Liveblogging Top Chef Vegas: Episode 8

topchef2What I’ve got on tonight from the end of last week’s liveblog: “A big event. Fancy guest judges. Everyone still hates Robin.” So that’s helpful.

Here’s to hoping Top Chef livens up the joint a little, it’s like a ghost town around here.

Glee just made me tear up a little bit and yes, I am slightly ashamed.

(FYI, my proofreader is out partying it up, so excuse any mangled English you may encounter.)

10:00: AT STAKE FOR THE WINNER: You too could become like Ilan Hall! Get in line!

10:01: Brother M. compares himself to Babe Ruth, while Not Jonah Hill talked to his mom on the phone. Because he lives with his parents, and that is COOL. COOL, DO YOU HEAR? Don’t judge him, because he is cooler than you AND pays no rent, you mortgage-carrying sucker.

10:03: Guest judge – Charlie Palmer. Charlie, I love your cookbook! Call me! Consider getting rid of that creepy moustache!

QUICKFIRE: Create a dish incorporating snack foods. Alexia snacks, specifically, because this is, of course, the Alexia Quickfire Challenge.

This comment has been brought to you by My Glass of Ice Water. It’s the My Glass of Ice Water comment.

10:06: NJH is not only cool, he went to culinary school, unlike all the hacks around him who don’t understand how flavors go together.

Oh, wait.

10:07: Padma’s got a great big belt on, and when I first looked up I thought she was all wrapped up like a surprise Lexus on Christmas morning. In a commercial. Because that doesn’t actually happen to real people.

10:09: Weed is going all fanboy over Charlie Palmer. It would be cute, if it were someone else.

I gotta say, the snack foods are not really the star of these dishes. I kinda miss the days someone could puree a snickers bar and stick it on the end of a Cheet-o. Not that that won, but it was ballsy in a dumb-ass stoner kind of way.

10:10: Top three – NJH, Brother Brian and Beardie.

NJH takes it. But don’t worry, I’m sure it’s not going to go to his head.

10:13: Commercials. You know, I think Mariah Carey might actually come off as dumber than Jessica Simpson in that Macy’s commercial. JSimp is at least engaged with chucking a submarine roll at Tommy Hilfiger’s head – not an inappropriate reaction to being faced with Tommy Hilfiger – but Carey is just playing with her wineglass like some kind of autistic savant.

10:14: ELIMINATION CHALLENGE: Pig challenge! Charlie Palmer once shot a wild boar outside his house. Then he wrestled a second boar to the ground and killed it with his bare hands, and he creeped a third to death with his ‘stache.

Everyone’s got a different part of the pig, and they’ve gotta make something to pair with Pinot Noir for a special event.

10:17: Off to Charlie’s restaurant for a Pinot tasting. There’s a glass-enclosed wine tower where “wine angels” in skintight black clothing fly around on wires fetching your bottle.


NJH knows his wine because there are 110 wines available by the glass at his restaurant, and because his parents let him drink wine at home.

10:20: I don’t dislike Robin, I don’t, but damn she talks a LOT. Montage of people studiously trying to ignore her.

Studious ignoring giving way to sniping. Who’s the only diplomatic one? Beardie. I think I’ve finally settled on my horse in this race; I’ll take Shiv for 2nd place and one of the brothers for 3rd. I know I should pick one, but I find them interchangeable.

10:22: NJH to Robin: “YOU’RE NOT MY MOM.” Which totally comes off as bad-ass, and not at all “whiny baby.”

10:26: Commercials. Raise your hand if you actually watch Million Dollar Listing. Is your hand up? You need a new hobby.

10:27: SuperSizeMe is taking advice from Weed. It seems to not occur to him that Weed might be throwing him under the bus. Not that I have any evidence of that; I just assume the worst. You know, because he’s a jackass.

10:29: Giant slabs of pork belly are terrifying.

NJH and Shiv both have the belly, but his dish is “heartier” and “more creative” than hers. He can say that with total confidence, because Shiv hasn’t shown herself to be much of a force in this competition.

10:30: Outright brother sniping. I think one of them is going to slice the other with the sharp edge of a plastic wrap box. No, really. They’re coming off as almost as little-boy snotty as NJH…but not quite.

Weed will not accept anything less than the finals, because we all know that second place is just first loser. (“Hell, son, I was drunk when I said that.”)

10:32: Brother Michael braised pork cheeks in root beer. Palmer and his ‘stache dig it.

You know, it’s half creepy, half Jeeves. I’m trying to keep the Jeeves front of mind when I have to look at it.

10:34: Huh, Palmer doesn’t think that NJH did a great job with the wine pairing. I bet his mom would stick up for him.

