Top Chef Goes Camping


I have no excuse for the Top Chef recap being so late, except perfection takes sweet time. Besides, don’t you need a fresh reminder for tomorrow’s episode? So much has happened in the past week. I’m still so sad about the Emmy loss. The people who voted clearly don’t watch reality tv and just picked whatever looked familiar. Even people who know nothing about television know American Idol is a god-damn mess and Amazing Race has already won SEVEN times!

Anyway, whatever, Top Chef will always be my jam. Moving on to last week’s episode, they had another “high-stakes” quickfire, this time involving cactus. Every one was very confused, which was surprising in this crowd of supposed food experts. I used to go to this burrito place on my block in San Francisco that had a cactus burrito; it’s really not that strange. So Mattin, San Francisco resident, should have known what to create. He failed and Jon Gosselin wannabe Mike Isabella won this challenge with his cactus and tuna ceviche.


Ceviche, or Sa-veeeech as Jen Carroll calls it, is the unofficial recipe of this gang, much like scallops were the fall-back last season. These fools love to sa-veech everything. Bryan and Michael also made sa-veeeches. The most confusing was Ashley Merriman’s cactus jelly donuts, which seems like the kind of item that you would only order as a dare.

Speaking of Ashley, she sure did get the loser edit this time! Whenever they pull out that product placed phone and they mention some illness or event they are missing in exchange for C-list reality stardom, you know they are headed for elimination.


Instead, it was Mattin, wearer of scarves and liar about asparagus who got sent home. He made a “ceviche” that was basically a Costco party tray. Actually, a Costco party tray probably would have been a better idea. The challenge was to make food for ranchers on an open grill, why so many of them picked fish was beyond understanding. As pathetic as Mattin’s dish was, Robin should have been sent home. The minute I heard her say “grilled romaine salad,” I knew she was doomed. If she makes it past tomorrow’s episode, I’m expecting to watch the chefs stage a mutiny


The winner of the episode was Bryan, who made roasted pork loin with corn polenta . PS, this sibling rivalry storyline is so tired. I’m so over it already. Please keep all siblings contained to The Amazing Race or Biggest Loser.

[Images: Bravo/NBC Universal]

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    • Becky

      I’ve watched several “reality” shows that were geared more towards recreating historical lifestyles, such as the PBS Manor House series, and the western one where a family was to live as ranchers. There is a re-occuring theme/problem with these shows – no refrigetation which leads to spoilage and cross-contamination. It’s not uncommon for people to become life-threateningly ill, and a BBC produced show where people were living as Picts, was ended abruptly when cross-contamination of raw meat sent several to the hospital.

      For over three years I’ve taken Girl Scouts camping and I will tell you that a cooler is not going to keep store meat properly overnight in a desert! Totally stupid! I find no excuse by the Top Chef producers/directors for the spoiled shrimp. I see no reason why the coolers were not kept in the walk in cooler and then delivered a few hours before.

      You also didn’t mention Maria that we were “fooled” into thinking they were cooking over firewood or coals – Tom admits on his blog it was propane. Really? No more difficult to cook on then a gas stove. As viewers we were being lead down a garden path and I don’t like it….

    • kk

      While I don’t argue that Mattin’s dish(es) looked/sounded quite horrible, Robin definitely needs to go home. They should have sent them both!

      I’m sick of hearing about the sibling rivalry on every episode as well. I mean, I think it’d be interesting to see the two brothers wind up in the finale. Seems like it’d be pretty possible, based on what we’ve seen from everyone. But until that happens.. drop the ‘oh I’m better than my brother’ clips.

    • megan

      Hey! Those cactus jelly donuts looked like they could have been on a dessert menu at a fancy nouveau Mexican joint! Don’t hate! I would order them. And a side of Ashley. I am so gay for Ashley! Stopping now.