There was no shortage of personalities on this week's episode of Top Chef with guests Penn and Teller and Michelle Bernstein, and the return of judge Toby Young.
Note: We reveal the winner and losers below ...
With the cheftestants' numbers dwindling, tensions were flaring – as they often do. This week's episode delivered plenty of cattiness, rolled eyes and bruised egos – oh, and some food too. Here are a few of our thoughts:
- Someone packed a lot of red scarves. The remaining chefs seemed pretty bummed about Mattin's exit last week. In his honor, they all wore a red scarf to the quickfire. Aww. We love it when everyone comes together.... And then they promptly commenced with the backbiting.
- No love for Robin. The rest of the chefs also seemed to be in agreement that they wanted Robin gone. Laurine complained about her constant talking in the kitchen, which was followed by a short clip of Robin narrating her progress. OK, a little annoying. Eli took great offense to her quickfire story about embracing healthy foods through her battle with cancer, and nearly everyone's eyes rolled when she won. Here's the thing – Michelle Bernstein is no stranger to Top Chef, and she's proven herself to be a pretty tough judge in the past. Whether the cancer story was a cheap ploy or not, Robin wouldn't have won the challenge without great-tasting food. Period. It may not have been a fancy, high-concept dish, but as we've seen on Top Chef so many times before, that's rarely the point. And in our opinion, Robin is hardly the only contestant who has skated by on sub-par dishes in past episodes.
- Eggs Foreign to Me. The elimination challenge had the chefs deconstructing classic dishes. Mike I. pulled Eggs Florentine, and had a hard time figuring out exactly what goes into the dish. He asked around and some of the other chefs were confused about it too. Either that, or they were messing with him.
- No Toby, that is how you say paella. Toby Young made his return to judges' table and got right to the snarky comments. (According to his Bravo blog, he was scheduled to judge an earlier episode, but a bike accident left him TUFTY - "too ugly for telly.") He dug in his British heels on the pronunciation of paella, arguing that American's don't say 'Meh-hee-co,' so why say 'pie-ey-a?' Michelle Bernstein promptly noted that she is Latin, and does, in fact, use the Spanish pronunciation of Mexico. So there. But call it whatever you want – Ron's paella was deemed neither deconstructed nor good, and he was sent knife packing. There didn't seem to be any argument about the pronunciation of mole, and Kevin's interpretation made him the week's winner.
Next week, it looks like the chefs will be doing some home cooking. That should be interesting!
So, what did you think of this week's episode?