Team Top Chef's Editor talks about her love of levers ... and her memorable dinner at VOLT.

Oct 8, 2009

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs paired up to create dishes based on ingredients chosen by some members of the Macy's Culinary Council. If you want to learn more about the six members featured in the episode, you can check out some videos with them HERE. The most suspect pair was obviously Robin and Michael. Michael really reached an all-time low this week barely acknowledging that he even had a partner. Whether it was talking to Tom or the entire table, he kept saying "I" rather than "we." Oy. Poor Robin. In the end though they seemed to pull it out. As did Jennifer and Kevin, who worked very well together and won. (I would kill for a $10K gift card to Macy's!) Two teams that didn't fare as well were Michael V. and Ash and Ashley and Eli. First, let's talk about Ash's little moment at the Judges' Table, comparing Michael Voltaggio to Picasso. This was just ... Wow. Ash really put his foot in his mouth with that one, but I almost think at this point all of the chefs want to see the Voltaggio brothers duke it out at the end. Thankfuly this didn't get him sent home and Michael was spared too. I'm actually dining at Ash's restaurant this Friday, so I'll let you know how it is next week.

I have to say I was pretty bummed to see Ashley go. I had kind of a crush on her. I would say girl-crush, but that's lame. Her voice was oddly soothing and she was just so nice and super-talented. I don't think she went as far as she could have, but I bet this experience will definitely benefit her. I know a lot of people on Team Ashley, including our friends over at While I don't know that it was Eli's time to go home either, it did seem like he was equally at fault for their dish and its oversalting, if not completely responsible. Oh well. That's the way the gnocchi crumbles.

I also just want to call out my favorite moments from the episode, a couple true moments of brotherly love. First, Bryan asks Michael what was wrong with his dish, and Michael tells him. Then, when the other chefs interrogate Bryan about it in the Stew Room, Bryan refuses to sell out his brother. I think this moment was really telling about what a protective older brother Bryan is. Having an older brother and sister myself, I find their sibling relationship extremely relatable and touching. Also, I can promise (having peeked at next week's episode), you'll learn even more about their relationship in the week to come.