« | Home | »

Top Chef Las Vegas: Cooking For Cowpokes Sends One Home

September 16, 2009 08:46 PM by DA Southern


Top Chef sends us into the dessert of Nevada as the chefs will not only cook cactus in the Quickfire, but will later head out to the plains to cook up some grub for some cowpoke. As the lights of Vegas seem to be glittering less and less, surely something will happen to get us back to the glitz of the strip at some point.

The Quickfire Challenge

Host Padma Lakshmi introduced guest judge, Tim Love, who proceeded to tell the chefs how to cook cactus, or as they call it, Succulents. Is nothing ever simple in the cooking world? Padma then told them that cactus was on the menu and that the chefs had forty-five minutes to complete their dishes. Additionally, $15,000 was up for grabs for the winner.

The chefs then went about telling how us how to cook cactus in various ways and I am sure that will go great with the oatmeal I cook every other night. I mean, getting the water ready for the oatmeal takes it all out of me already.


As usual, I could have never imagined so many ways cactus could be prepared, including a cactus jelly donut, but Chef Love had his favorites, which were few judging by his face after he ate most of the dishes. Ash, and Ron sucked with their cactus dishes but Laurine, Mike I and Mattin impressed with Mike I pulling out a $15,000 victory but did not earn immunity for the next challenge.

Elimination Challenge

The chefs hitched up their wagon trains and headed out to the ranch to cook for some cowpokes. Chef Tim Love warned the chefs not to get lazy thinking that they would not have to prepare high-end foods or they would certainly pay for it later at the judges table.


The chefs arrived to see tee-pees, outhouses and a poor cooking set up in which to prepare the meals the next day. What was fun was to see all of the chefs camping out as most looked out of their element and several worried about the cleanliness of cooking in such an environment.

The Sandy Valley Ranch was ready for the chefs and Eli was complaining that it was like being on the surface of Venus as it was 1400 degrees. Believe it is a bit hotter on Venus, but Eli is definitely the comedy element of this episode.

The chefs were struggling with the heat and the dust, but Laurine seemed in her element as she had experience with southwest food.


The cowpoke entered along with the judges and the food was served. The judges asked about each dish, of course a lot of fancy dishes, but immediately Mike I’s dish was not a hit. Mattin’s cod had Tom walking away from the table and throwing it out in the dirt and it seemed as if a lot of the dishes were falling short to the judges.

Bryan V was a hit again with his dish as was Jennifer’s dish and even Ashley impressed a bit. Michael V did great, as always, and even big Ron impressed as did Kevin. The second group was definitely stronger with their dishes and it looked as someone in the first group will definitely be going home.

Judges Table

You know the brothers are going to be called into the winner’s circle, as was expected, along with Laurine and Ashley. Chef Tim Love announced that brother Brian was once again in the winner’s circle.


Robin, Ron and Mattin were sent back to face the judges and Robin’s sliding by in the last challenge has finally caught up with her. Mattin was happy with his dish and said he was surprised to be in the bottom, which surprise the judges. Ron’s dish had mixed results but his coconut drink was proclaimed “Really bad” by the judges. It looked like Mattin and Robin were the ones being considered for elimination with Mattin’s inability to realize that he served bad food at the core of the judge’s disapproval.

In the end, Robin looked as though she was saved by the arrogance of another chef who though he did well enough to stay as Mattin packed his knifes and left. Robin is not long for the competition as she can’t hold a candle to the other chefs, especially the brothers, Bryan and Michael V. So next week, if she ends up there again, she will be gone.


Next week on Top Chef, comedians Penn and Teller bring some laughter to the judges table and already that episode is one to watch when Padma says, at one point, that she actually has had bull’s testicles causing Penn to say, “I bet.” Need I say more?

Visit our sister site, SheKnows.com, for other great articles on cooking and entertaining tips.

Discuss the show on our Top Chef message board. For more great Top Chef news, please visit SirLinksALot: Top Chef.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Topics: Bravo Reality TV Shows, Top Chef |

« | Home | »

recommended for you

No Comments »


SheKnows Entertainment