TOP CHEF: Pigs and Pinot - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TOP CHEF: Pigs and Pinot

October 15, 2009 by  

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, watching Top Chef at 6 a.m. OnDemand (which I give another shout out to for being awesome) after going to bed at 2 a.m., or my grumpy mood I’ve been in all week, or maybe it’s just how the last episode went, but I really expected Top Chef to be more douchey than it was this week. Not that I’m complaining, I’m just saying I didn’t yell at my TV this week.

Also, this really wasn’t my week because I am just not into wine. And I don’t know if I know anyone less into wine than I am. And people are always like, “But you just haven’t had gooooooood wine!” and I’m all, “False.” (And yeah, that’s totally Dwight-style.) I HAVE had good wine, only because I worked in nice restaurants where we were forced to taste it (and because I once had a roommate who had a stalker and he brought her some stolen wine from his job at the country club and you know how college is—you’ll drink anything if necessary), and you know, in a pinch I could drink some white wine, like a pinot grigio or a riesling or something, but I wouldn’t enjoy it that much. I’d rather have a Diet Coke, frankly. Although I am a connoisseur of cheap beers, ALSO thank you college—give me a blind taste test of Natty Light, Busch Light and Keystone Light, and I will blow your mind.

ANYWAY. I’m totally bored with the wine thing and I wish it would just die already, and I hated the movie Sideways, but apparently we’re still doing this so whatever. And I didn’t really understand the whole pairing thing, either—I mean, I understand the general idea, just not HOW it works or what they were looking for. I usually feel like I leave Top Chef learning something, and this week I was just vaguely confused but not interested enough to look stuff up later on my own. Also, I can’t spell the names of probably at least half of the dishes, I just know they sounded French.

And again, nothing really shocking happened. The top four were the top four—Brothers Volt, Jen, and Kevin, who has a big tattoo on his arm and who won the challenge. Seriously, has the absolute undisputed top four ever emerged so early in a season?

Also, I feel like after rewatching it in the previouslies, I feel like I might have been a TINY bit harsh on Bryan last week. I still think he was unnecessarily assy, but he wasn’t as hateful as I heard it the first time. I still don’t approve, but they seem to have moved on, so I will too.

I don’t know, I think we’re hitting a weird part of the season where the chefs have been living with each other long enough to be annoyed with each other … well, to be annoyed with Robin, really … but they’ve also been living together long enough to start adjusting to it. And I kind of feel that way about all of them, and I realized it during this episode where Michael Voltaggio was giving Eli a hard time about Robin, and when he was saying that they got into a big fight, Michael was like, and then you had sex. And then you got to second base. And then out of nowhere, Bryan is like, “Did you?” and it was so funny, such great comedic timing, and Eli was getting SO pissed, and I was suddenly like … I can see where Michael might be a little bit fun to hang out with in any situation far away from food.

Meanwhile, I can tell that everyone is still irritated with Robin, but at least Mike Isabella seemed to be dealing with it better this week—he was kind of cracking jokes, and granted, they were still at her expense, but I’d still rather have that than pure hatred, so maybe he’ll continue to mellow out because …

… Yeah, Robin is totally still here.

It won’t be long, nor will it be long for Laurine. Do I think Robin is a good chef? I mean, maybe, but not in the context of Top Chef. Am I like, deeply and personally offended that she’s still there? No. Do I find her annoying? Yes, but I don’t think that’s a reason to send her home and it’s not like the judges have to live with her, so it’s not even a subconscious factor for them either. And I think it was completely fair to send Ash home. He hasn’t done anything that spectacular, and he kind of deserved it after last week’s mouth diarrhea all over the judges’ table.

And really, let’s face it. It doesn’t matter much at this point. You’ve got your final four and everyone is either going to fade into obscurity now or in a couple weeks, no major difference in going home now or at #5, at least in my opinion.

