Top Chef: Blue, cheesy and Middle Eastern

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October 8, 2009

6:30 PM

We’re halfway through this season of “Top Chef,” so get ready for the combinations to just get even weirder.

As the chefs were gearing up for their Quickfire challenge, Jennifer announced that she had a cold. Unfortunately, the extremely talented chef with no self-confidence was even further dismayed. She better get over this thing quickly, because I don’t know if she can get any lower without kicking herself of the show.

The guest judge was Tyler Florence, someone who seems relatively light in the culinary credentials arena. True, my only experience with him has been through this show and his work at T.G.I. Rubybee’s (they all just run together in my mind), but he just doesn’t seem to have the gravitas of Hubert Keller.

I assume that “Top Chef” is popular in the amnesia ward, because they had to remind us again that this season takes place in Las Vegas by having three random words come up on a slot machine, which the chefs then had to base their dish on. Ashley had probably the greatest combination with “blue, cheesy, and Middle Eastern.” Surprisingly, she did well with a feta and halibut dish. Kevin won with an Asian pork dish that was a mix of “stressed, hot, and spicy.” Given the option of $15,000 or immunity, he made the wise choice of $15,000. Jen was in the bottom for the first time because of her sickness, with Eli and the oh-my-god-why-is-she-still-here-iest cheftestant of the bunch, Robin, rounding out the failures.

For the Elimination challenge, they had to cook a home-style meal for some of the best chefs in the country. Each of them was paired up with another cheftestant according to one of the chefs’ name. The pairs were then given a basket of groceries to work with. Mike I. got paired with Robin, which would have been a raw deal for anyone, but he just made it even worse. Instead of realizing that she cannot cook, he gave her all of the responsibilities, and then just literally threw out everything she made. Poor choice.

Another floundering pair was that of Brother Michael and Ash. Considering he is one of the best chefs left, Ash let Brother Michael make every single decision and just sat there hoping he would carry him to the next round. They probably would have been okay had it not been for their decision to cook in the dining room in woks on hot plates, which short-circuited halfway through. Half-cooked halibut is never the way to get ahead in life.

On top were Brother Bryan and Laurine’s dish of halibut with sherry-chorizo vinaigrette, and Kevin and Jen’s barbecue Kobe beef. I’ll admit that Jen’s broth did look delicious, but some of the judges were raving about it a little too much. Come on people, it’s just broth. The only team to fall in between was Robin and Mike I., and in Robin’s book a non-failure is a win, so I’m sure she was celebrating after that.

Ashley and Eli were sent to the judge’s table for poorly cooked prawns, and in the non-shocker of the night, Brother Michael and Ash ended up there too. It seemed like Ash was going home fore sure, but then poor Ashley got the boot. As far as I’m concerned, they needed to send Ash packing for his spineless routine. I’m sure that Ash and Robin will be the next two gone, and if not I’m going to raise $125,000 to give to the talented chef who is kicked off instead. You can leave fundraiser ideas in the comments.

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