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'Top Chef' redux: No Love for Mattin

September 17, 2009 |  2:09 pm

Mattin

Tim Love, who cleaned Morimoto's clock whilst slamming shots of tequila in a bucket hat on "Iron Chef," was a scathing judge for both the Quickfire and Elimination challenges last night. His stink-faced reactions to the contestants' dishes were almost as priceless as his commentary (regarding Robin's shrimp he said: "It tastes like I just sucked on a piece of chlorine!"). But the cowboy had every right to be ticked. There was plenty of nastiness to react to; this episode's cuisine was about as visually off-putting as Jesse's lip ring and trashy tattoos.

For the Quickfire, cheftestants were presented with the secret ingredient: cactus. Many of the chefs were put off by the slimy succulent, including Michael V., who was in the bottom rung in Quickfire judging (apparently he hasn't nibbled on nopales while living in SoCal). Mike I. seemed to be the only one who knew how to handle cactus, and won the $15,000 for his cactus and tuna ceviche.

For the elimination, the contestants headed out to a dude ranch in the middle of the desert to cook up some bush tucker. The conditions were pretty rudimentary: cast iron skillets, open fire pits and itsy bitsy prep stations.

Mattin was overly confident because he didn't have to cook, choosing to prep a trio of ceviches. Is that all the Season 6ers do on this show? On each episode it seems there are at least four variations of that dish. The worst part is half of them can't pronounce it properly. I'm so sick of hearing suh-veech.

We knew things weren't looking good when Mattin flailed in last week's Frenchie-fied Elimination challenge. But the hankie-wearing Basque boy really blew it this week when he decided to make three crummy versions of the same ill-prepared ceviche. Tom actually had to spit out his cod, which he claimed was raw. Tim stated that it made him sick. Needless to say, Mattin's outta there.

Bryan V.'s polenta, pork loin, dandelion greens and glazed rutabaga was the perfect fusion of gourmet and gaucho, and scored him the win. Something tells me Mike V. is going to come out with guns ablazin' next week.  

-- Krista Simmons

Photo: Mattin Noblia. Credit: Bravo

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