Iron Pundit v. Iron Skillet: Top Chef Las Vegas & TCM Finale
Well, here we are again folks, getting ready for the grand finale, the final show for Top Chef Masters. Tonight is also the premiere of Top Chef Las Vegas, which as a super special treat, I will also be liveblogging along with the TCM Finale.
And apparently someone at Bravo has been reading my blog....the newest feature on their Top Chef website? Photos of celebrity chefs, with the question of who's hot and who's not....didn't I pioneer this with the dating feature?
Anyway, Top Chef Las Vegas is underway......
TOP CHEF LAS VEGAS
9:01 p.m. -- Padma (oh how I have missed you....) is introducing the new season and the new chefs.
9:02 p.m. -- $100K in merchandise from Macy's? And our first chef coulda been an MIT grad, but chose cooking school...
9:03 p.m. -- Kudos to TCLas Vegas for going for some real diversity. Ethnic and regional....
9:04 p.m. -- There is apparently some kind of Atlanta mafia going on.
9:04 p.m. -- Jesse doesn't think culinary school is a big deal. She may find differently. Self-taught cooks typically do not do well on this show.
9:05 p.m. -- And we have a James Beard nominee. And a pair of brothers. And a michelin star recipient. We're talking about two guys here.
9:07 p.m. -- The Top Chef kitchen in Las Vegas is apparently INSANE. Laurine is intimidated. Caterers also do not do well in this competition.
9:08 p.m. -- Mise en place relay for the first quickfire. And bring on the showgirls from the Stardust! Yes, we really are in Vegas, Virginia.
9:09 p.m. -- Gold chip gets immunity. Geez, this mise en place is a pain in the butt...lots of cleaning of shellfish.
9:11 p.m. -- Preeti can't open the clams....she's never done it before. and she's bleeding like crazy. Her teammates are gonna HATE her.
9:12 p.m. -- Some sexist dick just said a "girl shoulsn't be beating him..." Oh, he is so my whipping boy for the next few weeks.
9:13 p.m. -- Mattin is KILLING those lobsters. It's like watching Hung with the chickens.
9:14 p.m. -- Preeti is STILL on the clams? As the blue team wins. Sexist boy lost. HA HA!
9:19 p.m. -- One less old lady I have to worry about? This guy is SOOOOO on my shit list.....
9:20 p.m. -- It's becoming obvious they are going to ramp up the twists and turns.
9:21 p.m. -- This cast is good. Really, really good.
9:22 p.m. -- And the girl wins the $15K. And they are cooking for Wolfgang Puck.
9:25 p.m. -- I am so happy to have Padma and Tom back. You have no idea.
9:26 p.m. -- oh, and a side note from the jewelry designer in me....if you catch yourself liking the jewelry Padma is wearing, she's probably the designer. She introduced a collection of fine jewelry this spring.
9:31 p.m. -- Salivating over the previews for TCM finale....to have the old judges back, and the old Top Chef winners....I SO want to eat in Harold's restaurant.
9:32 -- Mike Isabella...that's the name of the guy on my shit list. He's a snarky jerk.
9:33 p.m. -- Ron DuPratt is kind of amazing with his story. He's gonna be interesting. Anyone who survived the boat ride from Haiti by making fish for the other passengers (thus preventing his being thrown overboard) has got spunk.
9:34 p.m. -- One thing I can see myself doing is getting really excited about seeing behind the scenes of all the kitchens of Las Vegas.
9:36 p.m. -- doughnuts? That might be a ballsy move. Seitan..is just stupid.
9:37 p.m. -- I think the girl with the pierced lip (Jenn?) is going to do well. Chicken is nice and simple.
9:38 p.m. -- And Hector looks like he should be a cook in some drunken sailor's bar in some weird south Asian country.
9:39 p.m. -- Eve is so in the weeds....no white wine for her sauce, overcooking fish...this will end badly.
9:40 p.m. -- When Wolfgang Puck is throwing your food, people, it is baaaad.
9:43 p.m. -- Mike...your worst vice is that you are a jerk.
9:44 p.m. -- I knda like Eli.
9:45 p.m. -- Deep frying the ribeye...I have to see what the judges say.
9:45 p.m. -- The deep frying does not go well. Unfortunately, I think Mike is going to win.
9:47 p.m. -- A LOT of drinking vices. Why has no one chosen my personal favorite....sex?
9:48 p.m. -- I think I like Wolfgang Puck's point about purees is fantastic. Mattin may be getting lost in translation.
9:50 p.m. -- Ron's vice isn't truly a vice, is it?
9:51 p.m. -- So it's the doughnut that gets hurled across the room.
9:52 p.m. -- Preeti's dish sounds good.
9:52 p.m. -- The other big chef vice apparently? Procrastination.
9:53 p.m. -- Kevin's dish goes over well. Eve's, not so much. Michael is getting high marks too.
9:58 p.m. -- I think seitan-girl is seriously going home.
9:59 p.m. -- This is going to be interesting....Padma is so funny when she calls the winners in. She sounds so tired and in pain.
