Sunday, November 16, 2014

Top Chef - Episode 5 - It's War

I arrived home very late last night from a trip to Tucson, Arizona, where I visited museums, saw a little of the desert, made the acquaintance of some wild pigs (a group of seven javelinas climbed the stairs into the patio bar of the place we were staying, and snuffled around for food before politely departing), and went to bookstores. On Wednesday evening, some of my husband's colleagues graciously entertained us at their house, so I wasn't able to watch last week's Top Chef until just now. Because I'm in "catch-up" mode, this will be a list of quick observations rather than an in-depth review.

- Aaron was more gracious than I expected he would be upon being eliminated. If he had behaved more like this the entire time, I would have been much happier to have him around. I'm still glad he's gone, however; I didn't appreciate his comments about dessert being a cop-out. I think he just operates in bravado-mode all the time.

- I liked the set-up for both the Quickfire and the Elimination challenge, with one reservation: I still think they should name an overall winner instead of just the winning team in every challenge. I think it would have been Gregory yet again in this case. The idea of having each head-to-head "battle" named after an important battle from the Revolutionary War was cute. I like Gregory and he seems an amazing chef. I think his obvious skill is making Mei feel a bit more humble, which is probably good for her. I suspect she'll still take a few challenges in the future. I fully expect both of them to be in the finale barring some Restaurant Wars type disaster in which the wrong chef goes home.

- This was the first episode in which I started to actively dislike Adam a bit. Hey Adam, stop calling Doug "little man." So he's short. You're being a condescending jerk by referring to him that way, and I'm glad he beat you in the head-to-head Quickfire. I wish he'd beaten you in the Elimination challenge as well.

- I got slightly mixed signals from Tom Colicchio, who said "you only had to beat one other person on your team," and "someone should have told Aaron he was making unwise choices." Isn't that a contradiction? For instance, if Stacy or Keriann had convinced Aaron to make his dish better, one of them likely would have gone home instead. Yes, you want your team to win, but if I'd been on Aaron's team, I wouldn't have wasted my energy, especially knowing how he's behaved in the past, by trying to argue with him.

- The dishes that I would have most liked to try were Gregory and Mei's steamed dumplings from the Quickfire.

Looking forward to this Wednesday's episode. In the meantime, just for fun, here is a photo of a javelina. There were some young ones among the group that came to visit us in the patio bar, but I wish I could have seen a baby as small as the one in this photo!

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