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October 25, 2014

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Preview: Big surprises are in store for Las Vegas cheftestant Shirley Chung on tonight’s ‘Top Chef’

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Bravo

Las Vegas chef Shirley Chung, center, with Nicholas Elmi and Nina Compton, has made the finals of Season 11 of “Top Chef” in New Orleans. The last challenges are on Maui.

Click to enlarge photo

Las Vegas chef Shirley Chung, left, with Nina Compton and Nicholas Elmi, has made the finals of Season 11 of “Top Chef” in New Orleans. The last challenges are on Maui.

Click to enlarge photo

Las Vegas chef Shirley Chung, here with Nicholas Elmi, has made the finals of Season 11 of “Top Chef” in New Orleans. The last challenges are on Maui.

Aloha! When our Las Vegas cheftestant Shirley Chung won last week’s episode of Bravo’s “Top Chef” in New Orleans, she knew that she’d be heading to Hawaii for the finals with rivals Nina Compton and crotchety, cantankerous and confrontational Nicholas Elmi.

Shirley has cooked on the Strip at the Venetian, Caesars Palace and the Cosmopolitan for a decade under Thomas Keller, Guy Savoy and Jose Andres. She didn’t know, though, that Carlos Gaytan, who was kicked off last week, would make a surprise return with the earlier eliminated Louis Maldonado in a “Last Chance Kitchen” clash on Maui.

The winner of that joins the final three as a foursome to determine the $125,000 winner of “Top Chef.” But then another stunning surprise faces them: Two of the chefs will be eliminated tonight, and just two will slug it out next Wednesday on the final broadcast!

I’ve put a mild bet down that it will wind up with Shirley and Nina in the final battle, and the judges will get into their own feud with a tie that has to be resolved. Talk about edge-of-the-seat fiery drama at the kitchen counter and grill.

First, Shirley has to cope with a Quickfire Challenge of working with the Hawaiian staple of that unattractive food I was fed as a kid: Spam. (Remember Monty Python’s assault on the canned creation?)

Then follows the shocking Double Elimination. My pals Hawaiian chef restaurateurs Sam Choy and Peter Merriman will judge them as two canoes overflowing with island harvests are rowed onto shore.

The chefs have to create the best Hawaiian dish from the produce, and only two will move forward for next week’s ultimate and last showdown.

All of us at Vegas DeLuxe wish Shirley good luck for tonight’s episode, and we’ll have the result on Twitter @robin_leach at 11 tonight, plus, the full recap with photos Thursday morning.

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.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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