'Top Chef: Las Vegas': We have a winner, winner, chicken dinner

Thanks to all of the commenters who entered our contest for the most creative quickfire challenge. After much deliberation between Justine and me (now I know how Padma and Chef Tom feel!), we've narrowed the entries down to our favorites. I know we said we'd have 3 winners at first, but since there were so many clever concepts, we expanded it to five winners. Prizes include Season 5 of Top Chef (for all you Hosea fans out there), Season 1 of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (the UK edition), and a cookbook of our choosing from The Baltimore Sun's cookbook library (which may or may not relate to the challenges the winners suggested).

Check out the winners after the jump!


(Photo of Michael Voltaggio serving a recent quickfire dish from bravotv.com)

Our favorite quickfire selection is one of the most basic and useful to the home chef:


Or a $20 mystery basket challenge...30 minutes to create something wonderful from the common ingredients in the basket. If everyone has the same ingredients, the best Chefs dishes should stand out.
Posted by GrayGirl

Next, this suggestion got at one of our favorite lines of all time (I think Chef Tom said it) -- "Who expects to win Top Chef by making a pasta salad?"

Since pasta salads tend to get cheftestants eliminated, there could be a QF in which the chefs must produce a tasty and unusual pasta salad.
Submitted by Kathy

Thirdly, this quickfire made us think of what we'd cook to represent Toby. I vote it be something bland and cliche. :)

Draw knives with the judges' names on them - Padma, Tom, Gail, Toby or other former guest judges. The contestants would have to prepare a dish inspired by the person.
Posted by hal

Gotta love a challenge that requires cheftestants to keep a good attitude.

How about making a dessert in 20 minutes without complaining once about it?
Posted by linz

Last, but never least, this QF tears the cheftestants from their world of fresh-from-the-farm ingredients and makes them cook like the common folk.

Make a meal out of only frozen foods. Meat, veggies, etc. They can be pre-thawed to save time.
Posted by Sarah

We can't thank everyone enough for entering. Keep checking back for our weekly recaps and musings on Top Chef.

(Winners, we'll be sending you an e-mail to make arrangements to get the prize to you.)

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