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Chris Hennes

Top Chef: Season 6 – Las Vegas

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I kinda wished Michael had gotten the boot.

Not me -- Zaytinya is one of my favorite restaurants in the country. I wish he'd talk to his publicist, turn down the "character," and focus on cranking out quality food. That shrimp Greek salad thing was only slightly less bizarre than the pasta salad.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I was worried the challenge was going to be really stupid like creating gourmet meals out of MRE's or something cheesy.

I'm so glad Michael schooled me on risotto. Maybe he should have auditioned for The Next Food Network Star. :wink:

I also found it interesting that it was Michael's idea to pair up with each pair making one dish, then he went off and made his own dish. Then he wanted to take credit for his own dish when he was in the winner's group but as soon as he was in the loser's group, it was a team effort.

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Forgive me but I'm still stuck on Cheftestant Jesse's lip piercings. For some odd reason I keep envisioning undercooked chicken and unsanitary lip piercings. Ugh.

Once I get beyond that phobia I'll get back on track with critiquing the chefs. My early season favorites to get far in the competition are Kevin, Jennifer and Bryan with Eli and Robyn as my darkhorse candidates. Bryan has the technique down, but doesn't seem to show what I would call the "WOW" factor so far. Pretty plates, tasty food, nothing overly memorable. It's like eating at a dining room in a Four Season's Hotel. You know the food will be good, it's expensive and it looks nice on the plate, but was it really a memorable dish?

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kvetch

I know, I now, just another ypo


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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Is it just me or has Jennifer not shown very much range in what she has cooked. Pretty much all of her dishes have been lightly cooked/ceviche fish dishes. I know she has worked with Ripert for a long time, but even he has some meat dishes as additions to the LeB menu. She could be a great fish chef but isn't this the equivalent of Top Scallop from last season?

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Is it just me or has Jennifer not shown very much range in what she has cooked. Pretty much all of her dishes have been lightly cooked/ceviche fish dishes. I know she has worked with Ripert for a long time, but even he has some meat dishes as additions to the LeB menu. She could be a great fish chef but isn't this the equivalent of Top Scallop from last season?

Yes, this is totally true. And,although I think she is talented, you can't win TC by cooking fish alone!

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Yes, this is totally true. And,although I think she is talented, you can't win TC by cooking fish alone!

If she doesn't mix it up soon, she's going to be a one trick pony.

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I would imagine that Jennifer is sticking with her "safe" dishes to get her into at least the middle rounds of the competition (i.e., cooking the dishes she knows best and is most comfortable with...cooking for Ripert that means seafood). Once she's built up some "capital" with the judges I would image we'll see her branch out a bit.


-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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I would imagine that Jennifer is sticking with her "safe" dishes to get her into at least the middle rounds of the competition (i.e., cooking the dishes she knows best and is most comfortable with...cooking for Ripert that means seafood). Once she's built up some "capital" with the judges I would image we'll see her branch out a bit.

I hope so as I would agree she is really talented. Although, I respect Michael V a lot for putting it on the line this early and really doing some interesting dishes like the Gazpacho and braised bacon early in this competition.

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I too was hoping Micheal would go home. But I have to admit that pasta salad with the sun dried tomatoes was everyday food in my house, not TC quality.


"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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If in the history of TC there has been a less interesting, more pathetic dish than that pasta salad, I don't know what it is.

This had me racking my brains... I know there have been worse dishes. There have been poorly conceived mismatches of flavour, train wrecks that screamed "POOR DECISION. There have been woefully cooked amateurish dishes. However, I think pasta salad is the least interesting and least imaginative though. Maybe they should get some kind of prize.

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If in the history of TC there has been a less interesting, more pathetic dish than that pasta salad, I don't know what it is.

Sam's blue cheese and watermelon salad comes to mind. But yeah pasta salad screams block party or potluck.

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Sam's blue cheese and watermelon salad comes to mind. But yeah pasta salad screams block party or potluck.

But at least that blue cheese and watermelon salad was disgusting and weird. My roommate and I could have made a better pasta salad for a back yard barbeque in under thirty minutes out of the ingredients in our pantry. It was just so very... SAD. So, so sad. Who goes on a competition like Top Chef and makes backyard pantry pasta salad? Who? Maybe she had never seen the show? Who knows.


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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If she doesn't mix it up soon, she's going to be a one trick pony.

True enough that it's been all seafood so far for her but there's a lot of seafood out there to work with without being repetitive. If she was doing a repeat of "Top Scallop" I might agree but she's done a relatively diverse selection with no primary ingredient repeats and only one preparation repeat (and, from reading the recipes, the two ceviches have very different flavor profiles)...

