TOP CHEF Recap: Camping - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TOP CHEF Recap: Camping

September 17, 2009 by  

Now, you guys all know that we try to keep it pretty PG-13 or calmer around here, but I still don’t think that anyone will be shocked to learn that I am like straight up, world championship level at cussing at the TV. In fact, cussing at the TV is probably tied for #1 in my favorite television-related activities, along with the social element—having friends over to watch, talking about my favorite shows online, etc. So needless to say, I have some practice.

Anyway, all this to say, that some of the stuff I was yelling at Top Chef last night probably would’ve made a sailor blush, because I have a new person to hate, and that person is Michael Voltaggio. For every sentence that you read from me about him, please know that you are missing at least one F-bomb that is going off in my head. I can’t handle him right now.

Really, it started right at the beginning of the episode, when he was saying that he, Bryan, and Mike Isabella were the strongest chefs there. And then it showed them getting up from their little frat bro meeting by the pool or whatever. UGH. FIRST OF ALL (oh yeah, here comes the all caps), I don’t think it’s ever anyone’s place to make that kind of claim about themselves. You can be confident in your abilities and know that you do good work, but claiming superiority over other people is always something that should be said ABOUT you, and not BY you. Secondly, yes, Bryan is awesome. Mike is okay and even good a lot of the time, but he’s inconsistent and you have just COMPLETELY disregarded the supreme talent of both Kevin and Jen, and that irritates me, especially since he partnered with Jen last week and KNOWS how good she is. So there’s the first part.

Then we get to the Quickfire, and I thought it was nice to see some different people do well on that, even though Mike Isabella pulled it out again. At this point, and really later on in the elimination challenge too, I realized how much I really do root for Ashley, which is surprising since I didn’t start out loving her. Every time she’s up for a win, I’m cheering for her, and every time she’s in the bottom, I’m defending her and/or nervous she’ll go home. And I like Ash too—he’s definitely not the best chef there, but he’s entertaining and REALLY likable. When he described the look on Tim’s face as being pissed off for making him eat that food, it was so dead on that I had to laugh.

But mostly, this Quickfire just super reinforced my new Michael hate. He was just acting like such a child about the whole thing, and I think his talking head about “I’d rather be able to make good flavors than get the water out of a cactus” was when my cussing a blue streak really started. Because ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Seriously, dude? Get over yourself. You just said that Mike is one of the best chefs in this competition, AND he’s your friend, and you can’t even be a gracious loser about it? You can’t even admire his skill or admit that you screwed up just this once? You make me want to puke in my mouth and eat it again.

So with all of his enormous ego and arrogant talking heads, I was hoping they were setting us up for a surprise Michael elimination, except I really wasn’t that hopeful since I know how the producers feel about their precious little bro-on-bro competition storyline, but then I thought, well, at least maybe he’ll be in the bottom and they’ll scare some of that god-awful attitude out of him, because his ego has just gotten way out of control and it really needs to be reined in, and soon. I don’t know what it is about him—even Stefan didn’t annoy me this much. Heck, even DALE in season four didn’t annoy me this much. I can’t put my finger on it, but I’ll keep on trying, don’t you worry.

And did you SEE where they asked him if he had a background in Japanese food, and he was all smug and like, “I have an every-kind-of-food background.” I wanted to punch him in his tiny mouth.

I’ve gotta quit talking about Michael for a minute. I feel my blood pressure rising higher than it would after a delicious plate of Kevin’s food.

Again in the elimination, it was nice to see some different competitors—Laurine really needed the mental boost and Ashley’s looked really good and I had my fingers crossed for her, but in the end Bryan took it and that was probably the right choice. Interestingly, in spite of my Michael hate going way up, my Bryan love also went way up, so apparently he’s not guilty by association in my book. You can tell that he’s VERY skilled, but also probably the most thoughtful of the bunch, although I think that Jen is definitely a thinker too. And I think we’ll see Bryan all the way up to the final three or four (probably still with his douche of a brother).

I was telling Billy last night that Bryan actually reminds me in a lot of ways of President Obama—he seems very intelligent, and he’s very thoughtful and consistent. He doesn’t ever really get too emotional in either direction, and he’s happy when he wins, disappointed when he loses, but always gracious about both. Little Bro could take some notes.

Kind of an off week for my favorites, Jen and Kevin, although I’ve gotta say that Jen made me laugh REALLY hard in her delivery during her talking head about Ron, when she’s so dry and saying, “And then we’ve got Ron, looking for a sword.” I cracked up, and then she’s like, “I don’t know if anyone has a sword in their knife kit …” OMG, my love for her just grows and grows.

And also, I wonder if they’ve started putting in those little vignettes during the commercials so they have more time to show off Kevin’s shenanigans, because he’s so great. That whole horseshoes bit was amazing, both in how good he is at it and that he grew up with a regulation horseshoe pit in his yard. He’s the best.

Anyway, as far as eliminations go, I wasn’t really shocked to see any of the bottom three, and I was never really worried about Ron, since his main offense was his drink and all he had to do was not be an idiot and he’d get to stay. Ron is another one, like Ash, who I don’t necessarily think is the greatest chef on there (which isn’t to say he isn’t very talented, just in terms of the competition), but who is just so darn likable that I’m not ready to see him go yet.

