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Top Chef Las Vegas Ep. 5 - 09/16/09 (Spoilers)

OK, this was one TOUGH Quickfire - work with cactus, kangaroo, or snake, and the viewers chose cactus! Tim Love as guest judge, and the winner gets $15K in a high-stakes QF.

Low end? Ash, Michael (ouch!), and Ron. Even more surprising? Two out of the three in the high end! Laurene, Mike I. and Mattin!

I *really* thought Mattin had it won with what Chef Love had said about his dish...but Mike I. pulls it out. Michael seemed a bit put out by that (or was it Brian? I still can't figure out the two brothers!) Interesting reaction.

Elimination challenge is cooking lunch outdoors at a ranch for 20 cowboys.

LOL! I love Eli's comment "I don't camp. I think it's ridiculous! We have electricity for a reason!" :-D

Another LOL! "There are 12 chefs. In the desert." And then another voice "Anyone see the Blair Witch Project?"

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  1. Do they have refrigeration out there?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Reignking

      I thought the same thing, but they have to have it and we're just not seeing it. Seafood, beef, etc. not refrigerated?

      1. re: LindaWhit

        I didn't see it, either, but they must have it.

        And did I hear only 1 hr 15 minutes to cook?

        Ah, just saw the coolers wheeled out.\\

        They are doing a lot of background info on chefs tonight.

        1. re: Reignking

          Looks like my concern about the refrigeration may have been well-founded...

          1. re: Reignking

            From Tom's blog:

            "Furthermore, everyone expressed such concern about the cooking elements, but we didn’t hear a peep about the refrigeration, which should have been considered. These chefs spent time around the pool at their digs. They knew it was hot out in the Vegas area. Maybe Robin’s shrimp turned overnight. One way or another, the dishes we were served this episode were the worst of the season to date."

    2. "Michael seemed a bit put out by that (or was it Brian? I still can't figure out the two brothers!) "
      ~~~~~~
      it was Michael, and he's really beginning to irritate me. he sulks every time he doesn't win, the sibling rivalry is beyond tired already, and i wasn't really digging his comment in the beginning of the episode that he, Mike I, and his brother are the strongest cooks. what about Kevin and Jen?

      8 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Yeah, that ticked me off as well re: no mention about Kevin or Jen. We'll see how it goes. Michael is DEFINITELY uncomfortable out there - fish out of water.

        And Laurene is the only one doing something on the grill, and others have TONS of ceviche.....for cowboys? I don't think so.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          The way to tell the RoboTwins apart is their laughter. Just kidding. I think one of them almost cracked a smile. I like intense and serious... in an NFL coach, Marine commander or tax accountant. The seem great cooks but lighten up dudes... cooking for others should be a pleasure.

          At this point my faves are Kevin and Jen, simply due to a mix of skill and personality.

          1. re: tastyjon

            You don't like Brian because he's not a reality TV douchebag? I've been in his kitchen, he's calm but everything comes out cooked perfectly and he's got more talent than anyone - with 3 elmination wins.

            1. re: tastyjon

              Kevin has the soul that the robo twins are lacking, and agree, he and Jen have the potential to make it all the way. I thought Bryan's dish most captured the campfire theme and was a real winner. Mattin has been clueless all the way through to his demise.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Just wait....I think the 5 of them are the best (jen, Kev, Mike x 2, Brian) - we'll have to see which are the top 3. There's a certain amount of posturing. But he is right that some of the women should have gone home before Hector and Mattin.

              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                I disagree about Mattin. I think he really lacks a certain gravitas.

              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                i'd say he has better insight to the quality of the chefs than you and i, and more to the point, he has to share your opinion on them>?

              3. I think we're going to have 20 cevich(e)s.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Reignking

                  Does anyone think this is the worst idea ever? Not to mention the heat, outdoors, in Vegas- they're cooking at a dude ranch for f-ing cowboys. Like someone said, who wants a hearty, filling...ceviche after working hard all day? Yelch.

                  1. re: mjhals

                    That's just it - the ceviche just doesn't fit! Yes, you can cook your style but unless you're a sushi chef, it just seemed the wrong place for ceviche. OK, maybe not a sushi chef, but you know what I mean (I hope <g>).

                    Kevin also seemed to rock it as well.

                    1. re: mjhals

                      I agree. It didn't seem any of them knew how exposed they'd be to the elements... hence all the seafood.

                      Secondly, the amount of cooking time was absurd for the theme. An hour and 15? Cooking for ranch hands? Where's the gourmet stew, the low and slow BBQ? We've seen (and will see again) their gourmet skills and have a quick fire every episode. Why not let them have some more time and see if they can build the layered dishes so many of us love?

                  2. i'm sorry Hector is gone - i'll bet he would have done well in this EC.

                    and based on Ashleigh's comment about knowing how to cook halibut, i'm gonna guess she screwed it up.

                    good lord... did the Greek guy just pronounce gyro the way i think he did?!

                    Edit about Ashleigh - she rocked it. i love that Padma said she may be the dark horse - i said that a couple of weeks ago!

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Missed Padma's comment re: Ashleigh, and yes, Mike I. did pronounce it "jahy-roh" vs. "jeer-roh". Ouch. But is Mike Isabella Greek? I thought he just cooked a lot of Greek/Mediterranean area food.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Everyone in DC calls it gyro - it's a DC thing. He also said he's Greek.

                        1. re: Ericandblueboy

                          He's Italian-American. He just cooks Greek food.

                          "Isabella is from a small Italian family and grew up in New Jersey ... He discovered Greek cooking under Pano Karatassos, spending two years at Kyma, the awardwinning Greek seafood restaurant in Atlanta that he left to come to Zaytinya."

                          http://www.eatwashington.com/article/...

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            Thank you Miss N. I was pretty sure he was Italian-American. Just too tired to look it up last night.

                            And just because "it's a DC thing" doesn't mean it's right. But i've also heard it pronounced "jahy-roh" up here in the Boston area, more often than not.

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Not saying it's right, probably just a habit he picked up while in DC.

                              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                Or South Jersey. If he grew up in an Italian neighborhood, I can definitely see them saying "jahy-roh".

                                1. re: ChefJune

                                  I realized that after posting - I couldn't put the "hyee" into letters last night - brain wasn't working. I could hear it in my head; couldn't put it on screen. I ended up taking from Dictionary.com's pronunciation format.

                        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I remember that! I was actually thinking of you when Padma said that!

                        3. Sounds like Jen and Brian are rocking the EC dishes....and ouch for Mattin and Robin! And Ron's dish just sounds completely out of place.

                          ETA: I think Kevin, Jen and Brian are top 3; Mattin, Robin and Mike I. or Ron are bottom 3.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            The rancher that complemented Jen's dish sounded like Sam Elliot.

                            "Beef, it's what's for dinner."

                            1. re: Reignking

                              Ahhh, Sam Elliott. Love the voice. Ain't too shabby to look at either. ;-) Very appropriate sound-alike for a ranch episode!

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                reminded me of Sam Elliott's character in Roadhouse...bur perhaps that's because the film has been on my mind after Patrick Swayze's death :(

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  That's *exactly* what I was thinking as well, ghg! :-(