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Top Chef Las Vegas Recap: Episode 11, Strip Around the World

Picture 4 Before we begin out weekly Top Chef recap I would like to apologize for anything you read below that doesn't make sense. I caught my daughter's cold and then I walked around in the rain and then I went to an ice hockey game so I am currently all hopped up on goofballs. Cold medicine makes me silly.

Also, I don't think "Strip Around the World" is going to mean what I think it means, but a girl can always hope.

Let's get on with the show.

As we see our final six chefs getting ready to face the day we find out that Bryan has a very cute little boy that misses his dad and calls his father Bryan. These parts always make me feel melancholy. I cannot imagine being away from my children for more than two weeks in a row. 

But then Bryan says that this is "a very unique opportunity" and I am suddenly not sad for him, but instead irritated because things cannot be very unique. Unique means: "existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics". Things cannot be very unique. Something is either one of a kind or it is not, dammit.

/semantic debate

Our six remaining contestants (The Voltaggi, Kevin, Jennifer, Eli and Robin) go to The Venetian.

You know, The Venetian, where MamaPop writers frolic.


I know what you are thinking, Mattin.


Next time we go we will invite you too.

QuickFire Challenge

The chefs have to go to the kitchen where Padma calls them for room service. Padma is up in her room, in bed, in a bathrobe and she is hanging out with Nigella Lawson. Our heroes (and Robin) have to cook up a speedy breakfast in bed for Padma and Nigella.

Everyone cooks up a breakfast with a clever twist. Well, except Robin and Jennifer. Robin just made blintzes and Jen made shit on a shingle. Seriously. She even said that to Padma and Nigella! I thinks she wants to go home.

Bryan and Robin ended up on the bottom and Kevin and Eli ended up as the favorites, and Eli won the QuickFire. He also gets his recipe in the Top Chef QuickFire cookbook.

Is Eli making a comeback? We shall wait and see.

Since it is too late in the season for immunity he is neither safe from elimination nor forgiven for those shoes.

Elimination Challenge

For the Elimination Challenge Padma says they have to celebrate the Las Vegas Strip. The chefs draw knives to see which casino will inspire their dish.

Hi, my name is Sarah and I was inspired by The Flamingo casino. What I have made for you today is a cigarette flavored pastry that I spilled some beer on. Please enjoy.

Luckily for the judges these chefs have more creativity than I do, and they will be catering a party for 175.

So, cooking... cooking... complaining... cooking... complaining about Robin... cooking... party...eating...Padma's dress is amazing...

Picture 2

Nigella doesn't like the food made by the women.


Eli's dish looks weird as hell.

Picture 3

Nobody really liked it either.

Judges Table

The judges call in Kevin, Michael and Bryan. There is much complimenting and Michael wins a humongous bottle of wine and a trip to the vineyard from whence the bottle came. So there is that.

But we all prefer to talk about the losers here, don't we?

Picture 1

Jennifer's food was hard as a rock and inappropriate, Robin's was full of fail and Eli's was a hot mess.



FINALLY! The judges sent Robin home.

Honestly, I don't think hers was the worst, but she had it coming.

I'd like to see Jennifer step her game back up. She is an awesome chef and I would hate to see her go home because she got tired.

So I will see you next week where I predict we will say goodbye to Eli, but don't take my word for it, I've been wrong before, and like I said before I'm high on DayQuil.

The previews showed Thomas Keller! Thomas Keller is like a the Golden God of Food. I'm squeeing on the inside.

[most photos via bravotv.com]

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I'm with you, Eli's a goner.

I would like to see Kevin, one of the Voltbags, and Jennifer in the top three, but she's got to get her head out of her ass pretty soon.

In truth I think it's going to be hard to beat last night's top three - one of them is going to have to screw up badly to get kicked off.

And is Bravo trying to KILL ME with the loser/winner edit going to the brother who did NOT win? (Or so my husband tells me, along with a huge eyeroll, because I really can't tell the Voltbags apart.) Seriously, they're just toying with me now, aren't they?


I predict Voltaggi and Kevin in the top round. Unless Michael's smack talk about Kevin comes back to haunt him and he goes down in flames- which I kind of want.

