What's more Vegas than a couple of lesbian folk singers eating vegetarian food?! OK, OK, not what you'd expect for this Sin City season, right? But something had to balance out what would become a Playmate-laced episode of Top Chef Masters, and we're thankful the Indigo Girls were up to the task.
Last night's Quickfire challenged the chefs to create two versions of one dish: a meaty one for carnivore Emily Saliers and a veggie version for Amy “nothing with a face” Ray. Many of them fared well, even in the meatless department, as was the case with Art Smith's pot pies and Lorena Garcia's arepas. Poor Patricia Yeo's duo of pho could've been a contender, however her broth never made it into the bowls. Thus is was no competition for Takashi's agedashi, (doesn't that just roll off the tongue? He could make a whole chain restaurant out of these just because it's so fun to say) which took top prize.
Things took a turn, however, when Ms. Vegas (their words) Holly Madison, former Playmate and girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, rolled in to announce the Elimination Challenge. She'd be hosting a brunch the chefs were to cater. Hungover guests were expected so junk food was a must, but it should be presented in tiny, bite-size canape form.
Was it just us, or did this sound like the worst brunch party imaginable? Hungover Vegasites don't want nibbles. Brunch is a knife and fork, big bite, elbows up, sit down kind of thing, usually. But whatever, the queen of Vegas has spoken.
Many of the chefs got cracking on some mini-version of a standard(ish) brunch item. There was a turkey slider, a Croque Madame and pulled pork on toast. But Chris Cosentino, ever the curveball-thrower, decided to go for a watermelon, tomato and “tuna bacon” skewer, which Holly Madison “didn't get” and essentially hated. (Lesson learned, Chris. This is like Apples to Apples. You've got to know your audience.)
Nope, Madison and co. are more the fried dough types, thus Lorena Garcia ended up the winner for her bunuelos with fresh berry compote. Thierry Rautureau's Croque Madame with its congealed Béchamel, however, got him the ax.
It should be noted that despite the slew of fake-boobed partiers, no one was having more fun at this boozy brunch than James Oseland, who ended up stripping a chisled server half-naked, and petting a spiky-haired guest. He was topped only, maybe, by Art Smith, who wiggled into some short-shorts and took a quick swim. (While everyone else stood around in their chef jackets, mind you.) At least someone knows how to party.
Follow Ali Trachta on Twitter @MySo_CalLife. Follow Squid Ink at @LAWeeklyFood and check out our Facebook page.