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Top Chef: Las Vegas, Ep. 11 – Quiver of a 17th Century Courtesan’s Inner Thigh


I had to watch this episode three times to really actually care what happened. Well, let me rephrase. The first time I was so distracted by the thought of Padma and Nigella Lawson lying in their bathrobes in a hotel room, waiting to be fed. In fact, this was a good Padma-lusting episode. After that, she had the casual jeans look, followed by a stunning red dress. It was so much, that before I knew it, everybody had eaten and Robin was going home.

To my defense, Robin could have gone home for any challenge this season, in fact, part of me thinks she was eliminated about three times already and just keeps sneaking back into the kitchen. But regardless, I needed a couple of viewings to process the challenges and see what had actually happened.

Bottom line – I was bored. Not a good thing for a reality show. The outcome was not shocking; Robin was long-overdue to leave the game. The challenge was a little creative, but overall a bit dull. One thing this episode, and this season for the most part, has done is solidify my lack of desire to ever go to Las Vegas. I know my parents are going to haunt me in my sleep tonight for that comment, but it’s true. As I said that to my wife while watching, she commented back to me, “If possible, it’s even more cheesy in person.” She’s been there before, by the way. I am more jealous that she’s been to Kansas City to see a Royals game and I haven’t.

So, the Quickfire Challenge was to serve breakfast in bed to Padma and Nigella, who Eli described as “a more updated version of Julia Child.” I say, Eli needs thicker glasses. I mean, there’s this, and this.

Robin – Blintz with goat cheese, caramelized pineapple and blueberries.
She also left the kitchen a major pigsty that Hawk had to burn 5-10 minutes off his time cleaning it before he could use it after her.
Eli – Fried Egg Reuben Benedict, with Thousand Island Hollandaise Sauce.
I give Eli some grief, but that looked and sounded delicious. Nigella thought it was great hangover food. For me, nothing but soup works for that.
Hawk – Huevos Cubano with banana puree, rice, bacon and arugula salad.
He has a weird exchange with Nigella about how you can eat breakfast at any time during the day. Even Hawk is confused by it. With all of his troubles in the dirty kitchen, Hawk is pleased they like the food and says that “it goes to show that it doesn’t matter how it got there, as long as it tastes good.” Remember that line, my friends, when Hawk criticizes Kevin’s food preparation process. It doesn’t matter how it gets there, as long as it tastes good. Mmm hmm.
Kevin – Steak and eggs with Crème Fraiche, aged cheddar and green onions.
He also brushed it with coffee! More things should be brushed with coffee! I love how Kevin describes things, “intense aged cheddar, soft scrambled egg to soften it up.” It reminds me of how Elaine Benes got a job at J.Peterman.
Jen – “SOS” Shit on a Shingle. Creamed chipped beef with toast, potatoes and tomatoes.
Nigella makes a face. Of course she is British, and they eat this, so perhaps she should save it.
BryanBot – Four-minute egg with vanilla buerre fondue, King Crab, asparagus spears and corn polenta.
Nigella didn’t care much for the vanilla and implies that the dish could have been a “star” without it.

Bottom Two – BryanBot (can’t cope with the vanilla) and Robin (not enough contrast).
Top Two – Kevin (he really understood the challenge) and Eli (the tang of sauerkraut slapped her out of her jet lag). Eli wins, and gets a slot in the new Quickfire Cookbook.


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