Las Vegas chef Eugene “Gene” Villiatora was eliminated, sadly, from the “Top Chef: Season 5” episode that aired on January 7. Villiatora, originally from Hawaii, served up Whole Red Snapper with Daikon Fettucini, in an episode that introduced Toby Young as a member of the judges table. Young, restaurant critic of the Evening Standard magazine, replaced the recently married Gail Simmons.
Villiatora made it to the half-way point of the New York- based competition and was routinely praised for making an effort to offer dishes that weren’t mainstream. On Chef Tom Colicchio’s BravoTV blog he said, “…what was nice to see was his willingness to take risks and push the envelope.”