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Carla Pellegrino / Top Chef / Bacio / Rao's / → All Tags
The tenth season of Top Chef (that's all it's been?) premieres Wednesday night on Bravo and this season's main Las Vegas connection is Executive Chef Carla Pellegrino of
Rao's Bacio the Meatball Spot at Town Square. Given how little the previews have focused on her, we're going to call it right now that she wins the whole season and the producers are just trying to throw us off. There's a one in 21 chance we're right.
Given her big Vegas
boobs personality, we're also going to go ahead and speculate that Bravo casts her in a villainess role this season. The premiere episode's first ten minutes are on the Bravo website now, but Carla isn't featured. More producer tricks.
The Cosmopolitan restaurant is proud to call two of the cheftestants on this season's Top Chef Just Desserts its own -- pastry chefs Carlos Enriquez and Craig Poirier. Both survived the season's first two challenges, giving a modern twist to a soda fountain classic and creating a chocolatey showpiece based on quite a Grimm (fairy)tale.
Holsteins will host a viewing party each Wednesday night to cheer the chefs on to sweet, sweet victory. Add your Bravos starting at 9 p.m. in the burger joint's bar. The show itself will air at 10. Join the festivities and enjoy food and drink specials, and a few surprise treats as well.
Do you look sexy in a paper hat and apron, covered in sugar and waving a rolling pin? If so, take pictures and send them in. But do you also have a knack for cooking crazy-ass delish dishes in under 30 minutes or whipping up a picture perfect chocolate covered pastry?
Tryouts for Just Desserts part duex and season nine of the original Top Chef will be held in Vegas Thursday, March 10.
VegasChatter Questions / Celeb Chefs / Restaurants / Mandalay Bay / Top Chef / rm seafood / Fleur / Trattoria del Lupo / Border Grill / → All Tags
Time for another VegasChatter Question! Got a question about Vegas? Send it to us and if we deem it clean enough, we'll post it here on VegasChatter. Now, we'll spit out our own suggestions but we want you to help your fellow Vegas visitors too. So drop your answers in comments below!
Reader DG is swinging into Vegas on a guy’s trip with a handful of friends and looking for a good, nice but not too nice, non-steakhouse offering from a celebrity chef. Wait, can six single guys swing in(to) Vegas? Perhaps we should have used flying instead of swinging. Oops.
Without knowing where the guys are staying or if that’s even a factor, we suggest eating at Mandalay Bay which has semi-quietly become an epicenter of celebrity chef restaurants. Multiple celebrity chefs call Mandalay home so there is variety to satisfy every dude’s palate and if the guys change their mind last minute, they don’t have to travel far for other choices.
This comes as a bit of a shock to us but Fleur de Lys at Mandalay Bay will be closing in August. Top Chef Master Hubert Keller and his crew will remain as the restaurant re-opens before the end of the year as a casual, world tapas restaurant. Your guess is as good as ours right now what world will mean since we remember when tapas were Spanish.
The announcement is disappointing as Fleur de Lys was one of our favorite special occasion restaurants. Not only is the food excellent but the restaurant interior is unique and relaxing with floor to ceiling curtains and walls covered in stone and fancy floral sculptures.
Can we get a moment of silence as we bring Top Chef Las Vegas Season 6 to a close? It’s been an exciting culinary tour de force as 17 contestants (we’ll never ever wrap our brain around the oh-so abused “chef-testant” term) were whittled down to last night’s three. Dare we call Kevin, Michael and Bryan the holy trinity of Top Chef talent? Sure, why not?
The final episode started at The Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, where everyone’s successes were contemplated over big mugs of coffee. The three remaining chefs head to Rutherford Hill Winery, where against the vineyard backyard and given their final challenge. They must create a three-course meal with the following guidelines in mind: create a first course with identical boxes of predetermined ingredients, make a second course of chef’s choice and a dessert.
Dinner will be served at Cyrus, a two-starred Michelin restaurant in Healdsburg, California (a good 90-minute drive from the Meritage for you non-wine country savvy folks, WTF Bravo? Is that like positioning M Resort close to the Strip?) and Tom spells it out, “This meal can make your career.”
Top Chef / Cyrus / Restaurants / Douglas Keane / M Resort / → All Tags
We don’t know about you, but we are so looking forward to the Top Chef Season 6 finale on Bravo tonight. We may have to medicate to survive the episode if it’s anywhere near as stressful as last week’s nail-biter.
As rumors swirl about who takes home the title of Top Chef, sightings of Kevin and Eli, together in Napa Valley, and the big Voltaggio brother showdown, one aspect of this week’s episode was cleared up when a press release from Chef Douglas Keane’s (of Cyrus Restaurant fame) people arrived in our inbox.
