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Top Chef Las Vegas Recap: Episode 10, Meat Natalie, Craft Steak With a Twist You Saw Coming a Mile Away

Picture 2 As I accept the award for longest post title ever and episode 10 begins, our contestants are looking rough. Jennifer seems beaten down and people's metaphors have stopped making any sense.

Robin says "Waiting for coffee is like watching water boil". Actually, if you take the "like" out of that sentence it is still hold true. A chef out of all people should understand that brewing is exactly that. It isn't like water boiling, it IS WATER BOILING.

So the sleepy and beaten down chefs skulk off to the quick fire where Padma introduces Paul Bartolotta, a famous Las Vegas Chef. The challenge involves making a gourmet interpretation of a tv dinner. Each chef draws a knife to see which show will inspire them today.

Normally this the spot where I would complain about how ridiculous it is to try to make a tv dinner based on "Seinfeld" or "Cheers!" but I won't, because again I was distracted during the Quickfire. You know why?

Padma is wearing this:

Picture 1

How the hell is anyone supposed to pay attention to Robin misinterpreting Sesame Street, Jennifer insinuating that she thinks it might be fun to be drug around by her hair, and the fact that Eli claims to have never seen Gilligan's Island when you are just waiting for Padma to stand up straight so that her boobs pop right out of the top of her... what would you even call that thing? A jumpsuit? A onesie?

Whatever you call it, it doesn't look long enough in the torso. If Padma stretched this show would take a whole new direction.

Kevin wins the Quickfire with his Sopranos inspired meatball tv dinner. Kevin gets no cash or immunity but he Schwan's will sell a version of his dish packaged as Top Chef frozen foods. How exciting for him that Bravo will be making more money off of his work!

In typical Kevin fashion he seems pleased and he is a very gracious winner.

But what of the floor show?

Padma announces that the Elimination Challenge will take place in Tom Colicchio's restaurant in the MGM Grand, Craft Steak.

Mmmmm. Steak. But what will the challenge be? Our heroes are in the kitchen of Craft Steak doing the cooking equivalent of rifling through Colicchio's underpants drawer when Tom walks in and introduces Natalie Portman.

Picture 3

Oh geez. Padma and Padme. This is why I suck at spelling. Thanks a lot Bravo.

Then there is a clip of Eli giving a short biography of Ms. Portman saying that the only important thing she ever did was Star Wars.

I'm thinking maybe he really hasn't seen Gilligan's Island.

Or Leon (The Professional):


Or Closer:


Or Garden State:


Or V for Vendetta:


But I am neither here to sing Natalie Portman's praises nor am I here to give Eli a lesson in film history. I am here to tell you that surprise, surprise, Natalie Portman is a vegetarian.


That's right, Mattin. You heard me. The top seven will be cooking a vegetarian dinner for eleven people in a steak house.

Robin is pleased. Everyone else is crapping their pants.

There is a scuffle in the pantry. Who gets the morels? Jennifer and Eli flip a dehydrated orange chip for the good eggplant. Eli wins and Jennifer settle for the scrub eggplants. Mike is going to make scallops out of leeks.

We find out that Kevin and his wife give up meat for Lent every year. Kevin must really love God because I would imagine that giving up meat for six weeks is a pretty big sacrifice for the chef that loves pork so much that he has a pig tattoo.

We also find out that Mike's mom was a vegan - and also that he somehow forgot how to boil water. He blames the pan.

Remember how earlier I was saying that the metaphors have stopped making sense? While cooking Robin says she is "losing time like a banshee". While technically I believe that would be considered a simile, I don't know that banshees are notorious time losers. If you aren't screaming or harbinging death I don't know that "a banshee" should be invoked. (Miss Banshee, you'll have to clue us in on this one.) I dislike Robin more and more each episode.

Then, at the dining table, something wonderful happens.

Picture 6

As Bryan is presenting his artichoke dish with garlic blossoms and shallots Padma actually says:

“It’s like a little prick on the tip of my tongue."

To which I said "OH MY GOD!" and my husband said "Did she really just say that?" and Natalie Portman said "That's awesome."


Padma can't stop herself. She says “I thought that my shallot was a little sharp especially when you pair it with these garlic blossoms that are very tiny in size and yet …”

and Natalie Portman says "big in your mouth."

Now even Tom Colicchio can't resist the oral sex references and he says, “It went from a little prick to big in your mouth."

And then a random dinner guest says what the rest of us are thinking.

That's what usually happens.