Ep. 1:

- Clam Ceviche with Citron Vinegar

- Poached Halibut in Whiskey, Bourbon and Scotch Sauce

Ep. 2:

- Salmon with Lemon, Garlic, Shallot, Parsley and Jalapeno Emulsion

- Octopus Ceviche with Citrus Viniagrette

Ep. 3:

- Steamed Mussels, Yukon Gold and Blue Potatoes with Lemongrass Potato Sauce

She's definitely in my top 3 but I want to see a couple more episodes before I pick an order among those three. I don't see them going anywhere before then.


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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HA! The French chef ends up in the bottom of the French challenge! And Mattin LIED about the asparagus! I hate when they do that because dude everything is on film!

I almost felt bad for Ashley but I don't like her enough.

Great episode and I'd be nervous as heck cooking for that crowd!

If there's another season of Top Chef Masters I'd like to see Robuchon and Boulud compete. I know it will never happen but a girl can dream. :smile:

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Sacre Bleu! The French chef tanks in a French culinary challenge, both in the quickfire AND the elimination challenges! Mon Dieu!

Glad to see the Voltagglia Brothers franchise is still doing well - both brothers in the top 2. It's hard to discern a winner, but I'm still thinking the gnome-like Kevin Gillespie, Jennifer and Michael V. are the ones to watch.

Poor Ashley! She's a better cook, I think, than her most recent challenges indicate, but she seems to be coming apart at the seams a bit. Hope she pulls it together. I agree with her - had I been required to cook for these french heavyweights - especially Robuchon - I'd want to throw up, too.

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This has been a fantastic season. Tom said that no other season could've executed that meal at that point, and I think he is right. It seems as through Bravo listened to the complaints, and really went out there and found some of the next best chefs.

Of course, the lesser chefs are falling by the wayside, but there is a clear division between the contenders, almost-contenders, and nice-to-know-yous. Can you imagine Spike doing well in that challenge? Hector was the first one that I felt badly for, because I think a challenge such as that truly favors the professionally-trained chef. Still, a tenderloin needs to be cooked correctly, and it was really a no-brainer.

And I love that they are focusing on things such as snails, or the classics, or modern techniques -- things that really intrigue me as a home cook that I want to learn more about.

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Loved the way Robuchon would make some banal comment ("this is very good") and Gail would react as God himself had just whispered in her ear.

Then again, maybe it was the editing. Or maybe Gail was just straining to follow his French.


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

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

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Loved the way Robuchon would make some banal comment ("this is very good") and Gail would react as God himself had just whispered in her ear.

Then again, maybe it was the editing. Or maybe Gail was just straining to follow his French.

Check her blog -- she was quite excited to be in that room.

Tom loved Kevin's bacon jam so much that he immediately stole the idea and use it (per his blog).

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Or maybe Gail actually speaks some French? I know she's Canadian, but I think she's of the English-speaking folk, not the Quebecois - still, it's possible that Gail might actually understand French? C'est possible . . .

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One thing has been bugging me for a while - and not just on this season - everyone seems to describe theor dish with the phrase "a little". As in, I took a little Artic Char and paired it with a little blah blah blah... "A little" is the current "like" or "dude". Drives me nuts... :wacko:

Thanks for putting this in my head. I almost couldn't watch last night. If "a little" was tied to a TC drinking game, I'd be dead of alcohol poisoning.

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Or maybe Gail actually speaks some French? I know she's Canadian, but I think she's of the English-speaking folk, not the Quebecois - still, it's possible that Gail might actually understand French? C'est possible . . .

I am pretty sure that Gail understands French, at least enough to follow what Robuchon was saying. I think Colicchio does too.

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I think this challenge really demonstrated how far ahead Jen, Michael I, Michael V & Bryan (and possibly Kevin) are ahead of the rest of the field. Did anyone notice that Bryan was just casually making some freaking Pommes Souffle as a garnish for the trout. That's not something you see every day.


PS: I am a guy.

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I agree -- and I'd definitely include Kevin. I was going to comment on the pommes souffle as well; you could see Michael flipping out that Bryan was calmly plating them at the absolute last moment. Meanwhile, one contestant can't sauce his protein while another couldn't cook or slice it.

Those blatant, embarrassing errors suggest to me that the lines between the two groups not only have to do with skill and creativity but also with execution under pressure. I'm certain my hands would be shaking like a loose muffler pipe if I were slicing beef for that table, and if I tried to fry puffs of potato a la minute for 'em I'd have fingertips souffle....


Edited by Chris Amirault clarification (log)

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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