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Top Chef: Las Vegas, Episode 5 – Comcast Strikes Again …


MM wins, gives a big “Yes!” and continues to be annoying. I am sure this win, and the $15,000 which went with it, will do wonders to curb his skyrocketing ego.

Elimination – cook high-end meals for Love and the ranchers. Which, by the way, will be the name of the band I put together one day. We learn that Ashley grew up in the middle of the woods. Literally. She’s apparently Nell. Laurine is a culinary MacGyver, thanks to her years of catering. Also, chefs hanging out around the fire leads to Blair Witch jokes and belching.

MM. Pork Gyro with Apple and Fennel Tzatziki – Padma thinks it is not a stretch, Love says no pizzazz. Ho hum.
Eli. Tuna Sandwich with Sun-dried tomato mayonnaise and radish salad. Gail finds it a strange choice. Radish and bread get criticized too.
Laurine – Sautéed Arctic Char with tomatillo salsa, corn salsa and grilled potato. Gail finds it flavorful, Love likes the grill flavor.
Ash. Grilled chicken paillard with corn succotash. Tom thinks it is sensible; Gail can taste the bacon grease.
Flais. Ceviche 3 ways – salmon with apple, spicy tuna and cod with corn. Love goes first; it is fishy to him. And, the coolest thing ever happens. Gail says, “Tom’s walking away.” Tom SPITS IT OUT AND THROWS IT AWAY! Right here, right now, you know that unless someone uses the V”http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Bouillabaisse”>bouillabaisse as a toilet, Flais is doomed. I repeat – TOM SPIT IT OUT!
Robin. Grilled Romaine salad with drunken prawns and spicy chicken sausage. Love – “It’s terrible, tastes like I sucked on a piece of chlorine.” Robin knows it
Bryan. Roasted Pork Loin, corn polenta, dandelion greens and glazed rutabaga. Love likes it, Tom likes it and Gail wants to go camping with him.
Jennifer – Snapper with duck confit, daikon, carrot and tomato water salad. Gail loves the slaw; Tom finds it to be perfect.
Ashley – Seared halibut with avocado mousse, bacon, tomato and braised romaine. Love likes the mousse, and Gail thinks it is her best dish yet.
Kingpin. Coconut, lime, mango and tuna ceviche and Haitian Coconut Mojito. Love likes the ceviche; Tom thinks it is too sweet; they all hate the drink, which Padma calls disgusting.
Kevin – Roasted Duck breast with mole and Tequila marinated watermelon. Padma thinks it is pretty, they all think it was well cooked.
Hawk – Dashi with Miso and Mirin cured black cod and watermelon. Gail likes the shiitake and broth, Love thinks it is unexpected. Hawk knows he won’t lose.

The Winners

Laurine – Love could taste the grill, simple but great.
Ashley – Tom notices her smile. Tricky making fish in the desert.
BryanBot – Gail said it was focused, and restaurant quality.
Hawk – Wanted white tablecloth ingredients in non-traditional environment. Tom liked the ingredients, and was surprised by the dish.

Love gives the win to BryanBot who actually managed to crack a tiny smile.

The losers – Ashley is quite verbal in her well wishing to them. Good for her. Between this and the hair, she is getting out of my doghouse.

Kingpin – They liked the ceviche, but the drink was one of the worst things Tom has had. Kingpin didn’t want to waste the coconut.
Flais – He was happy with it. Padma is stunned. Tom is amazed he tasted it. Love is still sick.
Robin – She knows it sucked. Wanted to play off steak and did … um … sausage and prawn. Love finds that ridiculous. Gail was worried about eating the shrimp. Tom thinks she had a good idea, but it was bad.

Flais is clearly knifed, as he gives the understatement of the season by saying they didn’t like the ceviche. Um, he made the guest judge sick. And if you forgot … TOM SPIT IT OUT!

Quickfire Hits

• Some pretty cool camera shots of the dessert landscape – kudos to the crew.

• Eli thinks it is so hot; it is the surface of Venus. I have a better one, it is so hot, the birds are using potholders to get the worms.

• Ashley has some pretty awesome hair, I think she is either going for the Bride of Frankenstein, or simply a constant bed-head/hat-head look.

• Anyone else catch Hawk being a bit sore-loserish after bombing on the Quickfire? Could be something to watch.

• Flais’ childhood seems like something out of a Dickens novel. He had no TV, no toys, only cooking.

• Here’s where I respect Eli and get jealous all at once – “Is Padma sleeping in the teepees too?” Back off, dude!

• Ron took down a tree for a voodoo ritual. Hopefully, it will help him like it helped Pedro Cerrano.

• Jenn – “Ron is screaming for a sword, don’t know who has one in their knife kit.” Now that would be a knife kit!

• Hawk contradicts me regarding cooking your food and not cooking for the cowboys. He thinks just do what you do best and hope they like it. Perhaps he is right, perhaps he is just
better at it than guys like Flais.

• Padma is wearing a tiny denim vest over her green dress. I can think of no one else who can pull that off.

• Ash thinks he can be a rancher – he likes cows and lassoing things.

• Anyone else notice that Robin constantly yells?

• Ashley calls the ranchers a motley crew with beards growing since their teens. Not this motley crue, or these beards, but still. The amusing thing … I only saw one wacky beard and a bunch of folks who looked like they just came from an office retreat.

• Love on Flais – “I mean, this guy …” Flais was so bad; he made Love lose the use of the English language.

• Extra scene – Kevin is the King of Horseshoes. It seems he had a regulation horseshoe pit growing up. I had a room the size of matchbox, while he had a horseshoe pit.

Next week – Penn and Teller. Of course. Again with the magic, Top Chef? Also, what could be the line of the decade from Padma, “I’ve actually had bulls’ testicles.”

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