Living the dream: Top Chef Las Vegas, episode six

Toby Young is back, and he’s still “very, very British.”

In last night’s magic themed episode of Top Chef Las Vegas, Toby Young, the show's resident foul mouthed, analogy-making Brit, returned to judge the remaining cheftestants deconstructed versions of classic dishes, from a showy caesar salad to eggs “foreign to me,” alongside deconstructionist showmen Penn and Teller. Fittingly, both classic British dishes – shepherd’s pie and fish and chips – flopped last night, failing to meet Toby, or even Teller’s, expectations. Ash’s shepherd’s pie was clunky on the plate and poorly cooked (his tomato looked like a bad tomato Provencal I actually did get at a buffet in Vegas) and Laurine’s fish and two chips, aside from being overcooked, failed to recreate the fatty flavor of fries.

Ultimately, though, it was Ron’s pathetic paella, his countless mediocre fish dish of the season, that was deemed the worst of the night and sent the Haitian chef packing his knives. While I doubt Ron thought he was the best chef of the bunch, his disillusioned commentary (“I could win for this,” “I’ve made award-winning clam chowder”) made him seem out of touch with the competition and his abilities throughout much of the season. Thankfully, his heartfelt goodbye saved some face and helped to show that at least a part of his cocky/confused persona was created in editing. Keep living the dream, Ron – one day you can cook for Tyra Banks.