Greetings my fellow Top Chef devotees! I am coming to you live having just returned from a trip to Denver, where I had occaision to eat phenomenal food for nearly a week, starting off in Boulder with our own Mary T. Kelly at the fabulous Kitchen (we tried to eat dessert at Hosea's place, Jax, but it was too crowded).
Then, I had fabulous artichoke and garlic pizza with friends. And later, at bbd's cabin in the western part of Colorado, I had fabulous tacos cooked by our own bbd himself. So I suppose this week has been about eating food with OS friends.
Meanwhile, on Top Chef, the cheftestants are taking over the famous Las Vegas outpost of Charlie Palmer's "Aureole" restaurant. I have had the fantastic good fortune of eating at the Aureole restaurant in New York. The fabulous husband took me there for an anniversary one year. The Las Vegas Aureole is famous not only for the contemporary American cuisine that made Aureole famous, but for their flying "wine angels" -- women suspended on cables who "fly" to the top of the lucite tower that houses Aureole's wine list selections to retrieve the guests' wine orders.
So, here we go...
10:00 p.m. -- So we saw last week that Robin is now universally hated, and Ashley got knocked out.
10:01 p.m. -- Still not crazy about the Top Chef theme music.
10:02 p.m. -- Mike Voltaggio is contemplating what it's like to be in the bottom. He has no intention to go there again. Eli is on the phone with his mom. He lives with his parents. That about says it all doesn't it?
10:02 p.m. -- Robin is doing pilates in the yard.
10:03 p.m. -- Charlie Palmer of Aureole is the judge for the quickfire challenge. Bryan and Mike Voltaggio both worked for him, so this is interesting.
10:04 p.m. -- Alexia snack food....can you say "product placement?" Apparently they have been munching on it for the entire time.
10:05 p.m. -- Mike Voltaggio thinks Charlie Palmer doesn't like him. Jen wants him to like her.
10:06 p.m. -- Eli is thinking he's all that and a bag of chips. I don't think he is. Ash is trying to do "his food."
10:07 p.m. -- Jenn's pork is going to overcook. And what the hell is that on Padma's waist?
10:09 p.m. -- Robin's dish is kind of sophisticated, even if it is a parfait. And what the hell is Ash doing? I think Laurine missed the point of hte challenge.
10:10 p.m. -- Robin and Ash are on the bottom of course. Palmer liked Eli's dish, and Bryan's of course. And Kevin.
10:11 p.m. -- Eli wins the quickfire. I don't know if he gets immunity or not. They haven't talked about what he wins. And whaddya know? This portion of Top Chef was indeed sponsored by Alexia snack foods.....
10:14 p.m. -- so they are looking to draw knives for the elimination challenge. Apparently Charlie Palmer is a big pig freak. They are all dealing with parts of the pig.
10:15 p.m. -- It's the pig and pinot challenge! So this is his big fundraiser...and he's leaving it all up to the cheftestants. Eli is all cocky now that he's won. They have to do 150 tasting portions. That is not as easy as it sounds.....
10:17 p.m. -- and now you see the wine angels I talked about.....
10:17 p.m. -- they taste the pinot noirs....Bryan chooses first. To hear Eli tell it, he's good at EVERYTHING.
10:19 p.m. -- Kevin is adding bacon to his pig leg. Laurine is looking at duck fat....a rillette. And she's never done one with pig before. This could go badly for Laurine.
10:20 p.m. -- Ash is working hard on his own flavors.
10:21 p.m. -- Apparently Robin talks too much. And the others are pretty vocal about how much they don't like it.
10:21 p.m. -- Robin is aware that she's not liked. Eli is basically being a dickhead. "You're not my mom?" Honestly? That's your reaction?
10:23 p.m. -- My vote in the poll is that Eli's the worse.... sure Robin is playing off of her background a little. But getting snarky in response really has the mark of the amateur about it.
10:27 p.m. -- Ash is changing his dish based on the idea of doing something chilled....and it's not his idea....so much for cooking your own food.
10:27 p.m. -- Kevin is doing a pate as well. Between that and Laurine's rillette this could get interesting.
10:28 p.m. -- The differences with the Voltaggios are emerging. Mike is the risk-taker. Bryan is the precision person.
10:29 p.m. -- Mike Voltaggio appears to be bouncing back. Mike Isabella is pushing the clock.
10:30 p.m. -- And the brothers Voltaggio are starting to get all sibling rivalry-esque. This is the beauty of being someone's brother...you know all the right buttons to push and aren't afraid to.
10:32 p.m. -- The chefs are getting nervous as the guests arrive. I don't think any of the chefs thought that hard about how that would work.
10:33 p.m. -- One Voltaggio is a hit. Ash's dish is simple...and I am sorry to say that it goes over poorly.
10:34 p.m. -- Eli's dish, according to Eli, is good. But it apparently doesn't fit the wine.
10:35 p.m. -- Kevin's does well too. Mike Isabella's dish isn't bad either, perhaps too much roange.
10:37 p.m. -- Laurine's rillette is a disaster. Top to bottom.
10:38 p.m. -- Robin's dish also goes badly.
10:46 p.m -- Mike Voltaggio wins....and Robin is in the room, along with Ash. They don't like how thin Robin's pork was, or her sauce.
10:47 p.m. -- Ash is surprised again. He needed to get more flavor out there. Ash didn't think it lacked flavor.
10:48 p.m. -- The rillette, Laurine's rillette is apparently made wrong.
10:49 p.m. -- hard to tell who's going home. They are all doing pretty bad at this point. Robin's problem was one of balance. Ash's lacked personality. And Laurine's was a complete failure of execution.
10:50 p.m. -- This is the problem with Ash...he says he's cooking his food, and yet it's not his ideas. If I had to handicap this one, I'd say it's going to be Ash. His failure is one that comes not from execution, but is totally endemic to his personality. I think that's why he's gone.
10:52 p.m. -- Eli is re-hashing the incident with Robin. Mike Voltaggio teases him as flirting with Robin. Eli is not taking it well....
10:55 p.m. -- You know, the other cheftestants will riot if they don't send Robin packing. Which is a sure indication that Robin will get to stay.
10:57 p.m. -- Laurine's rillette was not paired well, and prepared badly. Ash second -guessed himself. None of them matched the wine well.
10:58 p.m. -- Ash is gone. I knew it.....
10:59 p.m. -- Ash is very good-natured about losing. And here we go....next week is Restaurant Wars!
Anyway, thanks for stopping by...see y'all next week!