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Top Chef Masters: Miniaturize Me

The masters we have competing this week are:

Rick Moonen -- Las Vegas NV -- Chef/owner of RM Seafood. His charity is Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fisherman's Association.

Michael Chiarello -- Napa valley CA -- Chef owner of Bottega. His charity is The Clinic Ole Foundation.

Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson -- Boulder, CO -- Chef and co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine. His charity is The Denver Children's Hospital.

Nils Noren -- New York, NY -- Vice President of Culinary Arts for The French Culinary Institute's culinary, pastry, bread and Italian food departments.

For the quickfire this week, the master chefs had to re-create junk food into fine cuisine. Their judges are people that know their junk food, Jeff Lewis and the cast of Flipping Out. They drew knives to determine the order of junk food dibs.

Michael Chiarello -- chose Fish & Chips. His appetizer was fish balls with dipping sauce. It was very well received.

Rick Moonen -- chose Corn Dogs. He didn't finish his deep fried fish dog, so the tasters didn't get to rate it at all.

Nils -- chose fried shrimp. He made shrimp with corn and pickled tomatoes. They enjoyed the dish, but lamented that it wasn't fried at all.

Lachlan -- chose hot dogs. His dish was a soup with a hand made sausage. The judges loved the soup, but the sausage was underdone.

For the elimination challenge, the masters had to create a three course meal for 100 people all by themselves. Yikes. They did breathe a sigh of relief when they were told that the dishes were to be appetizers. The appetizers were then served to the judges and Top Chef fans -- including some other Bravo players -- like Sweet Pea from Project Runway.

Here are the dishes they served up:
Rick -- Appetizer: Opakapaka and barramundi ceviche with yuzu avocado and grapefruit; Main Course: Brandade of scallop and shrimp, fennel, salad with truffle oil; Dessert: Lemon panna cotta with ginger, macadamia nut, coconut and pineapple.

Nils -- Appetizer: Scallop with smoked potato cream. Main Course: Salmon with Napa cabbage, chorizo, broccoli puree and madeira sauce. Dessert: Chocolate goat cheese ganache, cara cara orange gel and lapsana cream.

Michael -- Appetizer: Shaved brussel sprouts salad, citrus vinaigrette and marcona almonds : Main Course: Prawns with rice flour, chili and garlic oil ; Dessert: Balsamic marinated strawberries with basil gelato and chocolate creme fraiche.

Lachlan -- Appetizer: Fritta Esotica fried pineapple wrapped in speck; Main Course: Grilled beef short ribs with anchovy parmesan vinaigrette and horseradish; Dessert: Strawberry francipane tart with yogurt semifreddo.

Sorry this is such a short review, but I have hit the highlights. The winner of the challenge was Michael Chiarello. He will go on to compete in the next round of Top Chef Masters. There is only one more round left to this heat. Tune in next week to find out who the last challenger will be.

Posted by Wendy on July 17, 2009 11:11 PM
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