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It's the episode the chefs have all been waiting for -- Restaurant Wars! And what a crazy episode it was. Let's start from the beginning, my little pear pithiviers. In the Quickfire Challenge, we had our first ever tag team challenge! The chefs broke into teams and had to work together to create one dish. First stringers Jennifer and Eli had different approaches in that Jennifer created a flavor profile for her team, while Eli wanted to leave that open. I was personally getting frustrated that no one knew that Jennifer wanted to poach her fish, until Laurine came along. But even after that, Kevin still decided to cook it in a pan. In the end, his team still won. Although they earned $10K, they had the option to let it ride. If they won the Elimination Challenge, they would each get $10K. And so they let it ride.
The Elimination Challenge? Restaurant Wars!!! Probably the biggest differences in this year's version of the challenge were the exclusion of the decor aspect of the challenge and the fact that the person who opted to do front-of-the-house had to be responsible for one of his/her own dishes. Let's start with Revolt. First of all, how funny is that name? Come on guys! It would have been so much easier to change your name to Revolution, so as not to conjure up thoughts of, well, vomiting. Thankfully they made their restaurant name ironic: First up were Michael's chicken and calamari dish and Eli's arctic char. Eli's dish wasn't memorable, but it wasn't bad, and his fine job in front made up for it. Michael's dish, on the other hand, had Tom asking for more. Next up was Bryan's duo of beef and Michael's cod dish. Some patrons complained about the temperature of Bryan's food, but Toby seemed to enjoy it enough to make a positive comment about it during Judges' Table. Michael's cod dish was another winner. In preparation of the croquettes for that dish, we see Michael yell at Bryan and tell him not to touch them; he'll fry them himself. Their relationship is so interesting to me because Bryan is older, yet it seems that Michael is the one that does the pushing around. G-d knows it wouldn't be like that if it were my older sister and I in the kitchen; I guess that's why I relate to Bryan. Finally, we have dessert. Bryan executed his previously-unsuccessful ganache, now complete with delicious mint ice cream! Robin rocked an Asian pear pithivier, which originates in the twon of Pithiviers, France (Thanks, Wikipedia!) The big drama on Team Revolt was in the kitchen between Robin and Michael. Watch the fight:
Eh, I don't know who was right, but it seemed like Michael was micromanaging, which can be annoying. Sure, Robin shouldn't have cursed, but I think at this point she is just so fed up. Also, at Judges' Table they seemed to disagree on how much Michael "helped," and i honestly have no idea. On a total sidenote: does anyone else notice how often Robin uses the word "station?" I'm not questioning her, but it's almost like she uses it like it's a big word that makes it sound like she knows more about cooking. Or am i just buying too much into the other chefs' opinion of her? That's probably it. Anyway, Team Revolt was named Best Restaurant Wars Restaurant EVER by Tom Colicchio. That's pretty amazing. You can rate the rest of the restaurants in the gallery HERE.
I really like Jennifer but, as much as I hate to say it, she should have gone home - 2!! bad dishes. I felt bad for Laurine - she was the messenger and the saying is "don't shoot the messenger" but Top Chef did. Regarding Laurine's lamb dish, she kept telling Kevin it was too rare, but in the end she was done in by her team's poor performance.
Good luck to all next week.
I know that all the other chefs find Robin annoying, and are upset that she is still competing, but I think that they are remarkably disrespectful to her. I was shocked to see on Tom's blog that he described Michael V's behavior toward her as "firm, albeit respectful". If the tables were turned and Robin had tried to "help" (i.e. take over) Mike's food, we would have seen major fireworks. I am not defending Robin's cooking - I think her time was up a while ago - but I think she has handled the unprofessional and disrespectful treatment with grace much of the time. I would have blown up long before this episode.
Like everyone else, restaurant wars is one of the episodes I most look forward to seeing. This season's may have been the best ever, but I was curiously disappointed because I expected the competition to be much closer and Mission fell so short despite having 2 of the strongest chefs.
I did enjoy the editing shown while Michael V was skewering another chef's foul language, chefs' arrogance and his implication that he takes the high road.
I'm a little put off by the condecending attitude of the chef's towards Robin. While I beleive she's not as talented as the others, she's still there and deserves a bit of respect. I've always been taught to show respect for those that have "paid their dues".
I don't understand why there seems to be confusion as to the name REVolt. The verb revolt used without an object means to break away from or rise against authority. It is not the same word as revolting. You don't have to be an English major (I'm not) to understand the difference, just have a vocabulary that's larger than the average person I guess. It seems one of the Voltaggio brothers understood the difference. (I remember a few years ago when a teacher got accused of being racist because he used the word "niggardly" in class. By the way, it has nothing to do with race, it means to be stingy or miserly).
I wish Bryan V. and Michael V. would open up a restaurant together...it would be awesome!!! I also notice how Michael seems to be the pushy of the two...I wonder if that's Bryan way of being the older, mature, lead by example brother. It almost reminds me of Venus and Serena, how Venus is the better player but much more soft-spoken, and has admitted to hating to have to play and beat her sister because she feels her role is to take care of her (Serena). I think the same applies with Bryan V., which makes me respect and adore Bryan even more.
