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Top Chef Fodder

Top Chef -- Masters of Disaster

Ah Ha! Finally the palate testing quickfire challenge. Yes, we have all laughed our way through the regular Top Cheftestants screwing up on this challenge -- will the Masters fare any better? Surprisingly, not really. I do have to agree with Hubert that most of us eat first with our eyes -- but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to tell some things from taste alone.

I think more than acutally getting fewer stars for their challenge, the masters were worried about what everyone would think of their palettes if they missed easy ingredients. (Don't worry Rick, I am still pulling for you even though you guessed plum for a mango). I honestly thought that Hubert was going to be the big winner here, boy was I wrong!

In first place with 7 items (out of 20), Michael, second place was a tie with 6 items between Anita and Rick and dead last with 5 was Hubert. Wow.

This elimination challenge was lots of fun to watch. Top Chef brought back some of our favorite contestants to become assistants for the masters! How cool is that? There were 12 people to interview and each chef had 2 minutes with each of them. Rick and Hubert spent time asking them about what they like to cook to find out what their flavor comfort zones were, Anita had worked with Jamie in the past and relied on her judgement to pick helpers. Michael garnered the animosity of each helper by making them cut up carrots and other vegetables during their time. Nevermind the fact that while he was doing that, he was also playing Alpha Dog asking them all "What's MY name?" and don't forget how you are supposed to refer to me. Yeah, he came off like quite a Jerk (notice the capital J). Spike was the only one that absolutely refused to show off his knife skills to Michael. Yeah, well that is Spike.

So, they all chose teams and started to cook. Rick and Hubert I thought used their teams well. They both asked for,and used ideas from their sous-chefs. Richard Blaise even talked Rick into making Avocado ice cream with nitrogen table-side. Wow.

Te best drama from the episode though was the fighting and posturing between Dale and Michael. Apparently, Michael took offense to Dale "stealing" the fridge that he wanted to use. And apparently, Dale took offense at being called "son" from Michael. Dale -- grow up! I am perfectly willing to give you the fact that Michael was being quite an ass in this episode, but of all the things to go ballistic over, please. Good thing there weren't any more lockers for you to beat up. *sigh*

The challenge was to create a buffet for 200 culinary world guests. In typical Top Chef fashion, they threw a whole bunch of curve balls at them right in the middle of the game. First, they were allowed to prep the day before the event for a few hours -- which went well despite the posturing. The next day, they would have more time to prep. They chefs start their pots and start cooking when Kelly comes in and tells them to pack up. They will be finishing their prep somewhere else. The actual site of their buffet; they had been under the impression that the buffet was going to be at the Top Chef site.

So, they all pack up and haul a$$ out of the frying pan and into the fire. Their new venue was a rooftop in the blaring sun with no shades. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that Anita was going a raw bar -- in the sun?!?!?!??! ewwww. Too late to change now, there is no time. Well, at least they have helpers this time, right? Wrong! Now they are told that one of their helpers must say goodbye. They will have to finish with 2, not the 3 they had planned on. Bad Top Chef, bad!

In the end, Hubert and Rick really had the better spreads, IMHO because they used the talent and culinary help of their assistants, and didn't just turn them into work horses. (Oh, they still worked hard, but it was really a team effort). In the end Anita's raw bar really did her in. I would not have wanted to taste anything on that bar after it had been sitting in the sun. Blech.

The top winner was Hubert this week -- he and his team put out 18 dishes for the party. Yes, you read that right 18, and every one of them was a gem. Rick came in a close second. Michael will be the third Master Chef in the final. Sorry, Anita, it just wasn't your day.

So, next weekwe get to see who will win the $100,000 for their charity. GO RICK! GO RICK! And don't forget that the new season of Top Chef also starts next week. I can't wait to meet the new cheftestants.

Posted by Wendy on August 15, 2009 9:24 PM
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