Okay, one last thing and then I’m turning it over to you guys. So it’s been released in the media that Padma is pregnant, but they haven’t acknowledged it on the show. I noticed that she didn’t drink anything in this episode, but it seemed like it was edited in a way to just make it not noticeable. I wonder if they’re going to address it on the show—I would imagine that at some point they’ll have to, but I have no idea how far along she is or when she’ll start to show or when they’ll start putting her in flowy tops. All I can really hope for is that being pregnant makes her REALLY bring the pukeface. Sorry Padma, I don’t want you to feel bad but you don’t know how much joy I get from your pukeface.

Alright, guys! What did everyone else think? Agree or disagree with Ash being sent home? Like or dislike the wine stuff? Who do you most want to punch in the face this week? And did anyone else picture an ARNIE Palmer (½ iced tea, ½ lemonade) whenever they said Charlie Palmer? Discuss!

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.


9 Responses to “TOP CHEF: Pigs and Pinot”

  1. strunkette on October 15th, 2009 1:21 pm

    Great recap as usual, SB.

    Ok. First off I watched this episode at about 11pm in bed which means my husband watched with me. He is the farthest away you can get from a foodie, but he had some great comments. One being “They sure can make food look good” with a look of amazement. It was just so honest. I appreciate the fact that he put up with spontaneous outbursts of “He’s my favorite” (in a sweet, slightly aww-he’s-so-cute voice) whenever Kevin came on the screen. I can’t help it!

    I’m not a huge wine drinker, but I can and will drink it at times, though beer is cheaper and better suited for most times I imbibe. I certainly can’t ascertain the different crap that’s in wine. Kudos to those who can. Seems like a lot of work to me. It at least made the challenges interesting. It obviously brought out the better chefs. While the ability to pair wine isn’t a must for a good chef, it seems like something a top chef should be able to do. Though
    my only qualification is really great tasting food.

    Some thoughts about the challenge…

    The hubby and I were both laughing when Eli, who wouldn’t stop gushing about his wine knowledge and ability to pair anything perfectly, was blasted by the judges for it being completely wrong in the Elimination! HA!

    Mike Isabella wasn’t annoying because I hit fast forward every time he came on the screen 🙂

    I really loved Michael V making fun of Eli and that whole scene. Nice little light moment.

    I think it was fine that Ash went home. (Like I’ve said before they’re all cannon fodder til the four.) You have no business being on Top Chef if you don’t have the confidence to do your own dish. Getting input is fine but don’t let Mike Isabella influence you!

    Next week looks really good. the Vols, Eli and Robin on a team? Looks like Michael’s gonna go bananas, can’t wait.

    ***I had no idea a ½ iced tea, ½ lemonade was called an Arnie Palmer…here I thought I came up with that on my own. (My version is slightly more tea than lemonade.)

  2. Patty on October 15th, 2009 1:29 pm

    I noticed last week before I knew Padma was preggers that she seemed to be wearing maternity clothes. I thought it was just me.

    I really don’t care who goes home. the best part is seeing who is in the bottom three and how they make excuses for the crap they served. The judges must have had a hard time this week!

  3. c on October 15th, 2009 1:36 pm

    This recap summed up my thoughts really well!! I can’t identify good wine nor do I want to. I can barely consume 1 glass of white, and if I do I’m wishing it was a Diet Coke instead. I do love a tasty beer though 🙂

    I’m super-annoyed by Robin but there’s nothing the other chefs can do about it until her cooking is abysmal enough to get her sent home. But I do wish they would just send home all the bad people in one fell swoop, because this feels like a crowded season and it’s blatantly obvious who the best chefs are.

  4. SB on October 15th, 2009 2:35 pm

    LOL Patty, you sound like me with the bottom three comment. Love it!

    Great reminder on Eli being so full of himself and then getting shot down at elimination. Hee!

    Also, I forgot to ask, Erik tweeted me something about Padma’s dig at Ash’s dish–whatever it was, I missed it and I had no idea why he was so pissed at her in the stew room. Anyone?

