TOP CHEF VEGAS RECAP: Good Luck Cooking Food That’s Better Than Being In Iraq

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TC Michael and MichaelThis is a Recap of Top Chef Las Vegas Episode 3 entitled, “What Happens In Airbase, Stays In Airbase Vegas Dice Luck Wayne Newton!!” There are a bunch of spoilers about last night’s Top Chef episode in it.

– Three weeks in, it is painfully obvious how much better the chefs are on Top Chef Vegas than on Top Chef New York. From now on, I’m referring to TC:NY as the NFC West of Top Chef seasons.

– Think we had enough testimonials of chefs mentioning that they have family in the military so this challenge is special for them? I was waiting for one dude (probably Michael I.) to be like, “Yeah, I got no family in the military, so I don’t give a crap about what the military does for us. I put rocks in my food.”

TC Potatoes 3 Ways– If you thought wasted dudes at a Vegas pool were finicky food connoisseurs, wait’ll you see servicemen and women returning from duty in Afghanistan! They will NOT stand for underseasoned shrimp in their Greek salads!

Mark Peel: “The most difficult ingredient that you’ll be working with in this Quickfire Challenge, of course, is time. The second is potatoes.”

– Did anyone else think of a Mark Peel “potato” joke? I’ll bet I’m the only one to have thought of that ever.

– I can’t believe Ash got away with his sweet potato ice cream-turned-custard, not because it looked bad, but because it had all the makings of the “interview after the results, talk about how I screwed up” lead-up to the judges ripping on his dish. I wish Mark Peel had at least quoted, “Then you go ahead and do something like this, Ash…….and TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!”

After the jump, the Airtacular Elimination Challenge, and THE GREATEST QUOTE IN TOP CHEF HISTORY:

TC Kevin Eli Pork– Something got stuck in the judges’ craw in the Elimination Challenge, huh? They were all like, “Here’s our craw – what the F*CK did you f*ckers stick in it?? Now we’re gonna take your underseasoned dishes personally.” I’m guessing the Bravo producers tampered with said craw; this season’s group is so much better than TC:NY, they have to make up for it my laying into the couple crappy chefs even harder.

– How satisfying was it to watch Michael I’s reaction when Padma told him to come back with the bottom group? Watching his smugness from his partner’s winning dish transform into fumbling excuses over his pointless salad was simply breathtaking television. They need to submit that two minutes and Preeti’s 9/11 quote to the Emmys for consideration as “Greatest Televised Things.”

Preeti’s pasta salad looked a little familiar:

TC Pasta Salad

– No comments about gays in the military, Ashley? Or did Bravo just cut her dissertation for time?

TC Preeti– Preeti at least went down with the greatest (non-Fabio) quote in the history of Top Chef:

“The day I first realized I definitely wanted to be a chef, for me, was 9/11.”

I realized how fragile life is, and how vulnerable we all are, and I just thought to myself: I really need to start making some sh*tty pasta salads. Also, the military is a theme this week, so, you know, 9/11. Those cameras aren’t on and that mic you put on me is fake, right?

– Padma’s pretty hot regardless, but what was up with her leopardskin skirt at the airbase? It reminded me of Lindsay Bluth wearing her sparkly “SLUT” t-shirt to prison after she was pissed about not getting enough cat calls.

TC Padma PimpsUPDATED TOP 5:

1a) Brother Michael – He’s been absolutely on fire (literally look at his tan lolol), but Tom’s reaction to his bacon dish was uncharacteristically giddy. I haven’t seen Tom blush like that since the truckloads of “you’re our gay idol” mail from the TC:NY Reunion.

1b) Kevin – Didn’t win this week, but dropping him to the second spot is just splitting beard-hairs, he’s pretty much nailed every challenge, and I don’t see him just randomly screwing everything up one week.

1c) Jen – It’s gonna take either a one-week total botching by someone or Bravo to demand a Brothers Finale for Kevin/Michael/Jen not to be the Top 3. But I’ve been wrong before.

4) Brother Bryan – Also has yet to really make a bad impression, and his legitimacy plus the Bravo desire for brother-rivalry should let him cruise into the final weeks. Is his sister in the military? Someone look into that.

5) Eli – Solid performer from Day One; may be more of a “does well enough week to week” guy than a “grab this competition and win it” guy, but he could’ve won Top Chef New York (Though I think I could’ve at least made the finals.

No Chance: Jesse, Michael Isabella, Laurine, Ron

Episodes without “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” joke: 3. (Ironically, I took the “Under” on the Vegas Over/Under of .0001 episodes.)

Episode thoughts? Reactions, predictions, favorite lines other than the 9/11 one, Michael schadenfreude? Leave ‘em in the comments.

TC Jesse Vultures