Top Chef Las Vegas Podcast, Ep. 11: Workin' The Strip, Ceveech gives her S.O.S., and Nigella Lawson makes us drool

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 At the beginning of this episode, we were pleasantly surprised to find Padma and Nigella Lawson in bed (not together, but one can dream) wanting a hot breakfast served to their room from the cheftestants. Eli gave us a great background on Nigella, saying, "She's like a less French version of Julia Child; she's kinda legit." Right, Eli, because Julia Child was definitely from France and Nigella Lawson is from England (very close to France, though- close, but no cigar). I'm even confused on the logic there.

The ladies were presented with some interesting (to be polite) dishes, like HotBro's (Bryan) vanilla scented seafood medley with a soft egg and Eli's reuben inspired benedict with Thousand Island hollandaise (I gagged upon hearing that one). As for Ceveech's (Jen) S.O.S.: I would have thought Nigella would've been into that sort of thing; maybe if Jen had arranged it with a bit more care and didn't just throw it on the plate. But then I guess then it wouldn't look like shit, which might've been what she was going for. Eli took the won and his Quickfire dish will now be featured in the new Top Chef cookbook (as if Top Chef didn't have enough to sell).

For the Elimination Challenge, the cheftestants each had a different hotel on the Las Vegas Strip to draw inspiration from for their dishes. It seems they all interpreted this challenge differently: some taking it literally with elements that were supposed to remind one of the particular hotel, while others took it more figuratively by pretty much just making whatever they felt like. For example: I don't understand how Redbeard's dish said "The Mirage": was it the hidden spice underneath the salmon? And the fact that HotBro used the aquarium from his hotel (which had nothing to do with the ocean) to model his dish just perplexed me. Are there not rules to this sort of challenge? I guess not because those who took the challenge literally ended up on the bottom this week.

I'll give it to Ceveech for doing a play on 'The Sword and the Stone' element from Excalibur, though her beef was literally like gnawing on a stone. Eli's Caramel Apple Peanut Soup with Popcorn Raspberry Froth looked like someone vomited after eating too much at the fair. I couldn't believe he came up with that. Robin's panna cotta didn't "quiver like a courtesan's thigh", but at least it was edible and non-offensive. We discuss in this podcast the fact the judges have claimed that they judge on a week-by-week basis and don't look at the chef's portfolios overall- but we disagree, especially in this case.

Highlights: Drooling over Nigella, the dishes that made us queasy, Hot Bro stalking, and our bets for the finale.

Hear the hilarious podcast after the jump:

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