Thursday, August 27, 2009

Brothers Grim: The Top Chef Vegas recap

How bout that wedding challenge, huh? To me, nothing spells “let’s spend our life together” quite like wings and tequila shots. (The couple that does jägerbombs together, stays together?) But hey, it’s their wedding—and they did seem like a lovely couple. (Although did you notice that the alcoholic tendencies were already putting a dent in their soon-to-be-wedded bliss? Bride, defiantly: “We’re going to out drink you!” Groom, bitterly: “It’s pretty much par for the course.” Okay, kids. Step away from the shot glasses.)

But I digress. There’s so much more to talk about, like Goofus and Gallant really going at it, Michael Isabella staying securely aboard the douche-train, and Ashley freaking out over the marriage-themed challenge. (I wonder how she’s going to feel about next week’s military-themed challenge? Something tells me girl is not a huge fan of don’t-ask-don’t-tell.)

The show started with a Quickfire challenge where they had to sidle up to a “big ass crap table” (™ Kevin) and roll dice to determine the number of ingredients in their dish. A low number like 3 is a bit of a disaster, but a big number like 10 is even worse. Ah, Vegas. . where everyone's a loser!

Obvious frontrunners Jennifer and Kevin are in the top three, but Goofus (aka Michael) actually wins. Cut to Gallant (Bryan) stewing in his own juices. Not since Iago has someone glowered so dramatically in the wings.

Then onto Whole Foods to shop for the Bachelorette and Bachelor themed challenge. Besides the awkward shot/food pairing, the teams have been divided by gender. Rut ro. With all due deference to my fair sex, the girls are going to get crushed. And Jennifer knows this.

“I’m pissed off about the challenge!” she barks. And once I come out from hiding under my couch, I must agree. (Is it just me, or is Jennifer a little scary? At one point, at Whole Foods, Jennifer screamed: “I need a worker!” and I half-expected one of her teammates to run up to her side and say, “Yes, Chef?” Later, she bellows, “Watch your knife!” and just to be on the safe side, I secure all the knives in my home.)

Among the men, Ash is asked to be in charge of keeping the orchid alive. At first he takes umbrage, “It’s because I’m gay, they think I can grow flowers better than straight guys.” Then, upon reflection, he realizes that gay men can grow flowers better than straight guys and commences cooing sweet nothings to the flower.

As for Goofus, having won the Quickfire challenge, he says that he’s now “all about beating Bryan.” I love the fact that these guys don’t even try to hide their raging sibling rivalry.

Likewise, Gallant is all about avenging his mortifying Quickfire loss to his brother.

Somewhere, Sam Shepherd is scribbling notes for his next play.

In the kitchen, Ashley finishes up her watermelon sorbet thingy ahead of schedule and makes the cardinal mistake of doing a second dish—a dessert no less. (“I’m not a pastry chef,” she notes ominously and I’m thinking, “Has she ever even WATCHED the show?”) Jennifer tries to order her to stick to one dish, but Ashley takes her life into her own hands and disobeys.

Back at the house, Preeti, who has been with her partner for years, tries to muster up some of Ashley’s righteous anger about the whole Bachelor/Bachelorette party. “I feel lame that I’m not more fired up about it,” she says. Hey, Preeti. We can't all be activists.

(BTW, Michael I's Douchetastic Moment of the Week™? On Preeti: “I just call her Purty, cause I can’t pronounce her name.” Yes, Michael, because Preeti is such a tongue-twister. Could the guy be more of an ugly American? Where are Stefan and Fabio when you really need them?)

Time for the party itself where a truly incredible thing occurs.
Mattin says the following: “The girls are really hot.”

Yes, Mattin, whose power comes from his jaunty little red neckerchief, thinks the girls are really hot. Later he adds, “But I’m so focused on food, I don’t have time to flirt.” Now that’s more like it.

So, as expected, the guys pretty much demolish the girls. Hector kicks ass with his tofu ceviche (who knew?) and Goofus does a goat’s cheese cookie so Gallant, not to be outdone, does a sweet and sour meringue cookie. A coincidence, I’m sure.

Apparently, both savory cookies are delish—and it actually comes down to Goofus vs. Gallant! If I didn’t know better, I’d say the whole thing was staged!

Gallant wins! Order is restored in the universe! It’s a blow to tyranny, injustice, and snotty kid brothers world over!

Now to the girls, who still haven’t quite figured out that they lost. (“We’re like Michael Phelps!” announced Jesse. Except for the winning part.. . )

It comes down to Eve (bizarro Roseanna Arquette), Preeti, Ashley (who flunked with her panna cota), and—oh noes!!—homegirl Jesse.

Ashley pretty much just got a slap on the wrist for being over ambitious. Jesse was scolded for making a muddled lettuce wrap—nothing I hate more than a muddled lettuce wrap—and started to cry. (No Jesse! Don’t you know there’s no crying in Baltimore?) The bottom two, clearly were Eve and Preeti. Eve did some sort of bland shrimp and Preeti over-marinated her tuna. Tom Colicchio called Preeti’s dish “amateurish” and said that she “didn’t have a clue it was bad.” Naturally, Eve lost. (?)

Oh well. Eve's excuse upon leaving:
“My flavor combinations may not make sense to the judges, but they make sense to me.”

Gotta love that self-esteem.

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