October 21, 2009 08:49 PM by DA Southern
Top Chef Las Vegas promises the excitement of a blind Quickfire Challenge as well as ever popular Restaurant Wars where the chefs split up into teams to run their own restaurants Â Putting egos aside, the chefs do what they were trained to do, run a world-class restaurant. OK, the ego thing? Forget about that. The remaining chefs are in an all out battle for the crown ofÂ Top Chef and the other chefs are but in the way and Restaurant Wars has a way of forcing the cream to the top at this point in the competition. It’s just another day onÂ Top Chef onÂ the Vegas Strip.
The chefs met host Padma Lakshmi and guest judge, Chef Rick Moonen, and they announced that they were testing teamwork. The chefs drew knives andÂ Jennifer andÂ Michael V drew teams and the brothers, Michael andÂ Bryan,Â Eli andÂ Robin were against Jennifer,Â Kevin,Â Mike I andÂ Laurine and the teams were to create a team tag-team style. The teams were to each start a dish and then after ten minutes, they would trade off to their teammate to continue on the dish. The trick was that no one was to communicate about the dishes and the team with the best dish would win the high-stakes Quickfire and a cool $10,000 dollars.
With the final whistle going off, there was really no real clear direction as to what the dishes were outside fish and steak, but Bryan V and Kevin looked like they had something in mind with the dishes. Whether it was what was envisioned by Eli and Jen is another question, but we were sure Padma and Chef Moonen would sort it all out.
Moonen and Padma tasted the dishes and it was steak vs trout, cod or black something or another as Jennifer didn’t say the right name for the fish. The Blue Team won the challenge by a fish whisker and Padma then announced Restaurant Wars was the next challenge.
Elimination Challenge – Restaurant Wars
Chef Moonen gave over his restaurant over to the teams and said that he wanted something about the integrity of the seafood to be something or another and even had a card to tell them the way to make sure the fancy term he used was carried out.
Blue Team decided to not serve dessert as Jennifer had seen desserts “bite other teams in the butt” in seasons past, which is true and that Laurine would be handling front-of-house duties. Red Team decided that a dessert would definitely be on the menu and the brothers were on each other’s nerves as they tried to decide on a menu and Eli was doing the front-of-house duties.
Michael V and Robin were at each other’s throats and Michael V summed it up when he said that Robin “was a good chef but she is a little out of her league now” which is very true. The Blue Team was lagging in their prep and Jennifer was worried that Blue would not be ready with the three course meal.
Chef Tom was back to check on the status of the teams and it looked like the brothers were communicating much better as a team for Red and Blue seemed to be a bit scattered.
The guest streamed in Laurine and Eli scrambled to get their patrons seated and as the night wore on, Robin’s total inability to match up with Michael and Bryan V became very apparent. The only saving grace for Robin is that she has become like the cat with nine lives in this competition, always landing on her feet. If it all goes south for the Red team, she will just say that she didn’t have that much that she was responsible for.
Blue Team had gambled that they would win the Restaurant Wars by letting the $10,000 they won in the Quickfire ride. Eli served the Red Team’s dishes first and Eli’s dish was not as popular between Bryan’s chicken. Bryan’s beef dish was not overwhelming but Bryan’s fish was a huge hit. Robin and Michael were at each other’s throat as Robin cussed at him about his dessert. The desserts were superb and, for once, desserts were not going to send anyone home.
The Blue Team were next to serve the judges and Tom noticed right away that there were no desserts and all of the judges were a bit shocked. Padma immediately asked for salt and Mike I got a bit defensive when he discovered that Padma thought her food was not seasoned enough. The judges were really put off that their food was so slow in getting out and when Laurine didn’t explain the dish, the judges had to stop her and ask her to do so. Jennifer’s trout was a “Disaster” so called by Chef Tom and the Blue Kitchen was imploding before our very eyes.
Elimination at the Judges Table
Padma called in the Red team and, while they didn’t like their team name, their food and service far outshined the Blue Team in all areas and thy served dessert. Tom said it was the best Restaurant Wars across six seasons. The judges said that Eli did a great job at the front-of-house and Bryan’s dishes were the most successful. Michael V won the overall challenge and Michael win the $10,000 and split it with the team, which was very gracious but his brother, Bryan was kinda being a big baby and didn’t want any of the money.
Blue Team was in to get a tongue lashing by the judges and Padma told Laurine that she a disaster at the front-of-house. Tom said there was execution problems with every dish on the menu and Jennifer seemed to take it pretty hard overall. Kevin was uncharacteristically sullen when he realized that his lamb was undercooked and Tom C was concerned that there was no leader.
Mike I seemed to be getting a pass and Jennifer was getting mixed reviews. Laurine was being singled out for overall bad front-of-house service and, in the end, Laurine’s overall failure to produce in any way sent her packing her knives. Kevin was so upset that he wouldn’t even discuss his losing experience at the judge’s table as he was not used to being lambasted by the judges because of his cooking.
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Photo Credit: Bravo