I could’ve dealt with either Robyn or Mattin going, but Tom and the crew don’t like it when people don’t realize that they made gross food, so he was the one I expected to go. And I won’t miss him—he really just didn’t “bring it”, as the kids say, and I think they really hoped he’d be the next Fabio, but obviously, just no. No, no, no, and no some more.

What did you guys think of this one? Is anyone else riding the Michael hate train with me? Did you agree with the judges’ top and bottom three, and choices for winner and elimination? Did you see anything you wanted to eat after a hard day working on the ranch? Discuss it all the comments!

SB has many interests, including photography, her pets, entertainment, traveling and writing. She does have a day job, but that mostly amounts to her being a sarcastic young woman with a lot of time on her hands, which is why she appreciates the opportunity to recap.


11 Responses to “TOP CHEF Recap: Camping”

  1. Christina on September 17th, 2009 12:46 pm

    I’m still pondering what that one chef meant when he said camping was asidine. Did he mean asinine? Is asidine even a word? This disregard for the English language threw the whole ep off for me.

    Oh yes and Bryan is not a douche like his brother.

  2. Patty on September 17th, 2009 1:09 pm

    I wont’ be sad to see Mattine go. I couldnt’ understand most of what he said and his food always made my stomach roll. I to am always shocked when a chef doesn’t realize their food was crap. What does it say about them?

  3. Kim on September 17th, 2009 3:41 pm

    I completely agree about Michael. Up till last night’s episode, I couldn’t really keep the brothers straight. I just knew they could both cook and they seemed nice enough. Ha! Michael’s assessment of the remaining chefs was off-base. I was trying to remember if he was the one who had partnered with Jen last week, so thanks for reminding me. That’s just ridiculous that he doesn’t consider her one of the best there. And Kevin! Hello! Not cool. And yeah, you pretty much covered all of his major offenses. I was rooting for the brothers, but not anymore. Bryan’s still awesome (thank goodness) but I am definitely on the Michael Hate Train.

  4. SB on September 17th, 2009 4:17 pm

    Woo woo! All aboard! I’m so glad the train won’t be leaving the station with just me on it. And Patty, couldn’t have said it better.

  5. Kelly on September 17th, 2009 5:29 pm

    Thanks for the great recap, SB! I too was talking back to the TV last night, although I had to be fairly quiet because I was watching at 2 am. Good thing I seem to lack any cursing gene. 🙂

    I wasn’t at all sad to see Mattin go. I had positive feelings for him in the beginning (loved the jaunty red neckerchief!), but his talent in no way matched up to his arrogance. I was really happy to see Laurine and Ashley do well — hopefully this experience will give them the confidence they need in the competition. I especially liked that Laurine really went for the grilling aspect of the challenge, instead of wimping out with a ceviche. How is a ceviche going to fill up a cowboy??

    Two other notes: I also wanted to smack Michael V. upside the head. Jerk! And has Eli always been Mr. Grouchypants? He complained about EVERYTHING during the competition. I don’t remember him complaining so much before, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really noticed him.

  6. Katie on September 17th, 2009 5:58 pm

    Best two chefs hands down are Jen and Kevin.

  7. Nicole on September 17th, 2009 11:25 pm

    Michael V. is such a complete d-bag; totally on board that train. I agree that I started to like Bryan a little more this week, like you did. He’s obviously really talented, and I love how he’s always so measured and thoughtful about everything. Although he’s sometimes a little emotion and personality-challenged – he seems like he could benefit from a drunken night out by the pool. Love Jen, LOVE Kevin, and absolutely adore Ash. I do agree that he hasn’t been at the caliber of the top contestants, but he seems relatively talented and he’s SO FREAKING FUNNY. I know that shouldn’t be what keeps him around, but I really hope he stays as long as possible. Also, go Laurine and Ashley! It was a pleasant surprise to see them represent so well, and I realized that I do find myself rooting for Ashley more and more.

  8. SB on September 18th, 2009 12:44 pm

    Oh, Kelly, thanks for reminding me about Eli. I also noticed him complaining about camping (and EVERYTHING) the entire show, but I got so worked up about Douche Voltaggio while writing the recap that I completely forgot to mention it. I mean, I thought all southern boys liked camping!

  9. cinethia on September 18th, 2009 1:22 pm

    It seems like with the bros that Bryan has the talent, passion and LOVE of cooking where Micheal is in it for the competition and attention. He is more concerned with winning to upstage his brother because he is not as good as he is.

  10. SB on September 18th, 2009 3:22 pm

    cinethia, I think that is an absolutely brilliant, concise, and insightful summary of the situation.

  11. Lisa (aka lmr) on September 19th, 2009 8:18 am

    Was out of town (was in Vegas, ha ha) and just got to watch last night. I’m over the same people winning every week… I wanted Laurine for the win and am bummed. Michael V is on the same boat as Mike I and I want it to leave the dock now! Eli may be annoying but I am so with him on camping. Camping to me is staying in a hotel without room service 🙂 I’m also a little sick of outdoor meals in 110f heat…recipe for food poisoning. I would only eat well cooked meat in those environs. Still Kevin for the win!