From Santa Monica to Vegas – A Recap of Episode 1

The race is now officially underway and it’s safe to say that these chefs are tougher than they look!

Above, Carlo shows some Team U.K. spirit while cooking in a Las Vegas kitchen.

In last night’s premiere episode, the 16 contestants had to make their way from the Santa Monica Pier to Las Vegas with only their combined wits and feet to carry them.

Right away, Team U.K.’s youngest contestant, Rebecca, and tough guy Johnnie butted heads on what to prepare for their high tea in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for them, after all the drama settled, not many showed up. Meanwhile, after looking for a break in the blazing heat for hours, Team U.S. had some luck in Los Angeles cooking for a group of friends for a dinner party at $50 a head. To sweeten the deal, one of the dinner party guests they cooked for was up for a road trip and offered to take them to Calico. But Team U.K. wasn’t all out of luck either — they may not have made a lot of money during the first leg of the competition but they did end up hitching a ride with one of their customers. Not too shabby.

Once the two teams made it to Calico for the Checkpoint Challenge they were told they had to “cook like the miners” and make some Silver Rush grub from pig’s feet. Host Claire Robinson instructed the two teams to choose two chefs from each team to cook the winning hash recipe. Team U.S. picked Cody and Ronaldo, and Team U.K. chose Johnnie and Carlo, even though Johnnie had never even heard of hash!

Team U.S. took home the prize (surprise, surprise), thanks to Cody and Ronaldo’s balance of ingredients. The reason Team U.K. lost? As judge Richard Corrigan put it, their dish had too much pig’s feet. If only they were able to master a balance like Team U.S.

The winning dish, made by Team U.S.’s Ronaldo and Cody in their Checkpoint Challenge

Check out the delectably awesome winning recipe below:

Pickled Ham Hock, Red Beef Hash with Poached Eggs

Once the teams make it to Vegas, they have one last chance to make some money in order to escape elimination. Team U.S. boldly attempts sushi prep in a family’s Vegas hotel bathroom, for a Japanese American family. Talk about risky! They do miraculously manage to pull it off, however, impressing the family enough to shell out some hundred-dollar bills. Go Team U.S.! On the other hand, Team U.K.’s BBQ doesn’t go as planned. Carlo has an unfortunate bout of heat exhaustion while working on the dinner party presentation and is rushed off to the hospital, forcing the Brits to give their customers a full refund for the botched dinner plans and inconvenience. In the end, it was no surprise that Team U.S. came out with more cash after winning the first two challenges of the competition, which meant that someone from Team U.K. had to go.

While Team U.S. got to enjoy their victory in Vegas, Johnnie, Samantha and Rebecca were presented for elimination from Team U.K. Johnnie practically nominated himself, as he admitted to causing negativity among the group but Brit chef Samantha put herself up for elimination so that Rebecca wouldn’t have to cook-off against Johnnie alone. In her attempt to keep the peace and enter the cook-off, Samantha was booted in the end.

Samantha’s losing elimination dish

Rebecca’s ‘tude leaves her subject to ridicule by Brits Johnnie and Mark and she starts to feel the heat. It seems that Johnnie, in particular, is earning a reputation for being a bit of a bully at this leg of the competition. Do you think he’ll soften up? And will Rebecca survive with out having Samantha around to protect her?

Watch Samantha’s exit interview.


Plus, find out what Host Claire Robinson and Judge Richard Corrigan have to say about what was REALLY like cooking behind-the-scenes. Watch now.

Planning a trip to Vegas soon? Here are some of the best ways to experience an alternative side to the City of Sin.


And speaking of food, whether you are just scraping by on your budget like our chefs or have a few Benjamins to spend, here are our top eats for the Vegas area. Share your picks with us below!

$$$$ SW Steakhouse for wining and dining

$$      Crown & Anchor for a British Pub experience

$        Great Bao for fast food truck grub

Gina Scanlon