Beardie is THE CUTEST. He made a pate, and used hazelnuts because he’s been to the winery and knows that hazelnut trees grow there. I don’t know why that should make me love him more, but it does.

10:36: My TV just froze so I have no idea what Shiv did, but they like it.

Mousy made rillettes, which Dana Cowin from Food & Wine just compared to catfood. A witty event attendee pipes in with “it’s not a party in my mouth.” I’m laughing on the inside.

10:39: I’m a little pissy that Weed made kibbe, because I love kibbe to the same degree that I hate Weed. I guess I can take a little comfort in the fact that he totally mangled the pronunciation of that simple, simple world.

My hatred of Weed makes logical thinking fly out the window, and I can do nothing but loathe and take joy in less-than-stellar performance. I’m not proud, but I can’t deny what is.

Writing about it also keeps me from having to watch the Prius commercials where the grass is made of people. IT’S MADE OF PEOPLE. Creepy.

10:43: JUDGE’S TABLE: Shiv, Beardie and the Brothers are in the top.

Somehow, bringing out the “hairy” notes of a wine is a good thing. Maybe this is a stupid thing said by a non-wine person, but wouldn’t you want to keep hair flavors out of your wine in the first place?

10:45: WINNER: Beardie! He “dove deep into the wine.” Not literally, because he’s a big dude. He does not bring shame upon his pig tattoo.

10:46: Losers: Robin, Mousy and SuperSizeMe.

In the stew room, they’re being asswipes about Robin. Yes, she’s irritating, but you don’t get sent home just for being irritating. Weed calls her “grandma” again, and I momentarily lose sight of the screen as the white haze of hate obscures my vision.

10:49: I can’t tell if Tom Colicchio is genuinely amused by Toby Young, or if he’s giving him the old nod-and-smile. Like I am.

10:53: Pointless interlude. Pointless rehash of NJH and Robin. Somehow, he thinks that bringing up the “not my mom” comment will make him sound cool. Then everyone teases him for flirting with Robin, because they’re all 11 years old, and he totally can’t take it. He never had to develop a thick skin, because, you know, his mom is usually around to take care of the meanies.

10:57: Knifing time. SuperSizeMe has no confidence, Mousy made pet food, and Robin didn’t give enough pig, god only knows how.

10:58: SuperSizeMe is out. I don’t know that I agree with that one, but there you go.

NEXT WEEK: Restaurant / Brother Wars. And people still hate Robin.

42 thoughts on “Liveblogging Top Chef Vegas: Episode 8

  1. 1. No shame in that game. Anything as funny as Glee that can also make you cry is pure genius (and maybe I’ve done the same before…)

    2. He lives with…his parents? Really? I sort of liked him until then.

  2. There is NOTHING wrong from tearing up from that Glee episode. That show rocks, and is a nice balance of seriously, emotional shit with the fun musical factor.

    Charlie Palmer’s stache is creeping me out too.

    Maybe I’m weird, but I wasn’t expecting people to just serve chips with their food. I guess I was expecting it more involved in the cooking – breading, etc.

  3. Damn you all. I was taking a chicken out of the oven and missed the mom comment. So I had to start from the beginning to find it. So now i’m a few minutes behind.

  4. Ok, seriously, Ash… Stop trying to be “nice” and yet not. You know you want to win, you don’t have to kiss everyone’s ass simultaneously.

  5. “NJH knows his wine, because there are 110 wines available by the glass at his restaurant, and because his parents let him drink wine at home.”

    I fucking love you.

    Dude, it’s crazy obvious Eli is an annoying little mama’s boy because he acts like a child with the Robin situation.

  6. His parents may let him drink at home, but they still secretly water down his wine stash when he’s working…cuz he lives with his parents…and let’s be honest, probably occasionally hears them having sex.

    I’m just saying.

  7. Either some scenes involving Robin axe murdering a fellow contestant’s kittens have been edited out, or else most of the guys in that house are jerks who need to find something better to do than make fun of her. So she talks too much. Point it out to her, ask her politely to shut up, and move on. There have been far more offensive contestants on this show in the past, but this particular house of frat boys seem to think Robin is pure evil.

  8. Oh Weed, does this Arab American who grew up with Greek ‘family’ have to school you? It’s not “keeee-beh”, it’s “ki-beh”. Douchebag-maximus.

  9. Is Robin really so clueless that she thinks the young people are forming a clique that excludes the old people? YOU ARE ANNOYING, Robin. To people of many ages. Ain’t no ageism happening here.

  10. Its very difficult to get people like Robin to shut up in a polite way. Personally I make it a mission to avoid people like that.