Thank you, Top Chef. Everyone loves a good blow job innuendo. It was a gift from the Bravo Gods. Kind of like this picture.


Seriously, I am going to do that every week. It is only going to get worse before it gets better. Just ignore me.

Kevin's Duo of Mushrooms looks like poop on a plate. 

Picture 2

No really, that is a flattering picture of it.

I don't think anyone wants to try it at first, but they all change their tune when they taste it. The judges agree it was more of an entree and kind of... meaty.

Jennifer is losing her shit and packing her knives. She seems filled with self-loathing. Most of the chefs seem to think they are in trouble today. Even Mike says - and I quote:


"I didn't execute to the fullest... weather mine was worse or not as worse as the person next to me [insert photo of Robin here] tomorrow I am going to try to make it better, so I am not concerned at this point.  I know I am going to pull through. I always do."

Cue foreboding music because here comes the Judges Table.

Kevin, Eli and Michael V. represent the top three dishes with Kevin taking home the win and a suite of GE appliances. I think he is going to need a bigger house if he keeps on winning shit. Although part of me wonders if he isn't already set up at home. Maybe he has a big ass Viking Professional Series 12 burner monster in his kitchen. He is a professional chef, after all.

Aside: Has anyone here ever actually eaten polenta with bananas in it? I am curious now, but frightened.

Michael Voltaggio becomes more and more unlikeable each week when he shows that he is a sore loser. He complains that he could have made the winning dish in his second year as an apprentice, and he complains to the cameras.

Picture 6

Even my children have better manners than that. If you whine every time you lose nobody will play with you any more. It isn't like he lost, he was in the winners circle. This guy is a father and his kids are probably watching the show. I think it sets a poor example to throw a fit when you come in second.

Jennifer was right to be freaking out as she joins Robin and Mike Isabella in the losers circle. She doesn't even try to defend herself. You can tell she is exhausted. Luckily for Jennifer hers was not as worse as Mike's uncooked leeks. He gets to come home to D.C. where I will remain terrified to run into him on the street just in case he has a google alert set up for "Mike Isabella".

And let's be honest. He seems like the kind of guy who has a google alert for his own name.

Picture 3

Mike I. follows in Mike V.'s footsteps as a sore loser when he whinges that it should have been Robin going home instead of him. I guess she was just not as worse as you this week, Mike.

Join us next week where the Voltaggio brothers bicker and Robin miraculously ends up in the top six. Also, please keep your eyes opened for other signs of the apocalypse. You know, just in case.

Big thanks to Amy for rocking the Restaurant Wars recap last week!

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Being that banshees are the HARBINGERS of death, we tend to keep a very tight schedule. And I don't want Robin using MY name in any of her poor similes. She sucks like an Electrolux.


Yeah, because of editing it appeared that Mike I. went home because of his cocky attitude. I wasn't exactly sad to see him go, but I NEVER thought Robin would make it this far. Also, I've been pretty disappointed in Jen lately. She kicked butt at first, but seems pretty defeated these days.

And I MUCH prefer Brian V. over Michael. Michael just seems like such a jerk. Not to be too picky, but it wasn't Tom that made the fellatio reference. It was one of Padme's - I mean Natalie's friends and Tom stated that he was thinking it but didn't want to say it.


My husband and I thought the editing made it look like they sent Mike I home for just being a jerk, versus just crappy food. It made us wonder what was said that they didn't show us -hmmm..... Although, somehow putting out leeks as a main course - no protein - does seem pretty silly.


I think Mike went home because he can't keep his hand gestures to himself. Also he didn't attempt a protein, AND he committed Top Chef Mortal Sin #8 - he didn't see anything wrong with the rest of the dish.

And for the love of Mattin, someone needs to tell Robin that the greasy pork chop lips do NOT do her any favors.


As much as I enjoy that photo of Mattin with the rabbit, the first one is WAY funnier. Seriously, WAY FUNNIER.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

The pouty look?

It rules, right?

I love it too.


Padma's outfit reminded me of my old barbies. Their boobs were always showing and you always wondered why the um...full body pants weren't ever long enough. What else do you call those?

I found it weird that they all acted like they were cooking for a Vegan, instead of a vegetarian. Where was the cheese, pasta, anything?


I agree with everything you've said, although I think Michael V. is setting a great example of how to throw a fit when you don't win. It's just not an example that should be set!

Padma's outfits keep getting worse. I hated the bright green jumpsuit thingy she wore that looked like an outfit I have from one Halloween. I think she stole her wardrobe from the 70's.

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