Trouble With Toast

Top Chef Las Vegas, Episode 2 | August 31, 2009

Seriously, I am STILL wondering how an episode this lame made me yell at my TV so much.  I can’t wait till we weed out a few more of the “peripherals” (a term coined by my wedding photographer, in reference to my extended family), so the REAL competition can start.  Anywho…

The quickfire, I’m told, involved a craps table and using the same number of ingredients that the chefs rolled on the dice.  I admit, though, I wasn’t paying too much attention because I was TOTALLY distracted by Todd English.  Not because he’s “pretty hot,” as that girl who works for my boyfriend Eric Ripert so eloquently said, but because I was adding up in my head the cost of all the Botox he must have had.  I mean, Chef English WAS, at one point, a handsome man.  But it was hard to judge his reactions to the quickfire dishes due to his inability to make more than one facial expression.  At the end of the challenge, Mike V. reigns supreme with his nitro gazpacho and wins both immunity AND a $15,000 chip.

The elimination challenge centers around the storied bachelor/bachelorette party tradition in Vegas.  The challenge pits the women against the men in a battle of the sexes, with the female chefs cooking for the bachelor party and the male chefs cooking for the bachelorette party.  Various (female) chefs complain about the challenge; the girl who works for my boyfriend Eric Ripert bitches that it shouldn’t matter whether you’re a boy or a girl, and that a good chef is a good chef, period.  Androgynous Ashley whines that she doesn’t like the challenge because she’s gay and she can’t legally get married.  Listen, lady, I’m all in favor of marriage equality, but COME ON.  Have you ever watched Top Chef?  Helloooo, the show is in Vegas this season–how could you possibly think that a wedding-themed challenge WASN’T gonna happen?  I sure hope you’ve never cooked for a wedding or engagement function before, you giant hypocrite with your conveniently timed principles.  Ugh.

Moving on…the food that the chefs will prepare must pair with the happy couple’s favorite shots, only one of which (straight tequila) I’ve ever heard of.  With the exception of the tequila, they look and sound sickening.  After meeting briefly with the bachelor and bachelorette, the teams head to Whole Foods to gather ingredients.  There appear to be many ceviches in the works (yawn).  Ashley bitches some more about why she hates the challenge.  She also makes the incredibly boneheaded decision to make two dishes, the second of which is a dessert.  Again, I ask–have you ever WATCHED this show???  Dessert is like a death knell in these here parts.

Time for the party–which I assumed would be two separate shindigs in two different locations, with at least one of those locations centering around nudity.  Instead, we witness the most awkward. Bachelor(ette) party. EVER.  It is literally the men AND women, hanging out on opposite sides of the same hotel pool.  With no strippers.  Well, unless you count the male chefs who jump in shirtless at the end.  I mean, I’m getting married this week, and I can promise you that my fiance WILL be looking at naked boobs before we walk down the aisle, and I will be nowhere in the vicinity when that happens.  Vegas, how could you stand for such a craptastic set of parties being held in your name???

On to the food.  It’s hard to tell which team has the edge, because there seem to be some stinkers on both sides.  The judges don’t take kindly to Eve’s tasteless shrimp, Preeti’s wilted shiso, Ashley’s panna cotta (her second dish), and lip-piercing girl’s lettuce cup.  However, they’re also unimpressed with kerchief boy’s bouillabaisse, Ron’s non-spicy habanero whatever, and sexist pig’s arctic char.  The good news?  Atlanta gets some love, thanks to Kevin’s almond soup and Hector’s tofu ceviche.  But not as much love as the Voltaggio brothers get for their Golden Delicious sorbet with goat cheese cookie (Mike) and “chips and guacamole” meringue creation (Bryan).  I truly cannot remember what the judges really liked on the ladies’ side, which is when I figured out that the men were going to emerge victorious.  Indeed, Bryan wins the elimination challenge (and gets nothing, consequently).

Ashley, Preeti, lip-piercing girl, and Eve are the bottom four.  Ashley is told that she should have made ONE great dish, and they tell her that if she had stuck to her watermelon carpaccio, she wouldn’t be facing the judges.  Preeti is called out on her presentation, and she basically says that she did the best she could.  Eve is hammered AGAIN for her bad shrimp, and she seriously looks like a deer caught in headlights.  Lip-piercing girl seems to understand what she did wrong, but cries anyway.  Predictably, Eve is sent packin’, and she mumbles in her annoying Minnesota accent something about being herself.  Yawn.

Hope next week is more interesting…thoughts?



  1. The lip piercing girl has to go! She bothers me. I did think having your food sit out in the hot sun was tough. Fancast actually hosts a live chat with the booted chef every Thursday. Check it out-

    Comment by meg4fancast — August 31, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

  2. I hope you know I was one of those waiting with baited breath for your humerous and truthful recap of the show. You can always put my thoughts into words and make me laugh!!

    Comment by Mom — August 31, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

  3. Yeah, when Eve was eliminated, she said something like, “I guess the judges didn’t understand what I was trying to do.” Um, no, I think your conception was within their grasp, Eve.

    Anyway, Todd English has previously claimed that he doesn’t use Botox. On the other hand, this interview was several years ago.

    Comment by Barzelay — August 31, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  4. Meg: She doesn’t bother me as much as some of the others, but she needs to get her game face on and stop crying! 😉

    Mom: Thanks! Wish I could stay up late enough to watch the show at its regular time and get the recap out sooner.

    Barzelay: I laughed out loud at that comment from Eve. And Chef English can CLAIM all he wants…that man has had work done.

    Comment by bettyjoan — September 5, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

  5. Did you say Eric Ripert was your boyfriend? Are you a guy?

    Comment by DocWho? — December 4, 2009 @ 1:19 am

  6. DocWho, no, I am not a guy. Just a gal who harbors a not-so-secret crush on Eric Ripert.

    Comment by bettyjoan — December 4, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

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