'Top Chef Vegas' Recap: Gee, I Wonder Who Wins the Pig Challenge?

It was every foodie’s dream challenge last night – the all-pork, one-on-one Elimination. Good work, Top Chef producers! Nice way to balance out the overwhelmingly blatant plug for Alexia’s snacks in the Quickfire. Here’s my take on the latest episode:

1. Eli still lives at home with his parents, and he isn’t embarrassed about it at all – in fact, he thinks it’s "great." That definitely explains a lot.

2. This is the most egregious use of a sponsor product we’ve seen so far. The cheftestants don’t even have to use the snacks in their dish, they just have to create a dish that pairs well with the different Alexia’s snack flavors? Ridiculous. Let’s at least make them cook with the damn things.

3. Kevin is my absolute favorite throughout this entire episode. As soon as he says he’s doing a take on a green bean casserole with onions for his Quickfire, I was sold. The Challenge is tailor-made for him, and he reveals – surprise! – that he loves pork so much that he sports a pig tattoo on his arm. He then *buys bacon* to go with his pork leg dish. Hilarious. And guess who ends up winning the whole darn thing?

4. Laurine plans to make pork rillettes for the Elimination Challenge, but says she’s never made them before. Red flag! Red flag! Does she not realize that this is a very bad idea?

5. The fight between Robin and Eli – childish and ridiculous. I’m getting tired of the Robin-bashing. I’m also getting tired of Robin’s weak cooking skills. Clearly, Robin needs to go.

6. Ash says he’s changing his dish around to make a chilled pork tenderloin, thanks to Eli’s advice. Again, red flag! Chilled pork tenderloin does not sound yummy.

7. Padma sports an enormous, floppy hat at the beginning of the Pigs & Pinot event. Someone must have told her it looked ridiculous, because we don’t see her with it for the rest of the tasting.

8. Dana Cowin calls Laurine’s pork rillettes "cat food." Toby calls them a "disaster." Laurine, what were you thinking?

9. Tom’s facial expressions continue to kill me. There’s just the barest, tiniest hint of a smirk on his face when Toby is describing Robin’s sauce, saying it reminded him of the "gunk left at the bottom of a coffee cup." You can see it in Tom’s eyes – he wants to burst out laughing, but he knows he must resist. Keep it together, Tom!

10. A little surprised that Ash got sent home since I think he was slightly more talented than Robin or Laurine, but hey, his time was up. And gee, who was in the top four? The Voltaggio brothers, Kevin and Jennifer... how very prescient.

11. Charlie Palmer reminds me a little of Cliff Claven from Cheers.

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