Thursday, August 27, 2009

Top Chef Las Vegas Episode 2 Recap

Welcome once again to fabulous Las Vegas, vacation destination to lots of fat tourists in ugly shorts! This week's episode starts off in the chefs' digs at the M Resort & Spa where they are brushing their teeth, comparing tattoos, and disinfecting their various piercings. Eventually they get their asses in gear, put on their ugly shorts, and head to the hallowed Top Chef kitchen where they find Padma and this week's guest chef, Todd English, a man possibly more well-known for his good looks than for his cuisine.

In addition to Chef English, Padma is also accompanied by a "big-ass craps table." (Thank you, Kevin. Let's hope it's not wearing shorts.) Padma wastes no time in giving the cheftestants their Quickfire Challenge. Duh! They're going to play craps!

In the "Roll With It" Quickfire (a.k.a the Steve Winwood challenge) the chefs must create a dish using the number of ingredients that comes up on their roll of the dice.

The chefs get rolling. Some ruminate on the ideal number of ingredients they'd like to be able to use. Or not.

For the most part, it seems the cheftestants roll 8s (Jesse, above, rolls a 9). But we only get to see what 11 of the 16 roll. The rest apparently aren't important enough to show in an episode that's merely an hour long.

Speaking of time, they get half an hour to create their dishes.

Will this competition ultimately become a battle of the Voltaggio brothers?

Padma and Todd taste everyone's wares and decide that Jesse, Eve, and Bryan were the least yummy. Jen, Kevin, and Mike V. made the best dishes. And just to piss off Bryan, Todd chooses brother Mike's Gazpacho from Space as the winner of the $15K chip.

You know there was some noogie action going down afterward. Maybe even a wet willie or two.

Next: the Elimination Challenge!

C'mon. Doesn't he look like a cuddly version of something out of Lord of the Rings?

For this contest, there will be two teams - boys against girls. A"battle of the sexes," if you will. Honestly, it can't be as entertaining as a Battle of the Network Stars, can it?

The boys' team has to cook for the bachelorette and the girls' team has to cook for the bachelor. The happy couple, Karen and Greg, arrive bearing trays of shots. They want the party food to match with these drinks - Moscow Mules, tequila, and something called a "Golden Delicious," which Ash describes as "sweet, gooey, and disgusting."

Sounds dirty, at least the "gooey" and "disgusting" parts.

After a mere 10 minutes of planning, the cheftestants head to Whole Foods to spend $800 per team in 30 minutes. Back at the kitchens, they have two hours to prep.

Meanwhile, Ashley has a problem with the challenge.

Preeti, the obviously less-politically-minded lesbian in the competition, doesn't let it affect her.

Thirteen years! Although she looks about 13 years old, Preeti is actually 33. seems that most of the chefs are making ceviche. Like Eve:

...and Hector:

Jennifer is making ceviche again too.

Sigh. It's kinda like pronouncing "tortilla" to rhyme with "Godzilla."

The Voltaggio brothers don't do ceviche, regardless of how it's pronounced. Both decide on the unconventional - for Mike, an apple sorbet with a goat cheese cracker to match with the Golden Delicious shot...

...and for Bryan, meringues stuffed with...guacamole. Oh man, I'm envisioning Mike on top again, and brother Bryan at the bottom.

Oh God, you sick people...get your minds out of the gutter! They're brothers!

The next day, the chefs get one hour to set up in a large pool-side cabana. It's sunny and hot and personally I'm worried about all that suh veech raw fish.

Soon enough, the guests arrive - hot girls and guys. Hot and probably sweaty too.

They hit the girls' table first.

They didn't like Eve's shrimp ceviche, but they thought Jen's octopus suhveech was tasty. Robin's molé was nice, as was Laurine's lamb chop. Jesse's lettuce cup had too much going on and didn't seem to work well enough with the Moscow Mule. Preeti's fish was overcured and not professionally-done. Plus her shiso had wilted in the heat. Ashley's watermelon dish was good but the bay leaf panna cotta she made to satisfy the bachelor's sweet tooth didn't set up properly.

