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The Jet Stream: Viva the V bro battle

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Swirl, sniff, sip, make a legitimate effort and developing complementary flavors in your food.
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Jet Tila

OK, OK, you know what the worst complimenting item this week was? Even worse than Robin’s sweet corn panna cotta with avocado mousseline (Insert homage to jack-ass retching here)? It was Padma’s Quickfire outfit! It was kind of “Back to the Future”-esque. Something between Pocahontas meets “Fifth Element” meets “War Craft.” Cream leather knee high boots with a matching ultra wide bow-tie theme belt - can I just ask who the hell is dressing this woman? It’s like there is a whole team of Rachel Zoe-type couture consultants who don’t watch the show or care if her outfits make sense and then there’s……TOM. Jesus, I have the opposite complaint about Tom’s fresh threads. Homeboy has two outfits, pre-modern I-don’t-care-whatever-is-in-my-wardrobe blah and then the agonizingly plain navy blue off-the-rack chef coat that is two sizes too big. “Top Chef” producers agonize over every little detail, but can’t seem to touch Tom’s wardrobe. Tom, you are a bloody millionaire and have a ton of famous restaurants, BUY A FASHION CONSULTANT! Dude, I’m a big fan and all, but give us chef/businessmen something to look up too! Please!

Dine on swine

Whew…what a week. Do you get the feeling like it’s getting tough to fill an hour of TV? There was a lot of filler this week, like Robin doing Pilates (ack!) and Eli talking to his mom on the phone (awww). At the same time, we finally had some time to focus on the relationships or lack thereof and the interactions between the chef’testants. I think, as viewers, we are just as sick of Robin as the rest of the group. Through clever editing you can make anyone look bad, but I think Robin is doing a great job on her own. This week’s Robin sound bites include such favorites as: “I’m glad I’m not your mom,” and “I try to leave the sugar on this side and the salt on that side, but they never seem to stay there.” Then there’s my fave: ”I’m 45 and Eli is 24; I think I’ve been through a few more things in life.” The whole house is ready to kill her! But it makes for great TV! Robin lives in the top 10 people that I want to punch in the face. She’s somewhere in between the ShamWow guy, the FreeCreditReport.com band and the real housewives of anywhere in America! I hate them all!

This week’s Quickfire: Sponsor-driven snack food challenge. Oh brother. I understand that someone has to pay the bills on this show, but it’s almost insulting when you get a sponsor’s chips as the focal point of a challenge. Then you get one of the best chefs in America to have to judge this lame Quickfire. I was nauseous. Seriously, don’t you think Charlie Palmer was a little put off when they told him, “Um, super chef America, you have to judge a Quickfire that is pairing some really great dishes with snack chips. I bet he was ecstatic. But c’est la vie! BTW, if any show producers ever want to make me the host of a cooking show? I love Alexia Crunchy Snacks, especially the Bold and Spicy BBQ waffle crunchy snacks… Mmmm mmmm.

TC definitely redeemed itself, though, because it went from the lamest Quickfire to the most amazing elimination challenge! I’ve said it before and I’ll always testify that pork is the most versatile and flexible protein on earth! I loves my pig and can cook it 50 different ways no problem! So Pigs and Pinot was music to my ears!

As usual, the V Bros brought the pain! They have full control of their cooking, but not of their personalities. I’ve never seen two bros love and hate each other more. The Glad wrap moment was brilliant! If these guys are blowing up over some plastic wrap, just wait until we get down to the finals. I’m serious, this love hate will come to a head and then these guys are either going to permanently hug it out (Ari Gold-style) or walk away and never want to talk to each other again. These guys need a spinoff show where they run a restaurant together.

This week gave the two young wild cards some well-deserved limelight. Eli brought it with the potato clam salad with fennel, celery and white truffle sauce for the Quickfire. Then Kevin again killed the elimination with pork leg pate paired with a 2006 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir. Both dishes really showed their French classic background, which should make the V Bros a little nervous. Like I said before, when you are consistently the best, you are judged by a higher standard. So The V’s will have to get better every week whilst Kevin and Eli just have to be very good and improve. Is it fair? No, but that’s life. Also, by now, we all know the V bros can cook amazing food. I worry that the judges will also be grading their personalities, which could be detrimental. I know great chefs are often wrapped around some deserved arrogance and intensity, but this is a competition, and some humility could play to their favor. This is also where Eli and Kevin could potentially edge out the one of the V’s in bombshell elimination in the future. They are just cool and charming and exhibit the desire to learn and develop.

As predicted last week, Ash gets the boot! Honestly, I’m ready to push the forward button about three more weeks, because when Robin, Laurine (aka isn’t a rillete just a puck of deviled ham?) and Mike I. are gone, this is going to go from great TV to friggin’ amazing TV! The final four this week of the V bros, Jennifer and Kevin is my prediction for the ultimate final four. When we get there, it’s going be like watching lucha libre Mexican wrestling! I can’t wait! Ash, vaya con dios, brother. It was time for you to go.

Next week, Restaurant Wars! This will be our lucha libre preview. The two main events to look forward to next week: The undercard of “La Bruja” Robin vs. “Hijo de Cobarde” Eli, and then the main event “Mascara Sagrada” Bryan V. vs. “Rey Misterio” Mike V. Either way, you can’t lose. The only thing that would make it better would be putting them in real Mexican wrestler masks and while they compete. Viva top chef!

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