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Top Chef Vegas Episode 6 Recap: Penn, Teller and the Red Kerchief Brigade

Red Kercheif brigade top chef season 6

First and foremost - Mattin Homies Represent!

In protest that our bekerchiefed buddy had left the building the chefs all wore one of Mattin's red scarves. Or maybe it was to acknowledge Biafran independence, but they all looked like Mattin and it was awesome. But why did Mattin have and why did he leave so many red bandanas behind? Were they infected with smallpox? Was he sponsored by Red Kerchief LTD? Is this the next manifestation of the Heaven's Gate cult? Was he really just bat shit crazy?

We may never know. I was distracted when Padma introduced Michelle Bernstein as the guest judge. She is a badass and plus I like her hair. Then Padma said that the quickfire challenge was a duo challenge - an angel vs. devil plate. A plate that represented their personal battles as a chef.

The winner won immunity, but not $15,000.

I'm not going to tell you what they all cooked, but I will say that there seemed to be a lot of scallops*. I'll will tell you that Ash only made one dish. It was more of an uno. I will tell you that when Michelle named Robin the winner there were a lot of dirty looks and smirks edited in.

I think Bravo really wants us to know that the rest of the chefs think that Robin does not belong there.

I am going to have to agree. Last week she served rotten prawns.

Then Eli suggested she might have won because when she told the judges about her dish she told her  story about having cancer.

DAMN ELI! We were all thinking it, but it is you saying it on tv. Now you look like a dick forever. You should definitely tell people you were drunk when you did that interview. It will look better.

Speaking on duos, (I'll change the subject whenever I please, this is my post) the next thing that happens is Penn and Teller show up. I really like Penn & Teller even though I have concerns about Penn Jillette's facial hair.

Picture 4

Penn & Teller deconstruct a magic trick and for the elimination challenge the chefs must deconstruct a classic dish. They don't get to choose for themselves either, they have to draw knives. This is particularly difficult for Mike who draws Eggs Florintine and doesn't know what it is. It is also rough on Kevin who picked Chicken Mole Negro which he pretty much made last week and the judges didn't love it.

Oddly, Jennifer, who normally rocks, totally freaked out when she had to deconstruct meat lasagna. I was really interested in that until Eli's pressure cooker exploded, and it seemed like some really crazy fight was going to break out, but sadly the explosion was much more interesting in the commercials than it was on the actual show.

Let's move on. We've got Padma and Tom, Michelle Bernstein, Penn and Teller and Toby Young is back at the table. Everyone is scared of Toby. He is a meanie pants.

I almost felt bad for Mike Isabella** when his super sloppy "Eggs Florintine" looked like ass when presented right next to Mike Voltaggio's superstar display that was his deconstructed Caesar Salad.

Also - if Teller isn't going to talk why does he get to taste the food? SHENANIGANS!

Picture 6

Bryan had to deconstruct a Reuben and Laurine made fish and chips. Ron drew Paella, Ash made a Shepherd's Pie, Eli had Sweet and Sour Pork, Ashley made Pot Roast and Robin had the New England Clam Chowder.

Fortunately for Robin, she had immunity. The word congealed and the phrase "viscerally repulsive" were both used in describing her dish.


At judges table Ashley, Mikey V., Kevin and Jennifer were the four best with Kevin winning the day and a set of Calphalon non-stick pans.***

Ash, Ron and Laurine were the bottom three all for good reasons. Ron ended up being the one who had to pack his knives and go. Listen, I am sure Ron is a nice guy, but when a guy from the Caribbean wrecks up the Seafood Paella he deserves to be the one sent home.


* Which is also what my daughter calls the skin under her hair no matter how many times I correct her.

** almost

*** Which is a shitty prize when you consider that the winner of some Quickfire Challenges get $15,000. You can buy a 10 piece set of this stuff at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $599. Again, SHENANIGANS!

[pictures via Bravotv.com]

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A. I love Kevin. He's my favorite Cheftestant since Harold. I know I said that about Stephanie, but she's no Kevin. Every week he's consistent, and every week he's happy and positive and fun. I want to work for him.

B. I love Toby Young. He's my meanie boy hero. He puts a lot of thought into his slams and putdowns.

C. Penn and Hosea both need to be held down and shaved. They both look like Cartman in that episode of South Park where he grew a scrotum on his chin.

Linda Malie

THANK YOU for calling out Teller. I was all, "How do you judge if your whole schtick is remaining silent?" I was half expecting him to pantomime his comments.


My favorite part of the episode was when Toby got all defensive about his pronunciation of "paella" and Michelle Bernstein was all I HATE YOU AND WILL KILL YOU WITH MY EYES.

So...next to go (in whatever order, I do not care) will be Robin, Laurine, and Ash. Honestly, if anyone else goes before these three it will be a crime. After that, it'll get pretty interesting, provided Ashley keeps her streak going and Mike I(AmaDouchebag) isn't allowed to team up with a Voltaggio brother again.

(Oh! And this morning I made coffee I got at our local farmer's market. Volt Blend, a custom blend the vendor makes for Bryan and his restaurant. Totally randomly awesome.)

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Maybe he should learn American Sign Language if he wants to be a judge.

On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 6:09 PM, wrote:

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

1) I don't pronounce the "Ls" either. Toby is a douche.
2) Michelle is ALWAYS right.
3) I totally agree about the next three to go. My guess is that it will go
Robin, Laurine then Ash.

On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 6:15 PM, wrote:


"*** Which is a shitty prize when you consider that the winner of some Quickfire Challenges get $15,000. You can buy a 10 piece set of this stuff at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $599. Again, SHENANIGANS!"

Yes, but Kevin was so awesome in his response to winning. I heart Kevin and Jennifer.


Toby Young scares me. I can not imagine having to serve the man food.

I was glad to see Ron go. I think Robin will be next. I thought Eli was a Douchenozzle for his comment, but I'm not sure he was wrong. Is just one of those things you think, but don't say.


I love Michelle Bernstein, she used to be on Food Network when they had, you know, REAL COOKS and CHEFS.

I saw nothing wrong with what Robin did, apples & apples, good and bad, and because of her story, it made sense. Also, it was, according to those who mattered, tasty. How is her saying that any worse that Ron (who apparently been suffering from a massive number of bee stings on his tongue the entire competition) saying that his 'vice' was coming over as a boat person? A: It's not, Ron's thing was much, much more stupid as a reason.

And Eli is a dick, maybe not as big a one (heh) as Mike I, but close. Dude tries to seal his pressure cooker with what appears to be painter's tape? Oh, yeah, that's bound to work. Seriously? What a moron.


I was screaming at the TV: Pans? He won a box of PANS?

Didn't winners last year get trips and shit?

I always thought the "chance to work in Famous Chef's kitchen" was a lame prize, too. You win! Congrats! Now you get to work in someone's restaurant for free! Sucker.

Pans are much, much lamer. Don't they have better equipment than that in the Top Chef kitchen? Oh, and DUDE'S A CHEF. He already owns better pans than that.

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