Top Chef Vegas, Baby no.1

Yes, every time I say it, I’ll add the (baby). Deal.

Sin City indeed! James Beard nominee! Executive chefs! Eric Ripert! Cancer! Homos! Brothers! Wofie! Arrogance! F-bombs! Yep… tis that time of year, time for the Top Chef program!

Off we go. They arrive at their swank digs complete with pool and waterslide, big kitchen, communal table, smoking patio (let’s be honest), Mattin the Frenchie who’s actually wearing one of those Fred from Scooby Doo kerchiefs around his neck, a “fat kid” wearing a bacon shirt (man after my own heart), Jessie makes a comment about unpacking and then getting the boot (foreshadow anyone?)… dude. As an aside. What is UP with these chicks with massive amounts of tattoos? I have several, I make no judgments, but there are more this year than years prior I’ve noticed. Anyway. Tough broad who worked under Ripert, NYC chef who may be the token homo boy, Michael and Brian who are brothers, two guys who already know each other apart from them. Plus a few folks I missed. Got all that?

Top Chef kitchen: Padma, Tom. Challenge one is a mise en place relay race. Brilliant! Oh boy, speaking of brilliant – showgirls! The gold chip is drawn by Robin who gets immunity and she can abstain from the challenge.

Clean lobsters, shuck clams, peel prawns, butcher two chops from ribs. Tom ok’s tasks, team wins. Uh oh, a team member asks if a clam is like an oyster. I don’t know the answer to that but I’m guessing it’s a big fat no. Hmm, some dude just made a comment about how “some girl” shouldn’t be a better clam shucker than him. Great. Frenchie’s team is kicking arse. Team oyster is still struggling with leg one of the challenge. Arrogant Bastard’s team takes second. I don’t know anything about the third.

Quickfire reward includes $15K this season, fyi. The challenge is that each chef make something using their ingredient from the relay. Favorite: Jenn (Ripert) with a prawn ceveche, least favorites are glossed over.

Hold it. That was not a challenge of mise prep, that was a sous chef challenge! I call foul!

The Big Show: Choose a personal vice and base a dish around it, cook for Wolfgang Puck, $1000 budget at Whole Paycheck, ready go.

Whoa I just heard “Maker’s Mark Manhattan sweet potato…” something. Hi, you win.

There are some pretty dishes coming out of this kitchen, I must say. The cynic takes a back seat for once. For now. One of them did a halibut steak to look like a bar of soap once put in his mouth, clever. Lots of smoking and booze as vices, which, if you know chefs, is no shock right?

(The music this season sounds exactly like the American Beauty soundtrack)

There are some clear winners and losers. Ron, Mike, Kevin and Jennifer called in first (winners). Of those, Kevin (Redbeard) is the best. Worst: Hector, Jessie, Jen and Eve. The judges reeeeeally didn’t like what those folks had to offer. My money is on Eve. The judges say Jen… dang, I didn’t see that happening. Interesting. Her chile relleno was not up to the par.

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