Art's titillated by voluptuous footballs (of meringue - this is a family blog, folks). Lorena likes a tease. Kerry's all about the surprise reveal that there is fennel hidden in his seared tuna. Patricia craves comfort with warm custard. Cosentino goes for romance with foie gras with figs and roses. Sure, these are all seduction tactics but Takashi takes it all the way and scores with a "sweet and slimy" dish (sea urchin, oysters and triple yuzu sauce). Ok, maybe you should cover the kids' eyes.
Von Tesse lives up to her title and seduces them all with her impressive food recognition skills - "ah, an Il Flotante" - and sultry voice. Curtis can't stop blushing and giggling and all the rest of the men (and Patricia!) are ogling at her. Only Lorena isn't impressed - girl is encroaching on her territory! Von Tesse tells Takashi his dish felt good sliding down her throat and he's like "oh no! my wife!" Infidelity aside, he wins again and continues to be adorably surprised. ("This is incredible!" = his official catchphrase).
Any Vegas season would have to do a Lotus of Siam challenge - a Vegas Thai joint that's considered one of the best in the world. This week, it's time. The Elimination challenge is to put their master spin on classic Thai dishes for Siam's chef Saipin Chutima. It's not an easy task - in two days, they have to open their own Thai restaurant in the Top Chef kitchen, each prepare a dish and run the service as a team.
Patrica lived in Thailand for two years so she thinks she's got a major advantage and takes control of this challenge. She assigns Art and Lorena to front of the house, Kerry to expediter and Takashi, Cosentino and herself to the line. Sounds about right, but Lorena is pissed. The tension is brewing and when Lorena leaves her prep out on the stove too long, it boils over. Cat. Fight. Patricia's yelling at her like an incompetent amateur and Lorena's getting all fiery and offended. All the men are terrified. Lorena was already told her food wasn’t sexy today. Hell hath no fury like a sexpot out-sexed.
They've got to button up for service and critics come out with Chef Saipin Chutima and her daughter/translator. This week we've got James Oseland, Francis Lam, and Grub Street editor Alan Sytsma - who Cosentino confirms is a super intelligent food writer. They like the broth in Lorena's pisco chicken soup, but think the dish gets lost in the jungle of garnish. Chef Chutima thinks Cosentino's sirloin steak larb tartare is okay but very different than Thai food. They think Art's Thai-ish chicken dish (recycled from his restaurant) is bland and not enough Thai but Takashi's yellow curry with shrimp and crispy noodles is spot on (obv).
Chutima says Kerry's pork dish is the closest to Thai flavor. Putting aside that we think there's nothing less sexy than a fennel surprise, we have to admit that we've been doubting Kerry and he's the real sleeper in this competition. Who knew? That said, he has no idea how to be an expediter and totally messed up the timing of Patricia's duck and it comes out rare - but he steps up at judge's table so they don't kick her out for it. It's Art who's going home, he pretty much sealed his fate when he decided to make one of his own dishes and not step up to the challenge. And the winner is…Chris Cosentino—total shock from what we saw at judge's table - didn't seem like they even liked his dish.
Art says goodbye and promises one day he and Lorena will open a restaurant together. Awwww, BFFAEAE.