I think Robin got a little redemption. They liked her dish. And I think from the questioning at Judges Table they knew brothers V didn't really have a conceptual hand in it. I'm starting to put together an alternative hypothesis -- these people are getting uneasy that she's still there. If they were smart players and were not afraid of her, they'd prop her up to keep her around in hopes of sending a "better" chef home.
I happen to think the name REVolt was quite clever since it really stood for Robin, Eli and Volt. It also kind of hinted at, "here come the Volts again." Maybe it was too clever but I'm glad they stuck with it. I didn't understand the omission of dessert by Mission either. People don't have to bake to make dessert. For goodness sake, throw a candybar into the liquid nitrogen. Why did the judges think Eli was underdressed? He wore a jacket and wasn't in bluejeans.
This Robin thing has me confused....in the history of Restaurant Wars, everyone in the back of house helped plate to expedite the food quicker. I don't understand why whe took offense to Michael helping her. The dish was her concept..but she does have trouble with plating and presentation and I am sure that as a TEAM, they did not want to send out anything that would hurt their chances.
Great show, I think these Chefs are some of the best out of all of the seasons. I'm looking everywhere to see when the last episode is. I am hosting the 2nd annual Top chef seasson finale tasting party. I need to send out invitations. Anyone have a projected date???
You can tell Bryan totally just puts up with his brother's behavior. Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool then open it up and prove it.
I didn't find Michael to be disrespectful to Robin at all. Robin needs to shut up and listen without all the chatter. Michael had more responsibility, especially as the team leader, and you can bet that if Robin's dessert had failed, the Judges would of asked Michael why he didn't do something to fix it before it left the kitchen.
I liked the play of the team name REVolt. It was clever and I am surprised the "cultured" Judges didn't get it.
I was a little disppointed with Bryan's reaction to Michael kind gesture in sharing the prize money, but I hope he changed his mind.
Nellie, the Venus & Serena analogy was spot on. I find Bryan & Michael's relationship just like that.
I'm really tired to everyone being rude to Robin. She must have had somthing to get there! They are the "top guns" "big shot" wannabes that don't realize that they had better be nice to all they meet on the way up csuse they are the same people they'll meet on the way down. And, how can a tv audience vote on food that they cannot taste. Which one is the better cook? Have a lot of the viewers tasted the judge's cooking? Are they as good as they say they are? Especially Tom. Some of the food they try to push off as great cusinne I wouldn't feed to a dog. I realize it's good drama and conflict for a tv show, but it does make these young people an embarrassment to their parents.
Didn't the "executive chef" take a huge portion of the responsibility, and get sent home, for how service went in previous RW's? Was Jen the EC for Mission, as Michael V. was for Revolt, based on the QF? We saw NO signs of leadership on Mission. The issue was not raised at Judges' Table! Much as it pains me to think it, based on past practice, Jen deserved to go home over Laurine.
Jen's biggest mistake was not picking Bryan when she had the chance to split up the brothers, that would have made the challenge even more interesting, I don't think Michael had a problem with Robin's dessert but that she was plateing them all differently and he wanted them the same. If Robin would quit talking so much she would get alone with people better. I think Jen just had a meltdown but I'm glad Laurine was sent home before her.
In response to Margariteviewer, I agree that we viewers don't taste the food, but suggesting that people can't have opinions about what they see is somewhat amusing to me. Why even watch cooking shows? Why read a book review, a movie review, a restaurant review, an art gallery review, etc., etc.? Well, because the informed or knowledgeable opinions of others often influences our decisions to read the book, to see the movie, to dine at the restaurant, to attend an opening...and even to try a new dish that we see featured on a cooking show.
I totally understand Jen's decision to pick Kevin instead of splitting up the brothers! I think putting Kevin with Michael V. would have been even riskier than leaving the brothers together.
I felt that Robin had every right to speak up! Hey, I'm one of those people that have hung up their apron and left everyone hanging in the middle of service over crap like that! Back off and let me do my job!
The EC isn't always the one who goes home. It seems to all depend on their performance in the other roles as well. Look at Radhika (sp?) from last season. Why did she, as EC, get sent home? A poor performance in the FOH as well as mistakes in the kitchen apparently led the judges to question exactly what HAD she been doing? She wasn't running the FOH properly, and the time she was not in the dining room certainly didn't seem to have been spent taking care of the kitchen issues either!
Bryan's reaction about splitting the money seemed to be his wat of telling Michael "YOU did this YOU're way, it's all about YOU, so keep the money". I actually thought 10g for winning was kind of a letdown.....didn't someone bank more than that for a Quickfire win?
Monica, ma petite choufleur,
I keep asking the same question: where can I find recipes from past seasons? Why doesn't the web site carry them all? There are a few from seasons 4 and 5 that I've used in the past and can no longer find. I didn't copy them because I thought they'd always be up. Please help me with this. Is there someone else I can complain to?
Even though you haven't answered me, I still love your blog and remain a loyal viewer.
I was happy to see the teams compete in an actual resturant. In previous seasons, I was shocked to see chefs assembling and arranging tables 2-3 hours before service. The show is not 'Top Table Assembler"! I understand that owner/chefs need to be in charge of the apperance of the resturant. But for the competition, they could have a small design team assigned to do that set up, so that the chefs can concentrate on preparing amazing food.