September 09, 2009 08:56 PM by DA Southern
Top Chef Las Vegas is seemingly again on the heels of Hellâ€™s Kitchen as we delve into a French-inspired episode with the Quickfire and the Elimination Challenges themed to test the chef-testants ability to cook all kinds of cuisine. The difference tonight is that the stakes are higher as both the Quickfire and the Elimination Challenge have a chef packing their knifes and leaving.
The Quickfire Challenge
Head Chef Tom Colicchio introduced Chef Daniel Boulud as the task of cooking snails was on the menu and someone who is slow in the cooking of the snails, I mean, escargot, is headed home. Tom said the high stakes not only had the loser going home, but the winner would get immunity. Nothing like a double elimination to get everyoneâ€™s adrenalin pumping.
The chef-testants had a measly forty-five minutes to cook a delectable dish for Tom and Daniel Boulud and several chefs were clueless as to what to do with the snails. OK, so all of the dishes were snails done in different ways and who knew you could do so many different snail dishes. Chef Daniel picked Mikeâ€™s, Kevinâ€™s and Jenniferâ€™s snail dishes as his favorite with Kevin picking up immunity.
The least favorites were Jessie, Ashley and Robin and the three had twenty minutes to get a second chance to impress with a dish of their choosing. I swear that Jessie is on the bottom every week but her luck ran out and she was finally sent packing.
The Elimination Challenge
All of the chefs drew knifes that had French sauces and proteins written on them and they were paired up to cook for Chef Joel Rubuchon, one of the premier chefs in the world. Kevin, who won the Quickfire, not only did not have to compete, but was getting the honor of dinning with the judges and Chef Joel Rubuchon at the Elimination Challenge.
As usual, the pace was frantic with so many chefs moving about the kitchen, but several chefs knew that this was probably one of the biggest nights in their career as they sought to impress Chef Rubuchon. Ron and Robin seemed to be very disjointed with their creations; Eli and Laurine were facing a host of issues with their dishes getting the sauces to mix together; Michael V and Jennifer were the most professional looking of the bunch and Hector and Ash seemed to be having oven issues as time ticked down.
The chefs and the judges were seated and Kevin looked like a kid in a candy store as he sat with the stars of the chef world as the dishes came out. Ron and Robin were first to present with frog legs and was not a hit overall. Mike and Bryan were next out with trout and fancy French sauces and their dish was a huge hit. Eli and Laurine were out with lobster, French-style and the lobster was agreed to be a bit tough. Ashley and Mattinâ€™s Ravioli with poussin and it was not well received at all. Jennifer and Michael Vâ€™s rabbit was cooked perfectly, according to Rubuchon and they were a strong contenders for the top spot this week. Ash and Hector served a filet of some kind and everyone complained about the sauce as well as the quality of the meat.
One thing all of the judges agreed on was that the quality of the chefâ€™s cooking at this point in the season was better than in any previous season. Still it would not stop them from eliminating someone and Ron and Robin look to be the weakest of the bunch by the way they were talking.
Padma called in the brothers, Bryan and Michael, along with Mike and Jennifer as the dishes that were the best of the night. Daniel Boulud announced that Bryan had once again taken a challenge and was going to work in Chef Rubuchonâ€™s restaurant for a week.
Mattin and Ashley and Hector and Ash were on the chopping block, surprising as we thought that Rob and Robin looked very weak. Ashley was immediately throwing Mattin under the bus and Ashâ€™s sauce fiasco was a big deal to the judges. Hectorâ€™s undercooked meat looked to be the deal-breaker as not only was it undercooked but the way he butchered it made him look like sub-par compared to some of the others.
The four were again reminded how inadequate they were at the French challenge and Hectorâ€™s inability to prepare meat to the standards of the judges sent him home, making him the first guy sent packing.
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Photo Credit: Bravo