Top Chef
Vegas Finale, Part II

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Leggo My Ego

You know, thinking about it, maybe Stephen didn't want to be on Harold's Team Cool because he didn't want to be in any way responsible if Harold lost. This way, if he's working on the team that loses, Harold wins and would still think Stephen is a "really special dude," and might hire him with his Top Dollars. On the other hand, if Tiffani wins, Harold will respect Stephen for helping her make it to the top. Well done, Stephen. Well done. Also, that "really special dude" comment? Makes me think Harold takes Stephen by the hand and leads him onto the short bus where he shows Stephen the lunch he packed for him and makes sure his big, plastic-sleeved ID card is fully in view for the driver. "So it all comes down to this challenge," Bot drones, making me wonder if anyone's remembered to wind her lately. They have all afternoon to prep and they will also meet with an MGM staff member to order their supplies. Tomorrow they will serve their "min-yous." "All right, let's go, New York," Harold says to his team, and takes off for parts Nob Hill. Tiffani tells Stephen and Dave over and over that she's really happy to have them. I think she's scared to have them. And if she's not, she should be. Dave tells us, "The fact that I'm on Tiffani's team is very ironic and I'm -- I'm dealing with it, and that's how it goes because I'm not gonna -- [big sigh]."

The Nob Hillpeople taste the Bracco wines in order to prepare their menu. Lee Anne explains that Harold was open to their thoughts and advice, which made it more of a team challenge. Harold tells us that getting his Hillpeople personally involved means they can take pride in the challenge because they will have influence on the menu. Can you guess what Tiffani's not going to do with her team?

craftsteak. Tiffani lectures her team, "I've been thinking about duality in my life a lot, like good and bad and how things play off of each other, so each course is going to be two." Tiffani tells us that they are taking one ingredient or similar ingredients and creating two preparations of each. Tiffani tells her team they are essentially are doing two tasting menus, which, she acknowledges, is a bit of a risk and might be hard for them. Stephen tells us he feels the menu is "very Stephenesque." Tiffani wants to do two preps of artichokes. Yikes! With wine? I always learned that if you had shit wine, serve it with artichokes because the intense acidity in artichokes will make any wine taste sweeter, but if you have good wine, you can really mess up the flavors. Best way to pair artichokes with wine is not to have them alone -- put them in creamy risotto with Fontina and lemon zest and butter or cream, or shave them very, very thinly in a salad, something! Of course, Stephen, being Top Sommelier, starts to say this but tells us that Tiffani pushed him into the corner: "This is one of the most difficult wine pairings I've had to put together for any meal." "Dessert. Help?" Tiffani finally says, eyeing Dave. Dave says he's got a great quick panna cotta, "if you wanna do something with it." Tiffani asks how Dave feels about "just taking dessert." Dave says, "I wanted to be ready to do dessert, so --" Tiffani claps her hand over her heart in gratitude: "I can't believe I'm this lucky." Dave tells us, "We're definitely working as a team even though both Stephen and I would probably rather it be flipped." Tiffani asks them how they feel about the menu. They feel fine.

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