December 02, 2009 09:35 PM by DA Southern
Top Chef Las Vegas becomes Top Chef Napa Valley as we eliminate Jennifer, I mean, one of the remaining chefs tonight to set up the three man, again, sorryâ€¦three “Person” finale. Unless Jennifer comes way up and one of the brothers or Kevin falls flat on their face, it will probably be a Kevin vs the brothers in the finale. However, stranger things have happened onÂ Top Chef.
The beauty of Napa Valley makes you think that the competition should have been there all season long. You have got to wonder if the remaining four chefs would enjoy the scenery and with a pregnant Padma greeting them, wine was probably out of the question for them.
Padma said that the Quickfire was a grasp challenge while traveling on the Napa Valley train. To top it off, the winner gets a new Prius. Is it too late for me to enter with my classic oatmeal dish?
The chefs took their thirty minutes seriously and Kevin struggled the most as he suffered with motion sickness the entire challenge.Â Kevin was first with his dish, followed byÂ Michael V,Â Bryan andÂ Jennifer. Michael V picked up the Quickfire win and the car. It looked as though Michael V was continuing in his winning ways and was headed to the finale unless he melts down at the elimination challenge.
The chefs were catering a wine party featuring ingredients strictly grown in Napa Valley. Each chef had to prepare two dishes for one hundred and fifty people; one vegetarian dish and one dish that must include a local protein. Kevin was sure that this challenge played into his strong suit as he said that he strictly cooks with local ingredients every day.
The chefs headed into local restaurant, Brix, and they each had five hours to get their dishes prepared. What struck me as to the graciousness between the chefs, but it was put the best by Jen when she said, “Hope you do great, but I am going to beat you.”
Chef Tom was in to check on the chef’s progress and Tom was concerned that Kevin’s time constraints might be an issue. Jen seemed to have a pretty solid control over her dishes and Bryan’s dishes seemed to impress Colicchio. Michael’s food was complicated, as usual, but Tom expected nothing less from him and expected that “Bragging rights” were up for grabs between the brothers.
You can tell that Jennifer knew that the pressure was on her as she surveyed the other dishes and the judges arrived to the tables. Guest judge Michael Chiarello again joined the judges, Padma, Tom and Gail for the sampling and it seems as if they all nit picked the dishes to death. Michael V and Kevin’s dishes really seemed to impress. Jennifer’s dishes were said to be very salty. It wasn’t clear if Jennifer had done enough to continue on as it seemed as all four chefs were on top of their game.
The Judges Table
The judges were as confusing as ever as they all seemed to have their favorites and dishes that they did not enjoy as much. It was unclear who was on the chopping block as Jennifer seemed to do enough to stay. I can’t imagine that Kevin and the brothers wouldn’t be the most talented finale ever on Top Chef, but maybe the judges wanted a woman in the finale and this is Top Chef where crazy things do happen.
Padma called them all in and they all were praised for the professionalism of the entire season. Kevin’s simplicity in his dishes was actually welcomed; Bryan’s dishes were called “Subtle” and the seasoning was a bit challenged by Padma; Michael’s dishes were challenged a bit more than expected and Jennifer’s dishes were called “An interesting combination” and Padma said there was too much salt.
The four chefs lined up for the final verdict. The winner of the challenge was Bryan as he earned a spot in the finale. The finale three were all called great but had “Something missing” so said Tom. Jennifer was called, “A little scattered,” which said it all as she was told to “Pack her knifes and go” by Padma.
As expected, it is a brothers vs Kevin finale and I believe that even Jennifer knew that she had to bring her “A game” or go home. She went home.
Next week the brothers and Kevin square off for all of the marbles and it the brothers are not careful, Kevin could scoot between them and walk away with it all.
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Photo Credit: Bravo