers regularly manipulate the outcome. (The fine print on the TV screen indicates that the producers consult on the elimination decisions, so the key word there is "regularly".)

But to the extent they exert any influence, I strongly suspect they want Jennifer in the final, because otherwise it would be all guys—assuming, which I think is likely, that there's no f*&^ing way that Robin makes it that far. So I think the final is Jen plus two of Kevin, Mike, or Bryan. I'm surprised that CtznCane is so positive that Mike V will be there, because Bryan has actually had more challenge wins to date than his brother.

Of course, there is an element of luck to this show, and sometimes chefs survive longer than they deserve to. Carla wasn't one of the three best chefs last year, but somehow she made it to the final (where she, predictably, flopped).

I hate to think they would steer things that direction but perhaps they will. If she regains her composure her skills seem to give her a good shot at the finals. I think, while he hasn't won as many as his brother, that MikeV has been the stronger of the two the past few weeks. Bryan seems to be more exisiting recently as opposed to being in the forefront.

Perhaps Robin will have an inspired week next week but likely not then when it is down to 5 the real excitement will come. Certainly anyone can blow it, and in that regard, outside of Robin, Perhaps Mike V takes enough chances to have that happen to him. Sadly I missed the last season since we couldn't get bravo till we switched to dish here, but certainly there has been nowhere close to the strength of competition as there is this season. Outside of Robin, any one of the other 5 would have been a strong finalist in seasons past.

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 have too much faith in Tom C to believe that he would allow the producers to steer the results in that way.

Although she has been faltering, and could plausibly have been sent home this week or last week, I think the judges decisions in both cases were entirely defensible on merit grounds.

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based on looks alone I would have much rather eaten his dish.
I'm going to go with the judges who ate the dishes and choose the one with taste.

The V Bros., Mike especially, get annoyed when Kevin wins. So they've been plenty annoyed. The difference between how Michael describes Kevin's dish and Gail does tells the story. No, Michael, it wasn't what you would throw on a plate in 20 minutes. And when you feel like venting in front of the camera, try to remember that there are more people "behind it" than the guy (perhaps) egging you on.

I'm quite tired of the Mike I and Eli drama about Robin, so I'm counting on it being over in 2 weeks. Then, no doubt, it'll be, bring on the battle of the brothers. (Is there an emoticon for a happy TV producer's face?)

eta: And Eli, you made good food, be pleased about that. Grow up and quit your kvetching and kicking cause your bitch buddy went home. Finally.

Edited by hsm (log)
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I thought Mike V's bitchiness about Kevin's dish was really poor form, and it shows a complete lack of maturity. Is he suggesting that refined, well cooked food that uses traditional methods is always inferior to dishes cooked using cutting-edge techniques? Surely not. I thought he was too mature for that, and that his work for Jose Andres would have shown him that both approaches can yield equally delicious results. That seems to be the entire premise of the Bazaar, at which Mike V was Chef de Cuisine.

Speaking of Andres, the "tomato sashimi" element of Mike's plate looked very familiar.

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Speaking of Andres, the "tomato sashimi" element of Mike's plate looked very familiar.

Yeah, no lie ! I've seen him do that on "Made in Spain" on PBS here in the States, as well as on other shows he's guested on.

Michael V. took the new title of "Current Ass Hat" with his snarky comments about Kevin's dish. Get over yourself, already Michael. You got schooled.

My money's on Kevin taking it all. He's strong, and building strength as he goes. My heart just breaks for Jen, though. I hope she can pull it together.

I cheered when Mike I. got the boot ! He was just a pig. And speaking of that...

Was anyone else as offended as I was by Bartelotta's consistent reference to Jen and Robin as "the girls"? Ewwww. Women. The term is *women*.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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No more offended than if he called the *men* "the guys."

The producers dsiclaimer is there, it is said, so that a failure by the judges to pick a winner or a loser in a particular event can be resolved if necessary. It probably came into play in episodes where no one was sent home, like when the refrigerator was left open which I think happened to last season's group.

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Thankfully, a few glimpses of brilliance emerged. Eli’s smoky eggplant and perfectly firm, flavorful lentils did show a significant amount of skill. And although it took some getting used to, I will never forget the playful sweetness and creamy, bold texture of Michael’s banana polenta. As I write this I am still in awe that he chose to make it—and that we all could not get enough. But it was Kevin’s Duo of Mushrooms, Smoked Kale, Candied Garlic & Turnip Puree that saved us. As much as Michael would like to believe it was thrown together in an amateur way, this dish was far from simple. The bright taste and integrity of each individual vegetable was apparent with each bite. What’s more, they all made perfect sense when eaten as one harmonious creation. Cooking vegetables this way is no easy task. It was decadent and robust, and exactly as Kevin had promised in his description.

I don't know how to link things here but this is from Gail Simmons blog.

It's like they say, conceit affects everyone but the one who has it. When I think Mike V can't get any worse he does. Yes, I'm partial to Kevin because I too am a huge pork fan, I like his attitude, and while a native Californian I now live in the South (by choice.) Kevin, by aa good margin, has been at the top more than anybody thusfar. You'd think maybe Mike V would get the clue, hint, hint, Kevin's food tastes better! I'm impressed by Mike V's techniques and combinations as well as the stunning presentations, but to me his personality just sours everything. Granted it's about taste not personalities, but fact is Kevin's food has tasted better than the V boys. Like TC said, Mike V's is not as soulful and soul, which Kevin has, shows and is magnified in Kevin's flavors.

I think Robin's charmed run is about to come to an end. How I'd love though to see Mike V screw up and go home. I doubt that will happen though they tried to plant that seed of doubt in the promo for next week.