The email revealed that:
For the Season 6 Finale, finalists prepare and cook in Cyrus’ kitchen for the final stage of this year’s exciting challenge. Maitre d’ and Co-Owner Nick Peyton greets Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and other judges and guests before all are seated in Cyrus’ elegant dining room.
Top Chef / Chefs / → All Tags
Last night, Top Chef officially crossed the line from prime time entertainment to nail-biting stressfest.
A lot has changed since Top Chef last filmed in Vegas. Jen’s hair got all sorts of curly (looks like Philadelphia’s end-of-summer humidity had its way with her). Kevin’s sweet little redhead seemed to lose a few hairs in the hiatus. Bryan got accessorized (note to Bryan: no one, and I mean no one dons big, oversized golf umbrellas on the west coast).
And Michael, well, not much changed with him, except he’s seamlessly stepped into the role of the resident jerkface since Mike I. got the heave ho.
The episode starts with everyone sitting at a train stop in Napa Valley, when low and behold, Napa’s finest mobile tourist trap pulls into the station – The Napa Valley Wine Train. Out walks Padma rocking some severe bangs and a baby bump (will we ever know who knocked her up?) and guest judge and owner of Napa restaurant, Bottega, Michael Chiarello.
Top Chef / Thomas Keller / Alex Stratta / Wynn / Stratta / → All Tags
Oooh, this week was a goody on Top Chef Las Vegas. We’re down to final five contestants who were giving it their all for the last challenge in Vegas and with Robin finally out of the way, we can focus on the real talent of this competition.
The intro scene is full all things Hallmark-y stuff that pull on your heartstrings. Kevin throws on a rosary and hails his wife Callie as his inspiration to win. Aww…as if we needed another reason to route for this sweet ‘ole Southern boy. Eli waxes poetic on being the youngest one in the house, but citing his mentor as Richard Blais (Top Chef contestant, Season 5). Jen fesses up to being unfocused the past few weeks and sets herself up for an all too obvious comeback.
Top Chef / Nigella Lawson / Circus Circus / Bellagio / The Mirage / New York-New York / Excalibur / Mandalay Bay / → All Tags
All season long, Top Chef Las Vegas has been doing its very best to isolate Vegas from the cooking competition equation. All they've done is parade in big name chefs to act as judges and let the contestants use their fancy hotel casino kitchens to complete the elimination challenges. Heck, they don't even give the M Resort any love anymore.
Oh sure, every so often they throw something "Vegas-y" into the mix like showgirls, a couple of Vegas celebs, a $10,000 poker chip or the opportunity to double down on an Elimination Challenge. But we've always felt that this season could have just as easily taken place in another city. Where's the glitz and glamour? And more importantly, where are the casinos?
Finally, last night we got what we've been waiting for all season.
The episode kicks off with every foodie's fantasy--Padma in bed wearing white robe and her hair in soft layers around her face. In the bed next to her (sadly, not in bed with her) is every foodie's other fantasy--Nigella Lawson, equally stunning as Padma and also clad in a white robe with her hair in soft layers around her face. And thus the Quickfire Challenge begins.
Another Wednesday night brought us another episode of our beloved Top Chef Las Vegas. This week’s episode was dubbed, “Meat Natalie,” but we’ll get to why later.
As we’ve grown to loathe, the 60-minute segment was chock full of product whoring, including Seattle’s Best Coffee, Swanson Stock, TV Guide, Glad Cling Wrap, GE Monogram, Schwan’s, San Pellegrino and Alexia Crunchy Snacks. We’re sure we glazed over a few other strategic placements – the whole schtick is getting old.
Our regular Top Chef recapper, Globetrotting Gourmet, is in port in Alaska and is having some connection issues. She cabled in her Top Chef report which we're pasting below. Ok, so maybe it wasn't a cable but rather just regular old email instead but cable sounded fancier.
Yay for Restaurant Wars, the most anticipated episode in every Top Chef season. We also think we've figured out some Top Chef secret, in that they seem to pan to and pay extra attention to whomever is getting the ax at the beginning of the episode. We don't want to spoil who it was this week, but if you watch the first six minutes and last six minutes of the past few episodes, you'll see what we mean.
The episode rolls right into a Quickfire Challenge with guest judge, "champion of conscious cooking," and chef/owner rm seafood, Rick Moonen. In this episode, cooks must manage all matters of a restaurant, including serving, cooking and hosting. This Quickfire Challenge is a test of teamwork, the first ever Top Chef Tag Team Cook-Off. Here's how it works: the chefs pulled knives, with Jennifer pulling one marked "First Choice" and Michael pulling "Second Choice." Every other knife was blank. The two picked teams were Team Jen: Kevin, Mike I., Laurine and Team Michael: Bryan, Eli, Robin.