Top Chef Vegas!

I have no witty banter so let’s just jump into this week’s Top Chef!

Quickfire Challenge:
Mark Peel and Padma are waiting with a table full of potatoes. They have to create an “out of this world” dish with potatoes. Now I don’t feel to bad because there are all kinds of potatoes on the table. Chaos ensues in the kitchen. Preeti blanched her asparagus in Ashley’s water for her gnocchi. With 13 minutes left she had to start water over. I am interested to see if the odd dishes win (sweet potato custard, risotto) or the traditional (vichyssoise or gnocchi). The bottom were Eli, Ron and Jesse. The top are Jennifer, Ash, and Ashley. The winner was Jennifer and now she has immunity. She seems to be riding pretty high. Mike I. thinks it is favoritism but how with a new judge?

Elimination Challenge:
A Commander from Nellis comes in to give the challenge. They had to go to Nellis where the Thunderbirds train. They have to create a meal for 300. It is 1 team with 4 hours to cook. They don’t know their ingredients or to see the kitchen until they show up day of the challenge. They decide to set it up with Jennifer being the chef of the kitchen since she has immunity. Then everyone else pairs up and each pair takes a dish. When they get into the kitchen they find it as a traditional military kitchen with lots of canned good, no individual pots and stoves. So they all evaluate what they have to cook but they are having issues allocating resources. But Jennifer was doing a great job helping allocate all the kitchen resources. She also was keeping the chatter down.

Once they were done with the cooking they went to the site to set up. It was kind of crazy. They set up to 2 sets of serving stations. Michael V was very specific on how he wanted his dish served and he wanted it all cut as they served it. Then we begin!

I really don’t know about being in the middle of the Nevada desert with chili and chowder. Bryan and Mattin’s beef was good and pink in spite of being held. Preeti and Lorreen’s pasta salad was boring and salty. The chili was good and spicy. The chili was a bit thick but good. Gail says she doesn’t mind the hot dishes but the hot and heavy cream was a bit much. The pork shoulder and potato salad seemed to be a hit. The pork belly was a huge hit but their salad wasn’t good. Tom thought the shrimp was under cooked. Mark Peel thought the bread pudding was a little dry but Tom and Gail liked it.

So first up for the judges was Mike, Michael, Eli and Kevin. Kevin did the pulled pork with his family recipe. Tom thinks the slab bacon braised was cool. Mike and Michael have worked together before and that helped. Michael did the bacon, where Mike did the salad. The winner was Michael. When I heard that he did the bacon basically by himself I was sure he was going to win. Then the judges wanted to see Preeti, Lorreen and Mike (again). Mike was hot. I think once the judges knew that Mike did the shrimp salad on his own, he was on the chopping block. The shrimp wasn’t cooked all the way and that was a big deal. Tom said that Mike seemed pissed and Mike said he was. Mike said he was trying to help the team and didn’t have to do it. They told him that is did the dish and they had to judge him on it. Gail also pointed out that it was bland and without seasoning. Tom wanted to know whose idea the pasta salad was. Neither Lorreen nor Preeti took credit. Gail said that it didn’t seem creative. Preeti asked if the chowder was more creative. They said no but that the chowder was a better version. Tom called the girls on just trying to get by and that was all they wanted. Lorreen seemed to know that it wasn’t a good dish but she said that she forgot it was a competition. Preeti on the other hand thought it was a good dish. In the deliberation Gail pointed out that the judges didn’t ask them to team up.

In the end Preeti was sent home. In her exit she said that this year’s competition was tougher than the other years. I think she might be right. So let’s see who will get cut next week! Next week we are have the 2 elimination week! Things are going to be exciting!

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