Tag: Gael Greene (Page 2 of 2)

Top Chef Masters: too much to overcome

Last night was the fifth episode of “Top Chef Masters” on Bravo, which means there is just one more initial show before the six winners square off in single elimination for five weeks to determine the grand prize winner. And it was a pretty close race last night despite one chef not even plating food in the quick fire challenge.

The contestants were Rick Moonen from Mandalay Bay; Nils Loren, a Swedish native who learned French technique before moving to open a restaurant in New York City; Lachlan Patterson from Boulder, Colorado, one of the youngest competitors on the show so far; and Michael Chiarello from Napa Valley, CA, and a Food Network personality.

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Top Chef Masters: Cooking for Doogie and his buddies

Last night was the fourth preliminary round of “Top Chef Masters” on Bravo, and the challenges are surely not getting any easier. For this one, the four contestants were Mark Peel from Los Angeles; Douglas Rodriguez, who owns several restaurants nationwide; John Besh from New Orleans; and Anita Lo from New York City.

Host Kelly Choi announced the quickfire challenge, and as they have been using some of the more interesting challenges from past seasons of “Top Chef,” they continued that by asking the chefs to create a dish with eggs, but with one hand tied behind their back. The judges were “Top Chef” regular Gail Simmons, as well as two other experts in eggs including a diner owner. Douglas went first and made a corn cake with eggs and ham. Mark, who said his dad was born with one arm, knew a little something about this particular “disability,” was a bit more ambitious, making a duck egg pasta with an olive oil cream sauce. Anita cooked the egg in its shell with shiitake mushrooms and truffle oil. And John made simple slow-cooked eggs, but he cooked them too slowly, because they weren’t done in the 25-minute alotted time.

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Top Chef Masters: in a word, yuck!

Don’t be shocked….I will get to the yuck part in a minute. But first, last night’s episode, the third in the inaugural season of “Top Chef Masters,” began with the introduction of the four contestants….Rick Bayless from Chicago; Cindy Pawlcyn of Napa, CA; Wilo Benet from San Juan; and Ludo Lefebvre from Los Angeles by way of France. Their Quickfire challenge was another favorite “Top Chef” challenge, the color theme, where each draws a color and then has to create a dish based solely on that one color.

Rick had green and made a roasted vegetable dish with green mole sauce over a banana leaf. CIndy drew yellow, and made a vegetable curry over yellow tinted grits with corn tortillas. Wilo had orange, and made a salmon tartare with carrots and orange edible flowers. Ludo had red, and made a beet gazpacho and steak tartare. But he forgot the tomatoes, and then the wait staff forgot his beet juice, at least temporarily. The judges, former “Top Chef” contestants, liked Wilo’s salmon the best, giving him 4.5 stars. Rick scored 4, Cindy 3.5 and Ludo 3. Ludo, the Frenchman that he is, was bitter in falling behind so early.

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Top Chef Masters: simple yet powerful

Last night on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” four more talented chefs squared off in Round 2–Graham Elliot Bowles of Graham Elliot Restaurant in Chicago; Wylie Dufresne of WD-50 in New York City; Suzanne Tracht of Jar in Los Angeles; and Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake in San Francisco.

Host Kelly Choi announced that their initial “quickfire” challenge would be one of the favorite Top Chef challenges–the vending machine challenge. They had to use a roll of quarters to buy a few vending machine items and then make a small tasting dish out of them–and the judges would be Ilan, Betty and Michael from Season 2 of “Top Chef,” three contestants who had experience with the vending machine fun. They also called these tastings something like “moot vooch,” another of those French culinary terms that flies straight over my head.

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Top Chef Masters: Four dudes having fun

Last night was the premiere episode of “Top Chef Masters” on Bravo, a spinoff of the extremely popular “Top Chef” show that recently completed its fifth season. As we reported on Monday, this show pits four established, top-notch chefs against one another six weeks, and then the six winners compete against one another for a few more weeks, with one elimination taking place each week until the master is crowned.

The first episode featured Hubert Keller of Fleur de Lys in San Francisco; Michael Schlow of Radius Restaurant in Boston; Tim Love of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth; and Christopher Lee of Aureole in New York City. Kelly Choi was the host and her first assignment for the chefs was to create a dessert dish for the distinguished palates of four girl scouts. They mostly cringed, with Schlow in particular admitting he had no formal training as a baker.

But they forged ahead. Schlow’s cakes literally flopped but he managed to put something on the plate. Love made a favorite of his daughters — strawberries three ways, including a “chicken fried” strawberry. Lee went with French toast cubes, and Keller won with his play on chocolate mousse and meringues — which he shaped into little animals. So he had a jump start in points with 5. Love and Lee had 3.5 each and Schlow started with 2.5. Those points would go toward their final score after the main challenge.

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