Finally after weeks of winding up in the lowly bottom positions, budding chef Robin Leventhal was ousted in last night’s Top Chef Las Vegas on Bravo. That was exactly how Wynn Race & Sports Book Director Johnny Avello had predicted with his odds. Now he’s reset the odds, and next to go will be Eli Kirshtein, he says.
Here are the new odds for next week’s Episode 12 in Season 6: Kevin Gillespie, who opened at 8/1, is currently an 8/5 favorite; Michael Voltaggio, 11/1 is now 9/5; Bryan Voltaggio, 15/1 is now 4/1; Jennifer Carroll, 20/1 is now 10/1; and Eli, 22/1 looks ready to pack his knives next week at 25/1. Please remember that these odds are for entertainment purposes and not for gaming.
Serving breakfast in bed to guest judge Nigella Lawson and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi shouldn’t have been the nerve-wracking assignment it proved to be. The tougher challenge was attempting to create a dish based on one of our casinos. Mandalay Bay’s sharks inspired Bryan Voltaggio in a sustainable seafood creation, while brother Michael decided Buffalo wings fit in with New York-New York and won the night. Kevin turned to The Mirage for his theme, Eli had a Circus Circus-inspired peanut soup, which was blasted as “sawdust” by the judges, and Jennifer’s Excalibur-themed steak was deemed “more Spamalot than Camelot.”
*In other Las Vegas food news, the fifth anniversary Carnivale du Vin gala benefiting the Emeril Lagasse Foundation will bring together more than 40 names in the culinary and wine worlds on Saturday at The Venetian and Palazzo. Chef Mario Batali will be recognized as the 2009 Carnivale du Vin Honoree, commemorating his participation, friendship and support with the annual event and foundation.
Mario also serves on the foundation’s board of directors. His commitment to children continues through his recently founded Mario Batali Foundation with its mission to feed, protect, educate and empower children. Since the inaugural Carnivale du Vin in Las Vegas in 2005, more than $3 million has been awarded to charities in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast. Other all-star chefs in Las Vegas this weekend for the events are Daniel Boulud, Michael Mina, Charlie Palmer, Wolfgang Puck and Nancy Silverton.
*Due to overwhelming demand, Spring 2010 performances of Cher at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace will go on sale this Saturday for her 24 performances from April 10-25 and May 8 -30. Additionally, Cher will return to The Colosseum stage next Thursday with a newly added opening sequence and even more glitzy Bob Mackie costumes. Celebrating old-time Hollywood glamour and style, these new additions feature dazzling theatrics that pay tribute to the grace and timelessness of the 1940s and 1950s. “We are so excited to return to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace and have made wonderful, new changes to the show, including a number choreographed by Tyce Diorio from So You Think You Can Dance,” said Doriana Sanchez, director and choreographer of Cher’s show.
*British Airways officials are thrilled, I’m hearing, with the ticket sales and reaction to its recently inaugurated direct Las Vegas-London flight. They’re advising me that flights are almost sold out as far as mid-January.
*I’ve agreed to record all the promos and wrap-arounds for Tony Stewart’s weekly Sirius radio show when he’s in Las Vegas to present the Stewie Awards during the NASCAR banquet being held here for the first time. The big events start Dec. 3 and culminate with the parade of racecars and drivers down the Strip.
Wicked whispers & racy rumors
A 19-year-old girl masterminded the teenage team of burglars who targeted the Hollywood homes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, among others, from Las Vegas. They began the robbery spree in October last year and weren’t caught until this September. It wasn’t until three weeks ago that one of the suspects confessed and led detectives to the Las Vegas mastermind who simply wanted to take clothes, jewelry, cash and other valuables from Audrina Patridge, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson, Lindsay and members of the Hilton family. She said she just wanted to own the designer wardrobes of the stars she admired. I’m told that the girl also had kept 204 $100 bills she’d stolen, too. Altogether, six teens have now been charged with felony burglary in the case, and almost all the stolen items have been returned.
Apparently, it wasn’t the racy photos brazenly posted on Facebook that had insiders abuzz about a swingers’ party in a palatial estate here hosted by a wealthy married businessman but rather what went on after the non-participating models decided to leave. Hotel execs, chefs and one royal beauty took part in the revelry, and it’s all there on Facebook if you nose around, which is apparently what some of them did in a separate back room.
Palms regular Kid Rock has signed up a slew of stars for an unpaid, two-week trip to perform for our troops in Europe, Turkey and Iraq, and he’s added some Las Vegas celebs to appear with him. He persuaded the military to fly all his sound equipment and speakers out with a technical road crew of 60 he’s paying for on three military jets, but the Pentagon forbid him to continue on to Afghanistan, saying it was too dangerous. The full lineup should be announced next week.
Nene Leakes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta hosts a season wrap celebration at Tao’s Worship party in The Venetian. … Neil Sedaka is still influencing pop music after four decades of his timeless classics. The singer, performer, songwriter and producer starts a four-night run at The Orleans Showroom. … Singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen is on the U.S. leg of his 2009 world tour and makes a rare, one-night visit to The Colosseum. … And CityLife presents Acoustic Strip featuring Josh Damigo, Supersofar, Matt James Band and Haleamano at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay. Josh received his first San Diego Music Award this year.
It’s all about the boxing match-up Saturday between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and the star-studded parties that follow all over town, including Mickey Rourke at Tao. We’ve got the full rundown of who is where for the big-fight excitement. Chelsea Handler, Third Eye Blind, Sean Combs and 50 Cent are all here for the weekend, as are Hugh Hefner’s No. 1 squeeze Crystal Harris and the cast of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance.
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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