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Top Chef Las Vegas: Midterm Report Card


Dig if you will a picture of me at 10:00 pm last night with a beer and my laptop just settled down to begin my weekly first viewing of Top Chef. Imagine my confusion when it seemed to be the same episode as last week. Visualize me mashing buttons on my remote control to figure out how I am accidentally watching something I recorded instead of the new "live" episode. Hear my words, ye people, as I yell profanities at my television when I realize that it is just a rerun and there will be no new Top Chef this evening.

Thumbs up their asses.

At first I panicked about what I was going to write about today, but then I realized that this was a perfect time for a midterm recap - a Top Chef state of the union. We won't discuss any members gone (even Mattin and his red kerchief) but instead let us focus on what is left, and I'll grade them, because that is always fun!

Let's see who we've got left. Let's start with



Let's face it, these guys are good. Bryan has already won three elimination challenges. Michael has only won one elimination challenge, but he has been in the top every time but one so far. These two know their way around a kitchen. I want to eat their food (and NO that is not a euphemism). Michael can be cocky, but let's face it brother on brother competition makes for good television. I say they both make it to the top four with one of them being the surprise that doesn't make the final three.

Bryan: A
Michael: A



Oh Ash. I really like Ash. I would like to drink beer with him, but it is sort of shocking that he is still around. I don't think he will make it three more episodes.

Ash: C



Ashely is the dark horse here. She sort of sucked at the beginning and she spent a lot of time whining. Now she seems to be on her game and her game looks pretty good. She is young, I think she is going to be a monster chef when she grows up, but she isn't out of this yet. She may be the surprise at the end of the season. I don't think she will win, but I think she'll be around for a while.

Also, she looks shockingly like my ex-boyfriend.

Ashley: B+


Picture 10

Neither of these two are long for this world. And by this world I mean Top Chef. I don't actually think they are going to die.

Eli is that guy that said something witty one time and you were all like "Hey, that was really funny" and he hasn't stopped making stupid jokes since then. His food is okay, some of it looks quite good, but he just isn't as good as some of the other people this season.

Sometimes they will show Laurine in an episode and I'll think to myself I totally forgot she was on this show. I don't think that bodes well for Laurine and I think she is out of her league here.

Eli: C

Laurine: D

Oh, and speaking of people who are out of their leagues:



As Amy pointed out to me, you can't win friends with salad.

How is Robin still in this competition?

More importantly, what the fuck is she wearing in this picture? Did she just throw on the Top Chef coat over her costume on the way to Rocky Horror? Is she wearing a collar?

Do I really want these answers to these questions?

Robin: D -



Jennifer speaks poorly, she stands funny, she says strange things - but she is an excellent chef. In my opinion she is one of the top two chefs on Top Chef Season 6. She could take the whole thing. She isn't my pick to win but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised at all if she does win. She is top three, probably top two. She has been solid this whole season. She is a Chef de Cuisine for Eric freaking Ripert. Do you remember the episode where she ran the kitchen? She was masterful. Gordon Ramsay would have wept with joy. Jennifer is rocking it.

Jennifer: A



Every party needs a pooper and every reality television show needs the guy that everybody hates - that is why they invited Mike. His food looks good most of the time and occasionally it looks better than good but this guy really comes off like a douche bag.

Anyone who says ""No offense, but a girl shouldn't be at the same level as I am." really deserves to be close fist punched by a Williams sister.

That being said, I think he will be around for a while. I've never eaten there (and I will be scared to in the future - what if he reads this) but from what I understand Zaytinya is supposed to be an amazing restaurant. I think he has skills we haven't seen yet and they would never let their only bad guy go this early. I begrudgingly give him a B.

Mike I: B 

Last, but by no means least and my pick to win the entire thing:



How can you not love Kevin? His food is amazing. He is humble. He looks like he could be in Mastodon. He is smart. He is from Atlanta. He is good at horseshoes. He acted happy when he won the Calphalon instead of a car or an apprenticeship with Joe Robuchon or $15,000. This man turned down a scholarship to MIT to be a chef and I think it was a wise choice. (In his case only, if one of my kids pulls that crap they will never hear the end of it.) I think Kevin is going to win the whole enchilada.

