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Top Chef Masters -- Magic Chefs

This week on Top Chef Masters the cheftestants are asked to do magic!

Our contestants are:

Douglas Rodriguez -- Philadelphia, PA Chef/owner of Hola, Alma De Cuba, and a few others. His charity is Ayuda for the Arts.

Anita Lo --New York, NY Chef/owner of Anisa and chef/partner of Rickshaw dumpling bar. Her charity is Share.

John Besh -- New Orleans (Nawlins) -- LA. Chef/owner of August, Luke Domenica and Besh Steak and more. His charity is Make it Right Foundation.

Mark Peel -- Los Angeles, CA Chef owner of Campanile. His charity is Doctors without Borders.

Their quickfire this week is an homage to Escoffier, known to some as the father of French cuisine. He believed that you could test any chef by making them cook one ingredient -- an egg. In season three's all-star episode, they asked them to cook with one hand tied behind their back, as I recall the somalier won that challenge with a perfectly cooked omelet. The masters are being asked to do the same. The judges for this quickfire are Gail Simmons, Terry Reish and Monica May.

They don't really have their hands behind their backs, they have to cover the one they aren't using with an oven mitt, and they are given 25 minutes to create their egg dish.

I must say it is pretty amusing watching them try to knead things and cut open packages with one hand. In an interesting bit of trivia, Mark Peel's father was born with one arm, so he grew up seeing his dad do everything with one arm -- does this give him an advantage? Their dishes are:

Douglas -- Open-faced corn cake with scrambled eggs and ham. The judges enjoyed it.

Mark -- fresh duck egg pasta with egg and olive oil cream sauce. The judges comment that it is bland, and Mark realizes he forgot the olive oil. Oops.

Anita -- soft scrambled egg and shitake mushrooms with truffle oil and oyster sauce served in an eggshell. The judges enjoyes it.

John -- slow cooked egg. Unfortunately, his eggs never set up, so he has only one dish, partially cooked, for them all to share. Yikes, does not go over well.

The stars are scored: Mark 2.5 stars, John .5, Douglas 3, Anita 5. Go Anita!

The elimination challenge is to create a delicious dinner for Neil Patrick Harris and his friends. Ok, sidebar here -- if you have not yet seen Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, where have you been and you need to check it out RIGHT NOW. Ok, I'm back now. It will be served at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. They bring out Mas Maven, magician and mentalist to get some face time and make it look like instructions. He does a card trick. They all take a card, when they turn it over they have 4 words printed on them: Mystery, Spectacle, Illusion and Surprise. They need to use their word, to inspire them to create their dishes.

Mark "Mystery" -- Tai snapper in parchment with garlic mashed potatoes and leeks. With a condiment of scallion oil and a Dassai sake.

John "Surprise" -- Salmon tartare with cauliflower blini, cucumber and salmon roe salad with horseradish and creme fraiche sorbet, tempura fried lobster wrapped in smoked salmon.

Anita "Illusion" -- Braised daikon with kombu caviar and steak tartare made to look like a scallop.

Douglas "Spectacle" -- Duck four ways; Oyster ceviche with duck broth, empanada with foie gras and figs, duck breast with butternut squash, duck soup with young coconut (that happens to be rubbed in sterno and is on fire).

The diners were also treated to a show at the Magic Castle. For those of you that don't know, it is a private club for magicians and their guests.

Here are the star totals:
John -- 12

Mark -- 18.5 stars

Douglas -- 13 stars

Anita -- 22.5 stars

Anita Lo is the winner of this round. She gets to move to the next round. Woo Hoo! I can't wait to see what happens on the next episode.

Posted by Wendy on July 10, 2009 9:35 PM
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