Top Chef Las Vegas Recap

By Jason Lee

November 17, 2009

Good riddance!

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We return to the Top Chef kitchen after a one-week hiatus and there's only one question on my mind: Will this be the challenge that Jennifer gets her head back together? Her performances over the past three episodes have been decidedly lackluster, and there have been more one occasion when I've thought to myself, "She's going home. There's no doubt, she's going home."

There's a faint glimmer of hope that she's kicked back into gear. She confides in us that the elimination of Pompous Mike really shocked her. "I definitely thought he'd be in the top," she says. Seeing as how no one is safe, Jennifer concludes that she needs to stop worrying about others.


The six remaining chefs head to the kitchen in the Venetian Hotel. They stand around awkwardly until a phone rings. It's Padma. She informs them that room service is a multi-million dollar industry in Vegas – not surprising seeing as how there are over 67,000 hotel rooms. Thus, today they will be having a Room Service Quickfire Challenge. They will need to create a scrumptious breakfast-in-bed for herself as well as French culinary master, Nigella Lawson, who I know as the "Food Network chef who would easily win the title of Sexiest Female Voice on the Planet." Seriously. Her voice totally turns me on, and I'm not even straight.

Robin and Eli cook as the first pair. Robin creates a blintz with goat cheese and caramelized pineapple. Nigella gives her no response. Eli makes a fried egg Reuben with thousand island hollandaise sauce. Nigella says that it would be a great hangover breakfast.


Kevin and Michael go next, with Michael having to spend five of his 25 minutes cleaning up after Robin. She enters the kitchen not soon after that to clean up her station, having just finished serving her meal to Nigella, and Michael angrily snaps at her to get out of the kitchen. She scurries out.

Up in the bedroom, Kevin serves Nigella steak and eggs with crème fraiche, green onion, and a light dusting of coffee. I idly wonder how Padma will like it, seeing as how she wasn't a fan of steak and eggs until Season 3 winner, Hung, cooked it for her (and won the breakfast Quickfire with it in his episode). Michael does a Cuban-inspired Huevos Cabana with crispy rice, bananas. No response from either Padma or Nigella to the two dishes.

Lastly, we have Jennifer and Bryan. I have my fingers crossed for Jennifer – she says that she works in a hotel restaurant and does room service. She also says her breakfasts are darn good. I hope she's right.

Jennifer presents Nigella with creamed, chipped beef with toast and oven roasted tomatoes. Nigella looks at the dish as if it were from another planet. I cringe. Bryan makes a four-minute egg with a vanilla beurre fondue. After Bryan leaves, Nigella confesses to Padma that she really doesn't like the vanilla.

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