I must say, from early on I thought the final 3 would be Kevin, Mike V, and Jen. Now it seems Jen is folding. In the beginning she showed a great deal of confidence and ability to handle the pressure, now more than anything it is the pressure she just can't seem to handle. In earlier episodes it was just saying she was behind but perhaps that was a harbinger of what we're seeing now.

Now it seems like Kevin, Mike V and either Eli or Brian. For all that she lacks skill wise Robin at least doesn't seem to be/get panicked, scattered, but not panicked.

Mike I drew most peoples ire for his attitude from early on yet he had shown skills. It did seem like the last couple of shows he just mailed it in, and like TC said, felt he was safe as long as Robin was around.

It won't happen but I'd sure love to see Mike V get in Kevin's face, he may be jolly but I think he could put MV in his place.

I can't see Eli in the top 3. My bet is Kevin, Mike and Bryan

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Speaking of Andres, the "tomato sashimi" element of Mike's plate looked very familiar.

Yeah, no lie ! I've seen him do that on "Made in Spain" on PBS here in the States, as well as on other shows he's guested on.

Michael V. took the new title of "Current Ass Hat" with his snarky comments about Kevin's dish. Get over yourself, already Michael. You got schooled.

My money's on Kevin taking it all. He's strong, and building strength as he goes. My heart just breaks for Jen, though. I hope she can pull it together.

I cheered when Mike I. got the boot ! He was just a pig. And speaking of that...

Was anyone else as offended as I was by Bartelotta's consistent reference to Jen and Robin as "the girls"? Ewwww. Women. The term is *women*.

Don't forget his remark about Bryan's part of the dish that didn't get on the plate - it was oily anyway!

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I am hoping that Mike V doesn't make the final three. Would really like to see Jen get her groove back but she definitely stresses out too much. If I had to pick the winner at this stage, my vote would be on Kevin. Good food is good food, no matter how it is made.

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Would really like to see Jen get her groove back but she definitely stresses out too much.

I'm getting a little tired of her beating herself up. It seems like everything she says starts with, "I wasn't happy with.." or , "I didn't like..." I wish she'd just relax and cook.

John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

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As much as I like jen I feel like sometimes she seems a little one note, and like john b said, she just needs to relax or I don't think she will make it. She's been showing how much she can trip up when she looses her cool, and with that I don't think she'll make it.

I think I'm going against the trend, and really hoping mike V makes it to the end. I think he's shown he's talented, and while a lot of people seem to be quick on jumping onto the hate train, he has shown he can make food that tastes good, and he is extremely creative. So what if he has a bit of an ego? most chefs do. I think some of the times he's been an 'ass' to some of the others it's been called for, and unless you've been in a professional kitchen you think it's horrible, and personally I see it as not completely understanding life in a kitchen like that - often times it takes someone to be very firm to get the job done - I think he showed that in the restaurant wars challenge, and they took it home. Comments, like the one against Kevin.... a bit much, but the judges did say they really enjoyed the dish and everyone is acting like kevin put out someone great and mike put out ass, which isn't the case at all. And his comment to his brother about the items that didn't make it to the plate - honestly I think he meant it as a good thing, meaning it was good bryan didn't get them plated as they were oily. Maybe his tone just makes him seem angry all the time? I don't know if he will edge of out his brother, both are extremely talented, but I almost want to say between the two of them I think it will come down to who can keep their cool.

I love Kevin. Personally, I think he is the man to beat, as i'm sure everyone else will agree, he's been the toughest one and I think it will stay that way.

Eli, I think, stands a decent chance. For the most part he is consistant, and all it takes is a good slip-up from someone else to get him a spot in the end. Or I might just be a little biased since he was chef blais' sous for a number of years and he was one of my favorites lol Either way, I wouldn't count him out. Maybe he hasn't won much so far, but consistency can go a long way if the others are up and down.

Edited by MattyC (log)

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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I'll give Mike V. the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's not so much that he hates for someone else to win, it's more a matter of hating for himself to lose. I'm the same way to an extent. I will congratulate you for winning and keep my snarky thoughts to myself but I may think them depending on the situation. He just thought them into the camera.

I can also understand where Jennifer is coming from. I'm frequently accused of being a perfectionist or, from close friends who don't feel the need to pad it for me, "a picky bastard". Since perfection is impossible (and I'm not even close to the high end of that curve), that leaves a lot of room for being less than happy with results. The attitude difference between me and Jennifer (or the Jennifer they show us on tv anyway) is that I don't usually get flustered or pouty when it doesn't go to plan, I get grumpy. Which brings us back to the brothers V.

Disclaimer: No, I'm not comparing myself to any of them. They're much higher up the culinary ladder than I am (and ever will be at my age). I just understand the emotion they're showing and don't think it's all for the benefit of the camera. When you aim high, it's a long way to fall if you miss. Sometimes the landing hurts.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Wouldn't any fried vegetable, sitting on the counter for an hour or more, become oily even if it was perfectly crisp at service?

Early in the series I thought Kevin wouldn't fare well. Between appearance and demeanor he just didn't strike me as a top chef. Maybe the lack of swagger, maybe the heavy beard - who knows what forms first impressions. I thought he was one of the people the producers figured would go home early.

So much for my instant judgments. Kevin is all about flavor and classic technique. He just keeps winning challenges. I'm guessing that right about now in the series he has the V. brothers frustrated and a bit intimidated.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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You gotta love it when a Cheftestant calls a raw slice of tomato "sashimi" and then watches with anticipation as the diner's ooh and aah over this earth-shattering culinary technique for putting vegetables on a plate. Thankfully the judges on Top Chef are smart enough to look beyond these gimmicky, trendy menu descriptions and focus on the flavors of a dish.

Kevin demonstrated his skill through bringing out the natural flavors and textures of the mushrooms and kale without relying on the often silly types of techniques I described above. And the results prove it.

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