Top Chef Masters Episode 5: Vegas Pool Party

Chefs have to cook a bite-sized brunch for Holly Madison

Top Chef Masters Episode 5: Vegas Pool Party

This week the Top Chef Masters Chefs had to cater a poolside party for an obnoxious crowd of Playboy model Holly Madison’s half-naked hung-over friends.

But before we get to the party I would have killed myself rather than attend, let’s start at the beginning of the episode. This week’s Quick Fire challenge was a fun one. The chefs were asked to make two dishes — one a classic meat dish and the other a vegetarian version of that dish. The judges this week were the Indigo Girls, one a meat eater, the other a vegetarian. The Indigo girls loved the dishes prepared by Art, Takashi and Lorena. The winning dish was Lorena, pictured below. She gets $5,000 for her charity and immunity in the elimination challenge.

Top Chef Masters winning quickfire

For the elimination challenge, host Curtis Stone welcomes Holly Madison, former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner and Vegas showgirl. She’s hosting a poolside brunch for a bazillion of her closest coked-out friends and they’re going to be hungry after their all-night bender. OK, I’m paraphrasing, but whatever. And there are only two rules for this party: the food must be bite-sized (because all of Holly’s friends make a living off their bodies?) and NO onions or garlic. She hates onions and garlic. Seriously? Who cooks without garlic?

We get our usual frantic Whole Foods shopping montage followed by the frantic kitchen montage, but sadly we get no drama. That’s one of the major differences between Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. There’s just no drama in this version because humans don’t care about winning money for charity as much as they do about winning money for themselves. Oh, come on. You know it’s true.

At the pool party, there were a few moments that stood out:

  • Curtis telling Holly Art’s turkey burger that she just ate and loved included garlic. She was shocked and upset she’s going to have dragon breath on stage later that night.
  • The Top Chef Masters gays fawning all over Holly’s steroid boys
  • Art going swimming in his Speedo.

At the Critic’s Table, the judges call out Art, Takashi, Lorena and Kerry as their favorite dishes. Even though Art’s dish included garlic. Thankfully, the critics realize Holly’s request for no garlic was ridiculous. Lorena’s dish, pictured below, wins. That means she swept this episode.

The critics’ least favorite dishes belonged to Thierry, Chris and Patricia. In the end it was Thierry’s eggless Croque Madame that they liked the least and he was sent packing.

Top Chef Masters episode 5 winning dish



  • Enaira Fontaine

    You make a really good point that there isn’t as much drama involved because the chefs aren’t winning money for themselves. I thought over all everyone performed well but I really liked Lorena’s dish in the challenge. I wanted to taste it just watching the TV. Yes, it’s a curse when you like cooking shows and competitions. I’ve got my Hopper set to record every episode this season and with three tuners I don’t have to worry about fighting over who watches what. A Dish co-worker suggested the Hopper when I told her how no one can agree on what to watch in my house. This way, everyone gets what they want. The fact that Holly doesn’t like garlic does kind of take potential out of the episode. Most people I’ve met cook with garlic, not only because it makes the food delicious but it’s also good for you.