I also think I am going to try to eat at his restaurant when I go to Atlanta in April, but I have a bad feeling that it is going to be tough to get a reservation there after this season.

Kevin: A+

There you have it. Sarah's Top Chef Midterm Report Card for Season 6.


I know I said I wasn't going to talk about Mattin, but then I saw this and HA HAHAHA HA HAHA HA!


[photos: Bravotv.com]

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"deserves to be close fist punched by a Williams sister"

And THAT, my dear Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah, is why I love you.

I was actually thinking instead of punching him, the Sisters Williams could shove a henckels up his wusthof, if you know what I mean.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

I DO know what you mean and THAT is why I love you.

On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 3:16 PM, wrote:


You've once again read my mind.


I'm really hungover and almost threw up on the train on the way to work today, but that picture of Mattin just made my day full of awesome. Thanks, Goon Squad Sarah!

Suzy Q

Great midterm recap. Good to know I didn't miss a new episode last night when I totally forgot it was even on.

I love Jen, and the Volt brothers, and I have to start paying more attention to Kevin. Because you said so.

Also? I think maybe Robin has a day job as a low-rent stripper. How else to explain that outfit?


Kevin's restaurant here in Atlanta *is* as good as one would think (I just did a write-up on my blog), and if you need someone to squee with you over the food when you're here, I will selflessly sacrifice myself and go again. His bacon is so good it is a campfire in your mouth.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

You people are ALL full of awesome.


The first sentence almost made me spit out my coffee. And I don't even watch Top Chef. Good stuff.


Mattin with the bunny is the new Rick Roll.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

That made me snot.

No, really.

On Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 12:43 PM, wrote:


You are SPOT ON with every observation! Exactly the grades I would give.


The Voltaggio Brothers. Sigh.
I want them to make me a sandwich.
Then I want them to make ME a sandwich.


Hey, Sarah! Have you seen my blog lately? You really should click on the link.


Yup, you nailed it.

I prefer Michael to Bryan, though...Bryan seems a wee bit too uptight for me.


Another reason I should not read MP at work: pictures of Mattin pulling a rabit out of a hat.

And did you know he's French? Like from the country?

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah



Hold the phone! I just saw that Padma's got a BUN in her OVEN!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Really??? Where did you see it?

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 1, 2009, at 3:25 PM, typepad@sixapart.com wrote:

Suzy Q

WHAT? The Pillsbury doughboy attacked Padma?!?


Shoot, she's not saying a lot, so it could very well be the Pillsbury Doughboy. Sorry, I don't know how to do fancy schmancy links, but here http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20309414,00.html

Oh, and here http://letsgettogetherblog.blogspot.com/


OMG - so glad someone else is as mad as i was about last night. i just got back from a road trip, and drove my ass off, looking forward to settling in to a new episode of top chef. so i go to the guide on my tv, and it is description of last week's episode.

so i go to bravo's website to see if my cheap-ass cable is messed up... at the top of the page is a big banner ad that says "Top Chef - NEW EPISODE EVERY WEDNESDAY"... and then it lists last week episode! ugh!

totally love your reviews of everyone. pretty much exactly what i have been thinking... i pick kevin to win, with one of the voltaggios and jen right behind...

glad i found this blog...


My husband is from Atlanta and tells me that Kevin's restaurant is very very famous and has always been hard to get into...


Perfect midterm rundown! You are right on the money with all your "grades". I think I'm going to cry if Kevin doesn't win.

Keep up the great reviews!


Hey, NOW I do watch Top Chef (thanks, YouTube!) and I have to say you write the best recaps, Sarah. They are funny and da truth.


Re: Robin Leventhal:
I really can't take her "healthy living" hypocrisy one more minute. Because Seattle is a small town, I remember when Robin got diagnosed with cancer and was going through chemo. I also remember at the same time she was spending an awful amount of time in the back room/kitchen at a certain bar in Seattle doing a massive amount of cocaine with her best friend. DURING CHEMO!
Her holier-than-thou behavior on the show and false claims to living such a healthy lifestyle is disgraceful. Especially when better chefs are going home and she is staying on in part because of the "cancer card" that she is playing so well.

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