Did anyone see the flash to Bryan's face when Michael started talking about his dish at judging? Utter annoyance, there.


I did enjoy Robin getting huffy when one of the V-brothers told her to get out of his way. If she hadn't been axed last night, I would have saved this on my DVR to prove there was some justice.


Seriously, Jennifer looks like a hot mess. This competition is wearing on her big time.

I think I'm the only who loves Mikey V. And every week they they try to make me dislike him more, but I find him more endearing and hotter. I would not kick him out of bed. Unless it was to have him go make me breakfast.


I liked Michael V - until he started in on Kevin. Kevin is the most consistent player I've ever seen on this show. Volt 2 - why no Kevin love?


How about a standing ovation for Nigella Lawson and her oh so aristocratic turn as judge? "Pana cotta should quiver like the inside of a 17th century courtesan's thigh." Oh my god.

Suzy Q

FINALLY, Robin's gone. So glad we won't have to hear once more (read: every time) about how this wasn't her best effort.

I was with M-Volt on the get-out-of-my-way shit with her, too. He was running around on deadline, trying to cook in the nasty-ass dirty kitchen she left behind, whilst she's strolling around in his area trying to collect her utensils. Begone!

I sure hope Jen gets her mojo back. She's a great chef, but really - SOS? That was Bad.

An aside re: Padma: I had never before today seen the turd that is the movie "Glitter" but I saw it was on today and let in roll in the background while I dictated. OMG, people, Padma is in it! And she is bad, very bad at acting AND singing. She's lucky to have this TC gig.


Innuendo involving stripping in the title and you lead with a photo of Padma? MEAN. I ... I ... I'll be in my bunk.


Tonya, we noticed that as well. We think Kevin's the biggest competition and that's why he's the main target. But I think the closer we get to the end, the more we'll see the Voltagi turn on each other, Fun times!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

Nigella made me feel dirty.

Sent from my iPhone

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

1) Padma, bad? Impossible!

2) Begone indeed.

3) Why would you watch "Glitter"? Why?

Sent from my iPhone

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

We are here for you Norm.

Sent from my iPhone


So happy for Robin to go. She was totally out of her element. Was it weird that no one was hot and bothered over Nigella? What the heck?

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

I thought Nigella seemed really cold and strange. She was kind of cruel.

Sent from my iPhone


I love you forever for your aside on not modifying unique. Either it's unique or it's not; it can't be super unique or sort of unique. I got in a serious fight with a friend about this. Do not fuck with me when it comes to grammar, yo.


I've seen every episode of Nigella's show that FoodNetwork aired. Yes. All 3.7 of them. And I positively LOVE her. I definitely would have been hot and bothered to cook for her, no question. She's a Goddess. Having said that, I have to totally agree that there was a certain strangeness, especially the breakfast in bed quickfire. All I can think is that she and Padma had it out right before they started filming and Padma won and Nigella was plotting ways to rip off her damn robe and beat that trick instead of focusing on the food.

Either that or Nigella was missing Mattin.

Suzy Q


Padma was indeed bad. VERY bad. I didn't say I actually watched "Glitter," just that it was on in the background. I may have glanced at it a time or two and was absolutely gobsmacked that Padma was in it. In my defense, it came on right after "Center Stage," which I watched for the eleventieth time. Shut up.


I think Jenn will go home next week. She is sabotaging herself. Not sure why, but it's dam painful to watch. She had so much promise in the beginning.

SOOOO glad Robin went home. Anyone who is in Vegas and isn't sure they've heard anything about the Bellagio is an idiot who doesn't deserve to be there. Who hasn't heard about the Bellagio?

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

@Issa I don't want Jen to sabotage (heh I almost wrote Savatage) herself either, but I can totally see it happening.

Sent from my iPhone


Voltaggi Due irritate me so much. They need a consecutive ass-kicking. I still want to eat at Volt though, so I have no pride.

How about "super unique?" "Singularly unique?" "A myriad of?" No?

Robin is gone and that's all I cared about this week, besides how amusing I found the "Amurrican shit on a shingle" angle. Jen really needs a phone call or a letter from home or whatever they're doling out these days. And I need this season to be over.

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