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'Top Chef's' latest sponsor: Haterade

September 24, 2009 |  1:44 pm


Move over Glad, you've got competition: Haterade. And all the cheftestants are guzzling the stuff like it's going out of style. Wednesday's episode of "Top Chef" showed the contestants, once again, treating Robin like the season's red-headed stepchild. It started with Mike I. handing out red hankies to all the chefs -- except Robin -- before the quick-fire challenge in honor of the recently departed Mattin. The anti-Robin smack talk threaded throughout the entire episode, complete with smirks and stink faces at her every move. Even the docile Laurine spewed off at one point.

Granted, Robin's schizophrenic behavior makes her difficult to take to, but giving her guff for her quick-fire dish being inspired by a previous diagnosis of cancer was going a bit too far. Was her win in the devil/angel quick-fire merely a pity party? I'd like to think that James Beard award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein would be objective enough to see through that. To be honest, none of the other chefs' dishes seemed all too inspired. Nearly everyone went for the healthy vs. sinful interpretation. At least she had a back story. Plus that apple crisp looked to die for.

Aside from the trash talk, we got a dose of omniscient wisdom from guests Penn & Teller, who advised the contestants of the magician's prime rule, "Never do the same trick twice." Thankfully, they listened -- we didn't see a single insipid ceviche Wednesday night. Hallelujah!

Kevin really got the message -- after pulling the "mole negro" knife for the deconstruction elimination challenge, he seemed a bit nervous. But, learning from his first fail, he didn't pull the same rabbit out of his hat, and took the win. It was a bit of an upset, considering Michael V.'s background in molecular gastronomy. Jen learned not to doubt herself, as her deconstructed lasagna that she thought would send her home landed her in the top three. It was quite the proverbial winner's circle.

What was really upsetting was the loss of Ron, the giant Haitian Santa Claus (or as PPYNAG calls him, Bubba Gump) . His deconstruction of paella was more like a demolition (props to Michelle for snapping back at Toby Young for his horrid pronunciation of the dish, by the way). I think the language barrier, paired with a lack of experience with the concept, and misguidance from others steered him astray. He seemed a bit out of his element on the show, but I'll bet he makes some mean Haitian cuisine. I'm going to have to track him down and check it out someday.

--Krista Simmons

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