10:00 p.m. -- Kevin wins. Clearly Mister MIT is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
10:03 p.m. -- Eve is really confusing. I think she's a little weird. Maybe that's her vice?
10:04 p.m. -- Tom looks kind of sick to his stomach.
10:06 p.m. -- Jesse is going to get a pass -- she knew what her mistake was. Jen is going down. That relleno was terrible. It even looked bad.
10:08 p.m. -- Did they really have to make this an hour and fifteen minute episode? Really, we all saw how bad the relleno with the seitan was....let's get on with it already!
10:11 p.m. -- Side note here....can't we all just admit that Real Housewives of Atlanta is a trainwreck?
10:11 p.m. -- Seriously, just tell us who's going home...
10:12 p.m. -- like no one saw that coming.....bye Jen.
TOP CHEF MASTERS
10:15 p.m. -- Kelly Choi's voice is pissing me off. She's seriously not even close to competing with Padma.
10:16 p.m. -- They are going to the Getty home in Los Angeles. This should be fun. What a house!
10:17 p.m. -- They are creating a meal of THEIR lifetime based on their career as a chef. First food memory, decision to become a chef, First restaurant, and the future.
10:18 p.m. -- The chefs are so excited. Until they lear the Top Chef winners are judging.
10:19 p.m. -- Hubert Keller's memories are so interesting. Rick is all about barbecue.
10:20 p.m. -- Chiarello is about making gnocchi with his mommy.
10:21 p.m. -- I gotta say that I really love this challenge. I mean really love it. It's so personal, so full of soul and feeling that the cooking is going to be wondrous. It simply can't help but be.
10:23 p.m. -- Bayless's journey with food is so well-defined, so storied. Hubert's journey is really interesting too.
10:27 p.m. -- the problem with back to back Top Chef-ey goodness is that now I am really friggin hungry.
10:29 p.m. -- uh oh... one more twist....
10:30 p.m. -- the sous chefs send their love. And Brian Enyart (Rick Bayless's sous chef) is Adorable....he's SO the chef I want to date! And there he is in the flesh.....(Make mental note to get a reservation at Topolambopo next time I am in Chicago.)
10:32 p.m. -- Hubert has his truffles. The other chef's are having truffle envy.
10:34 p.m. -- Hubert with that beard is really fascinating!
10:35 p.m. -- Chiarello has brought vines from home.
10:35 p.m. -- Rick is unhappy with his seafood.
10:36 p.m. -- Hubert is about "recession flavors" -- somewhere, Juli is screaming.
10:37 p.m. -- Chiarello's imagery is all violent.
10:39 p.m. -- Water. I need water.
10:41 p.m. -- Chiarello is funnin with James Oseland from Saveur, because he has never given Chiarello even four stars for his food.
10:44 p.m. -- This liveblogging two shows back to back is proving exhausting.
10:45 p.m. -- you put Kelley in the same room as Padma and she comes off as a hard-edged wannabe.
10:46 p.m. -- Hubert is charming the judges.
10:47 p.m. -- Hubert's stew is also charming the judges.
10:49 p.m. -- I have never wanted to BE a top chef judge more in my entire life.
10:50 p.m. -- Gail talks about bathing in Michael's dish and Ray (the long haired guy from England) just about starts to hit on her.
10:50 p.m. -- the mole sauce goes amazing.
10:51 p.m. -- I am so jealousing on the judges getting to eat this food.
10:53 p.m. -- A Hubert Keller dish falls flat. Alert the media.
10:53 p.m. -- Rick does what he does best -- show people how Mexican food is supposed to go.
10:54 p.m. -- Rick's dish does not go over well. The ribs that Michael did go over well. Oseland is not crazy about the truffles, Harold thinks the brain is overcooked.
10:56 p.m. -- Notice the Masters did not have to do dessert.
10:59 p.m. -- And here come the critics.....
11:00 p.m. -- Michael's fish dish goes over poorly.
11:01 p.m. -- Hubert's stew is lovely. But the low point? the lamb dish. His risks came off as too risky.
11:02 p.m. -- Gael Greene does NOT like foam. Ever. But the mole is apparently heaven. Note to self -- if, when you go to Topolambopo, you see mole on the menu....ORDER IT!
11:05 p.m. -- They go through Hubert's dishes. Some good, some fail.
11:06 p.m. -- Rick's dishes. They plotz over the mole. The fish stew, not so much. The interesting thing is that all the dishes are an amazing flow, an amazin story, each and every one.
11:07 p.m. -- so we're almost there.....they've got a decision. My money is that it's not Hubert. I think it may go to Rick. I think Michael lost it on the fish, Hubert on the lamb.
11:11 p.m. -- here we go with the infernal stars again. Diners give 4 1/2 to Rick, 4 to Hubert, and 4 1/2 to Michael. So it will be down to what the critics thought. I think Hubert is out of it.
11:12 p.m. -- it's almost a joke, but Oseland doesn't give Michael 4 stars either. Hubert musters 16-1/2 stars, a half star behind Michael.
11:13 p.m. -- it all comes down to how much Gael Greene likes Rick. He gets what he needs. He is the Top Chef Master. Congratulations!
You know, I don't think he ever went to culinary school.