Friday, August 21, 2009

Top Chef Sin City

Top Chef Las Vegas looks promising for twists and turns and might actually live up to "biggest season yet" claims. Photo courtesy of Vegas

I have enjoyed watching Top Chef Masters over the past two months, but I am ready for the drama that comes along with the regular Top Chef and being that this season is in Vegas I'm sure drama will abound.

Within the first few minutes of introductions there are already some chefs that are standing out. First we have the Frenchie Mattin Noblia who is dressed more like he's headed for the street of Pamplona rather than the Vegas Strip (which is quickly mentioned by another of his housemates). I feel Mattin will bring some entertainment, but nothing compared to Euro duo Fabio and Stefan from last season.

Even in the first brief moments of the show I can tell that Michael Isabella is going to annoy me to no end. He's quiet frankly a jerk and extremely arrogant. Let’s see if his cooking can keep up with his mouth.

Then we have the brother duo Michael and Bryan Voltaggio. By far these two are the best eye candy on the show. The brothers live on opposite sides of the country and haven't lived together for more than 10 years. I can foresee some words and maybe even some food flying between these two. The first Quickfire Challenge dove right into the preparation relay. Teams of four had to shuck oysters, clean shrimp, clean lobster and prepare a rack of beef. To assign teams contestants drew different colored poker chips. Robin drew the lucky gold chip which won her immunity on the Elimination Challenge. After the blue team won the relay they had to face off against each other in a cook-off worth $15,000. Jen comes out victorious with her clam civiche.

The first Elimination Challenge was interesting. Each contestant had to cook a dish that represented their biggest vice, since they were, after all, in Sin City. It looks like there are a lot of alcoholic chefs on the show because the most popular vice seemed to be alcohol. The chefs would cook at CUT at the Palazzo with head chef Wulfgang Puck being the guest judge.

Laurine became my favorite contestant during this challege when she decided to cook bacon donuts with a Belgian beer sauce. Ummm, yummmmmm! Unfortunately, Wulfgang did not share my sentiments as he threw one of the tasty sounding spheres across the room saying it was more like a golf ball. Nice try Laurine, I still appreciate the idea. And because the judges did at least like her beer sauce, I have been inspired to bring donuts and beer to my morning softball gathering this weekend as treats.

Michael V. had the funniest vice of everyone: Plastic surgery. He cooked a rack of lamb and used some fresh coconuts.

All cooking aside I have to comment on Padma's outfit. Girl felt the need to bust out the shiny Vegas sequins and ended up looking like a majorette. Not a good look.

Anyway, who took the cake this week? Kevin with his procrastination vice and slow cooked arctic char. It was Jennifer with her hot temper and brick of chile rellenos who was sent packing. Can't wait for the rest of this season.

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