  5. c on October 15th, 2009 4:21 pm

    Oh, is that why he said something about cooking/inviting the judges over, “except not Padma”?

  6. Erik on October 15th, 2009 8:05 pm

    I didn’t want to spoil the bottom three (as if Ash wasn’t a shoe-in), but it was the “Did you taste your dish/Did you notice any lack of flavor or seasoning?” attack during the judge’s table. She delivered it with such seriousness, and his facial expression was the definition of dumbfounded.

  7. cinethia on October 16th, 2009 12:39 am

    Ash reminded me of Charlie Brown and Mike Isabella was his Lucy!! He HAD a great idea and one word from Mike about a cold pork dish and he took off with it!! What the heck?? Why was he ALWAYS doing that?? It’s almost as thought Mike set him up to fail!
    Oh and BTW…. Eli’s crocks totally grossed me out while he was on the phone with his parents!!! Am I the only OCD person that noticed that nastiness??

  8. Lisa (aka lmr) on October 16th, 2009 8:28 am

    Hello, SB! I had to close my eyese not to be spoiled by your review yet as I’ve not yet had a chance to view the show. I could not, however, wait to tell you about going to Fleur de Lys in San Francisco Thursday night. As I sat in the entryway awaiting my dinner companions’ arrival, Chef Hubert came in after first having a conversation with his valet parking attendant. He came in and talked with a couple at the bar and then turned to greet and talk to me. Thank god my friends were late. OMG, he is all that and more! I told him he was a fan favorite and that I and my friends were visiting all of the top chef masters restaurants and who knows what else I blathered about but he was charming. His lovely (and age appropriate) wife Chantal runs front of house and is equally charming. She later came to our table and she designed the interior and fabric used which is gorgeous ( We also told her of our quest and she said to go to Mike Chiarello’s restaurant in Napa and that he is actually really, really nice. She also gave us each a book that talks about favorite restaurants around the world complete with a Fleur de Lys bookmark. We were lucky to go that night as they split their time between SF and Las Vegas. The food and service were as expected both amazIng. Yes, you do need a second mortgage on your home ($600 for a party of three) but it was such a memorable experience I have no regrets.

  9. Jacob on October 17th, 2009 4:53 pm

    If they mention anything about Padma’s pregnacy, it’ll be during the finale, which is several months after the final Vegas episode. By that time they won’t be able to hide it (well), and even then it may not be used at all. She’s just a judge, the focus should be on the chefs not on the condition of one of the persons eating the food (unless that’s the given challege (I’m looking at you Zooey Deschanel episode)). Then again, they gave a whole episode to Gail’s engagment party, but that was worked in fairly well with minor challenges hidden within, and there’s also history with having wedding themed episodes per season anyway (this year’s bachalor/ette party) so it wasn’t a big deal. It also explained why Gail wouldn’t be there, and opened up a big can of TOBY, so it was all good. To have an episode based on “pregnacy food” (?) would require the addition of more pregnant ladies to justify and that would just be focusing on the fact that they were adjusting things just to accomidate Padma. But then that’d only work once, because you can’t force the chefs to have cook around Padma for the remainder of the competition and call it fairly in the end.

    The wine thing I think is challenging, because the show treats it’s viewers just a tad higher then it maybe should (food wise, it caters to the reality drama denominator pretty quickily) and never explains what goes into pairing food with wine. Yes, reds are bitter, whites are sweet, pinks are even sweeter, but I’ve yet to see a talking head say “When you pair wine with a meal there’s a lot you have to think about, such as -” and then you go “Oh, wow, I never thought about that.”

    With Robin…I’m wondering about producer influence, because so far there are more times she could’ve been gone and they’ve gone with someone else. Maybe they think they won’t find another season villian, or she just keeps the drama up…maybe they’re playing towards the over fifty (isn’t she, I coulda sworn) crowd, I dunno. But there’s something more keeping her in the house then everyone else being just a little bit worse then her.

    ((also, it was a pig tattoo on his arm, not just a big one)