Bonjour, je m'appel Joshua David Stein. Je vais discuter le program Top Chef: Las Vegas qui passe au le network demigay, Bravo hier soir. Merci a Brian de m'avoir remplaçé gentilement le semaine derniere.

Like Gen. Douglas MacCarthur, I have returned. Let's chat about last night's episode which, to my mind, may have been the best of the entire season for all trifling human emotions were subjugated for the common good of classical French cuisine. Say what you will about the abuses of the European stage system —amply illustrated by sadistic twat-for-brain Michael Chiarello—it does usefully turn one into a batonnet, Bearnaise, sauce Americaine making machine. There were also flashes of love and, of course, predictable flashes of gummy-mouthed babyboy MIchael Isabella's credit-grabbing grubiness. On the whole, however, the producers restrained themselves from playing up too much the Cane and Abel Voltaggio's rivalry and from overt mind-dick-heart tugging editing.

First of all, Daniel Boulud, the chef equivalent of Hilly Kristal and Tom Colicchio, the chef equivalent of Tom Verlaine, ask the assembled chefs to make escargot. Aside from being gross because the snails were alive and look like zombie boogers, it's not really that hard. Snails have been cooked for years in many ways in many countries with little freaking out. But freaking out ensued. SNAILS! WHAT THE FUCK! REALLY? SNAILS! YOU PRICK, YOU CAD.


Refreshingly, a subtly eighties Colicchio announced the loser of the quickfire could be eliminated. Gasp. Some weak feminism ensued. But it was welcome news because at this point I'd love to see the dead weight of the cast excised. Au revoir Laurine, Jessie, Ashley, Ron, Isabella, Robin, idiot chefs of the dumb dimension. Kevin won, of course, because he's a very good chef and maybe a pork-based angel. Jessie, untrained pierced lip crier, got sent home because her shit is wack, she had no inspiration (how tired the formulation ____L.T. is!) and isn't formally trained. Mostly someone went home, though, because the Elimination Challenge needed an even number. Ah, the French! Never ones to shy away from cutting an expedient deal! .

On to the Elimination challenge wherein contestants were divided, loosely upon their volition but really upon standard French preparations, into six teams of two each with one cheftestant responsible for the protein and the other for the sauce. It was a great challenge because you actually got to learn about French cuisine and there's a verifiable standard to which to hold the efforts so there's none of this New Criticism shit. Also, for those unfamiliar with some of the preparations, the English version of Basics: Foundation in Modern Cooking by Filip Verheyden is a great place to start.

The challenge would be judged by a panel of intimidating French people: Joel Robuchon, Hubert Keller, Daniel Boulud, Laurent Tourendel and....Pork-based Angel Kevin who not only won immunity but got to eat at a table with the world's greatest chefs. Happily, Mike Voltaggio and Jennifer Carroll were paired together to make rabbit with a sauce chasseur, thus safeguarding one or the other from working with an imbecile. They also worked in uncanny silence and it was kind of like watching two people making love watching them cook together. So entrained! So keyed in! Bryan, sadly, was paired with dick for dick Isabella. Haitian Ron made frog legs which is ironic (is it ironic?) because he looks like a frog while Cancer Vixen Robin talked about garbanzo beans and nearly everything else and ran around like a woman who knows she's living on borrowed time and isn't going to waste it not being frantic. Ass Fuck, who gets more likable every day, is thwarted in his au poivreté by Hector's inept beef-cooking. Ashley is an idiot who is cute and likeable but can't get anything right meanwhile Mattin thinks he's a man but he's really a boy, he thinks he's a man but he's really a toy. He also is only okay at cooking and not great at it.

Now onto the dinner! Kevin and Tom match which is cute. [They'd make a very cute couple, hanging out on Shelter Island and what not.) Joel Robuchon apologizes, in perfect English, for not speaking perfect English. His commentary on the food, however, was enlightening and incisive. It was really only about the food and couldn't have come, I don't think, from anyone less talented. Athena-of-the-subcontinent Padma Lakshmi nodded a lot like she understands French (doubtful!). Hubert Keller of Fleur de Lys and the X-Men movie franchise, also had interesting things to say. I hope Gail Simmons never leaves.

At Judge's Table, Isabella tries to take credit again for a dish not his. Bryan Voltaggio gave him the exact ingredients for the bernaise. Any old fool can say, "Let's deconstruct!" but only a wise man knows the component elements that give structure to the deconstruction. How much longer must we wait until there's a solo challenge where Isabella's giddy fuckness is revealed. In the end Bryan won, rightly. Every one was civil plus he gets to work at Robuchon's kitchen for a week. The losers came out. Ass Fuck was fine. Ashley, the Terry Schiavo of Top Chef, just won't die. Mattin, who is unctuous true, made it to live another morning. It was Hector Santiago who left, due to his hackwork with his steak and for not letting it rest. Whether the fault was his or perhaps sacrosanct sponsor Monogram's was left unresolved as he grimly walked into the sunset, mouth set and eyebrows furrowed and begging for business at his restaurant.

Video by Mikey Byhoff.