Thursday, June 9, 2011 | 1:16 p.m.
Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe
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Mandalay Bay Chef Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill won last night’s Elimination Challenge on Top Chef Masters, and it guaranteed her a spot in next week’s Bravo reality TV series finals. Young Chef Naomi Pomeroy received her honorable discharge after failing in the segment cooking for servicemen returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
It was Mary Sue’s fourth win this season, bringing her total donation to $40,000 for her designated charity Share Our Strength. If she wins next week’s finals, she’ll add $100,00 to the pot.
The chefs’ challenge was to make a buffet with one main course and two sides for 100 people -- all with the down-home food the soldiers craved while existing on military rations. Our Border Grill owner and chef won with tomatillo barbecue ribs, avocado corn relish and an apple and cream cheese bread pudding. Naomi lost with her cold dish of iceberg wedge with tuna poke.
In the Quickfire Challenge earlier in the show, the chefs didn’t know that hidden behind a big wall was an unknown member of their family who had to play the role of a not-so-qualified assistant chef to duplicate a meal solely by voice command. In all of the screaming and yelling, not one of the four chefs recognized the voices of their relatives!
Mary Sue was partnered with her sister Chris DeWitt, Naomi wound up screaming at her dad, and Traci des Jardins won working with her brother Mitch. So I was wrong predicting next week’s final as an all-female battle. Now it will be Mary Sue against Traci and Chef Floyd Cardoz, who was presented with a military coin by his servicemen that brought him to tears.
In the preview videos of next week’s finale on BravoTV.com, Floyd loses valuable time from the kitchen trapped in a horrendous traffic jam, and it all comes down to the very last moments of the finals when the stress really hits hard. You’ll also find Mary Sue’s business partner Susan Feniger, Mandalay Bay’s Rick Moonen of RM Seafood and MGM Grand’s Tom Colicchio on the last show as surprise guest diners.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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