Then it was the boys' turn... act like asses.

Kevin's dish was delicious and lovely. Mike V.'s goat cheese and apple dish was so good it was called "ridiculous." Hector's ceviche, made with tofu (!), got high marks. Ron's lobster was flavorless. Mike I.'s char was flabby and flat and didn't match well with tequila. Plus, he's a douche. Bryan's meringue with guac was suprisingly very good, a nice riff on chips and salsa. Eli's tartare (no ceviche for this boy!) matched well with the Moscow Mule. Mattin's croquette and bouillabaisse weren't good. And Todd deemed Ash's chicken wing something he could "eat all day."

Overall, both the bachelor and bachelorette seemed happy with the food.

Time for the fake-out scene!

Back at the Glad Family of Products Stew and Booze Room, the cheftestants wait for the verdict.

Padma comes in and calls for Hector, Eli, and both Voltaggio boys. They made the favorite dishes of the day. Team Boy wins! Although the tofu ceviche was intriguing, it was a toss-up between the Brothers V. They decide to give it to Bryan for his unusual dish.

Back in the Booze Room, Eli tells Eve, Jesse, Preeti, and Ashley they're on the chopping block. They hang their heads and go out to face the firing squad.

Poor Jesse cries as they tear apart her dish.

Eve's salsa was too strong but her shrimp were tasteless. Preeti's tuna was overcured, a surprise to her because she was proud of her dish. Ashley used too much bay in her panna cotta, giving it an unpleasant tannic flavor.

Overall though, Eve's mistakes were deemed the biggest, and she was sent packing.

Next week: Still too many damn chefs to keep track of!


bernal_vernal said...

Was I the only person who heard one of the contestants say something about putting their food in Gladware? Shameless plug?

theminx said...

I think Mike V. was the one who urged everyone to get their food into the Gladware.

Anonymous said...

Missed the show but your recap was fun and love the photo captions.
Speaking of product placement....while this show was filmed a while ago, I think Bravo should start cutting the Whole Foods promotions given the health care comments of it's about a douchbag!!! Will always boycott Whole Foods and hope everyone else does....if for no other reason than to honor the "life's work" of Sen. Edward Kennedy.
LB anon

David Dust said...

OMG - That guy with the beard IS from Lord of the Rings! He looks like he's related to Gimli the Dwarf.

Great recap - thanks for sharing it with the Dust Bunnies!


Jimmy said...

Glad to see Eve, and her Michigan accent, go away.

the dogs' mother said...

Booze in the hot sun, in the mid-day by a pool. AK!
Great recap!

Kailyn said...

If I have to hear Jennifer mangle the word ceviche again, I may be tempted to hurl things at the TV.

Anonymous said...

I dare Bravo to send a losing "team" home! I wanted them all gone! Then maybe we can see ALL of the dishes frojm ALL of the contestants and not just a is an hour show, come on!
Thanks for the great and funny made the nasty voices ranting about last nights show go away and I appreciate that.
So does my husband.
And the dog. The dog too. He has to hang out with me all day and he likes me to be happy...gets him more treats....

Tivo Mom said...

I loved the whole thing. Eve just looked so clueless the entire time. Nice to see her gone. Thanks for the smile.

Anonymous said...

Man your recap cracks me up. I'm a officially fan.

SailorAlphaCentauri said...

I really enjoyed this recap, especially since I haven't watched the show because I'm too busy to watch *sigh*. The talk bubbles are always a favorite of mine, but the Steve Winwood reference really made my day.

SailorAlphaCentauri said...

And I almost forgot, the whole ceviche thing: Just reading how she mispronounces it was like nails on a chalkboard. [Hmm, I wonder if I can use that in my master's thesis...]

Cliff O'Neill said...

Of course, I was all about the Steve Winwood reference, too. But I was thinking of linking it to an iTunes link and I got lazy.

Plus, I thought, considering the locale, it would be more appropriately the Steve Wynn-wood challenge. ;-)

PaulaG said...

I think "Eve" was really Mary Kay Letourneau.

eric3000 said...

Hilarious! Sorry I'm so late reading these!