Top Chef Episode 11- Strip Around The World

Top Chef took last week off for an oddly scheduled All-Star Special, but was back last night with Nigella Lawson calling the chefs for breakfast in bed. More after the jump.


Breakfast in bed for Padma and Nigella.

Guest Judge – Nigella Lawson

  • The chefs headed to the caverns of the Venetian Hotel and were given the challenge of creating a dish for breakfast.
  • Jenn Carroll has been slipping in recent weeks, but came through with a homage to home in her Creamed Chipped Beef with Toast and Potatoes.
  • Bryan found himself in unfamiliar territory in the bottom with his 4-Minute Egg with Vanilla Beurre Fondue, Crab, Asparagus and Polenta. Joining him was Robin’s Blintz with Goat Cheese, Caramelized Pineapple, and Blueberries.
  • Kevin continues his success with his own homely breakfast interpretation-Steak and Eggs with Crème Fraiche, Aged Cheddar, and Green Onion.
  • Eli picked up his second Quickfire win with his playful rendition of a Fried Egg Reuben Benedict with Thousand Island Hollandaise.


Create a dish inspired by a casino on the Vegas Strip.

  • The chefs drew knives and then traveled to their casino for inspiration. This provided for some fantastically awkward reality TV entertainment with Eli looking for elephants at Circus Circus , and Kevin staring off into the waterfalls at The Mirage.
  • The chefs would be serving a 175 people atop the World Market Center.
  • Jenn drew Excalibur and struggled with a concept before settling on a Sword in the Stone inspired steak.
  • Top Two-Kevin took his usual position in the top with his Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon with Napa Cabbage and Cucumber. Bryan made up for his egg with an Escabeche of Halibut with Bouillabaisse Consommé, Parsley Coulis, and Garlic Chips drawn from Mandalay Bay.
  • Winner – Mike V continues his hot streak with his New York New York inspired Boneless Chicken Wing Confit with Curry and Blue Cheese Disc.
  • Bottoms 2-The wheels on the Jennifer Carroll Express continue to fall off. Her NY Strip with Red Wine Reduction, Beets, Truffles, and Herbs was so tough it was almost a literal representation of a stone. Eli was a little too creative with his texturally disturbing Caramel Apple Peanut Soup with Popcorn Raspberry Froth. They didn’t even know how to go about photographing it on the Top Chef website.
  • End of the Strip – Robin had what was truly a remarkable run, but her Panna Cotta was poorly executed and too gelatinous.


-Like her or not, Robin stuck around a long time.

-How about Nigella Lawson turning up her nose to the Creamed Chipped Beef? The English eat blood for breakfast, have an open mind.

-Mike V. has been on fire as of late, but you can see his frustration with Kevin’s continued success. They are two completely different chefs and would make for an awesome final.

-Quote of the Episode- “Gordon Ramsey named a turkey after her…she’s legit’ – Eli

-Fan Favorite- Make sure you vote for Jennifer for Top Chef Fan Favorite.

-More YouTube – Jenn Zavala (remember her?) making some empanadas at Xochitl.

-Next Week- Keller. Thomas Keller

Power Rankings

  1. Kevin-Has been the clear favorite all season.
  2. Mike-Making a serious push for the number one spot.
  3. Bryan-Falling behind his brother.
  4. Jenn- Slipping.
  5. Eli-His ideas take courage, but focus has always been his issue.

Burning Questions

Did Robin deserve to stay this long?

Does Jennifer Carroll have anything left? Does she even want to continue?