  11. I agree with your picks. Beardie gets stronger every week. I didn’t like Shiv at the beginning but she’s growing on me. I thought Michael would be a close second but I’m not so sure anymore.

  12. For real, some advice to anyone and everyone out there: If you know any Lebanese people or solid Lebanese restaurants, go get some fried kibbe. It’s crack. Delicious, delicious, date and orange-less crack.

  13. Sorry, I like to comment a lot. But, we have very similar thoughts. Basically everything you said about Beardie I was going to say. That whole hazelnut tree so I included hazelnuts tidbit made my heart skip a beat.

  14. Ok, for anyone that happens to watch Project Runway as well, Ash’s comment reminds me of this season on Project Runway a guy was like “OMG, my first dress was all Dior-esque and awesome and then it got ruined up by the steamer.” (Which was a lie.)

  15. “I’m a little pissy that Weed made kibbe, because I love kibbe to the same degree that I hate Weed. I guess I can take a little comfort in the fact that he totally mangled the pronunciation of that simple, simple word.”

    Love, love, love you.

  16. JN – yeah, Johnny, that’s his name. Yeah, he sucked like Ash sucks. Lorraine, Robin, Ash, Weed, Eli, you’re all welcome to leave Top Chef at your soonest convenience.

  17. yeah, maybe it’s just me, but if you make something comparable to cat food, it’s time for you to go. ash wasn’t great, but verbally it “seemed” like lorraine’s was worse, especially since her technique was completely wrong according to mr. belvedere.

  18. So, I don’t have Bravo and can’t participate in the TopChef-a-palooza, but I love the Talladega Nights reference! Also, even though I can’t watch along, I’m certain your commentary is far wittier than the actual show–thanks for providing my mid-week entertainment!

  19. Atlanta chefs take home both wins tonight! A big Hell Yeah to the ATL chefs! Even though, one does live at home, and the other is a big scary dude… I thought that Charlie was going to offer to trim beardie’s beard for the win. That would have been freaking awesome!

  20. I found the scene with the Lost Boys sitting on the floor scarfing scallops straight out of the pan while picking on Robin a little Lord-of-the-Flies-ish.

    Can’t they have one of those multi-elimination episodes and send ALL the chaff home? I’d rather watch weeks and weeks of Shiv, Beardie, and Brothers duking it out.

  21. While I still call him “gimli” rather than “beardie,” I agree that he’s rapidly become my favorite. I do feel like Brian has a solid chance, though, even if I like him less for being completely devoid of charisma. He’s like the robot brother the parents built in case the real life one died or became a delinquent.

    Shiv is the most white trash woman I have ever seen. Honestly, I feel like she does most of her home chef’n in a trailer.

  22. I missed the QF because I wasn’t home from my bowling league yet (no, YOU shut up), but if it was made with Alexia stuff…yuck. I got some ‘waffle potato snack’ of some sort w/a $1 off coupon and that shit was NASTY. It tasted stale right out of the bag, I’ll have to check that out on a rerun.

    I do think Robin is getting picked on, even if she is ‘older.’ Cripes, I suppose she could be a grandma at 43, but it’s not likely. Those boys are all acting like little brats, and I’d like to spank them! (Especially Bryan, he’s a bad, bad boy.) Jen doesn’t bother me either, except for her Clutch Cargo mouth and Adam’s apple, but she still seems like she’s going to lose it for making a poorly-timed, critical mistake a la (insert your favorite going-down-in-flames contestant) from seasons past one of these days.

  23. This season I hate everyone you hate, and my favorite moment was when the other guys were teasing NJH. “And then they had sex.” “No, shut up!” “Because you love her.” “I mean it! Shut up!”

    I like Beardie a lot, but consider me on Team Shiv.

  24. Beardie’s the best. He’s so cuddly and quirky. Go Beardie (a.k.a Papa Smurf,Yukon Cornelius,Friar Tuck).

    I’m waiting for Shiv to go all uber-bitch and kick someone’s ass.

  25. It’s been my experience that the restaurants with the best wine selections have a modest 10-20 well selected, precisely chosen wines available, either by the glass or bottle. Not a clusterfuck of over 100.

    One of my favorite moments was during that stupid clip in the back room during the judging. Weed: I hope they make the right choice. Brother: Who? Who is the right choice?? And no one could say they’d tried the dishes or had the balls to admit they wanted to send Robin home for no real reason.

    Also, Kevin’s been my favorite for weeks.

  26. I have Shiv 1st, Beardie 2nd and Tony Hawks brother 3rd as uptight brother is going to flip soon. Also loathed Toby Youngs carefully worked out armpit metaphor. Good blog,Good job!

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