Thankfully, last night’s episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” on Fox was just one hour, or one episode instead of two lumped into one. They must have realized that if they kept doubling them up, the show would be over by Thanksgiving. Anyway, here is our recap of last night, and we’re now down to five chefs!
Initial challenge: Amuse-bouche (quick bite) challenge with guest judges Ludo Lefebvre, Quinn and Karen Hatfield, Suzanne Tracht, and Michael Cimarusti
Mistakes: One judge said Nona’s shrimp and grits smelled like “body odor.” Ouch! And Trev’s frog legs were also a mess
Winner: Russell, for his hamachi broth
Prize: Tour of LA Market, and lunch with Gordon Ramsay and executive chef Kerry Simon. Russell was allowed to bring one person with him and he chose Gail since she finished second in the challenge
Punishment: Cleaning the dorms and having to listen to Trev whine
Dinner service: Tableside Steak Diane
Mistakes: Gail undercooked scallops; Trev overcooked pasta; Gail’s fish stuck to the pan; Jillian over-salted mashed potatoes; Gail “poached” her grilled salmon; Russ’ beef was raw in the middle. Ramsay pulled them all aside and said, “No more mistakes!” They straightened up for a bit before screwing up more. Russ’ steak was raw again, and that set Ramsay off.
Quote: Ramsay, to all chefs: “Get out!”
Winner: No winner. The remaining six chefs had to come up with a consensus two nominees for elimination
On the block: Trev and Sabrina. Sabrina started whining, though, about how she thought Gail screwed up more than she did and waah, waah, waah! Man, she’s annoying.
Going home: Sabrina, because the producers have mercy on us.
So that’s it, we’re down to the final five—Trev, Nona, Russ, Gail and Jillian. Does that seem to you like the weakest final five ever? You have to believe it’s Russ’ job to lose. But we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks. Thanks for reading!
Last night began the finals of Bravo’s inaugural “Top Chef Masters,” and all I kept thinking was that if I was there in person, I would be more in awe than I was simply watching it. These six are some of the best chefs in the world, and here they were in the same room. Anyway, meet the contestants–Hubert Keller, Anita Lo, Rick Bayless, Michael Chiarello, Suzanne Tracht and Art Smith. There were similarities between some of them and yet each chef has a unique culinary point of view.
Their first (quick fire) challenge was another “Top Chef” favorite, the relay race. They divided into teams of three–Anita, Rick and Hubert against Suzanne, Michael and Art. The tasks were to shuck oysters, chop onions, cut up a chicken and then whisk egg whites until they hold for 5 seconds when the bowl is turned upside down. With four tasks, one person from each team would have to do two of them. The judge was “Top Chef” personality Tom Colicchio. Hubert and Suzanne faced off with the oysters and Suzanne was like a machine, making it look incredibly easy, but Hubert caught up to her eventually. Then Hubert and Art faced off with the onions and both were incredibly fast and efficient. Anita and Michael did the chicken, and Anita was a bit faster, but wow….I can’t even do this if I have an hour, and they were carving entire chickens in seconds. Finally, Rick and Art faced off with the eggs…they had to first separate them, and Art got hung up by having a stray yolk he had to remove from the bowl. But it didn’t matter…Rick whisked those whites into what resembled whipped cream in lightning fast fashion and he passed the 5 second test, giving his team the victory. That meant Anita, Rick and Hubert began with 5 stars, while Suzanne, Michael and Art began with 4 stars each.
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Last night on Bravo was the final preliminary round of “Top Chef Masters,” and next week begins the finals, in which one chef will be voted off each week until someone is crowned Top Chef Master. And last night, more so than in previous episodes, there was a lot of love and mutual respect going on between the contestants…..Jonathan Waxman of New York City, better known as the dude who trained Bobby Flay; Roy Yamaguchi of Honolulu; Michael Cimarusti of Los Angeles; and Art Smith of Chicago (better known as Oprah’s chef). You could already sense that this would be a very competitive round, and it was.
Their quick fire challenge was to create a dish with just $20 and the use of a single aisle at a grocery store, drawn randomly. Jonathan drew the aisle with canned veggies and dried beans, and wound up making a red pepper and lentil salad. Art had the rice aisle and made a risotto with crispy rice salad. Michael had the baking aisle and made a chocolate parfait, and Roy had the pasta aisle and made an Asian style spaghetti with an egg on top. The judges for this were Whole Foods employees, and they liked just about all of the dishes, but loved the chocolate parfait the most…..even after Michael claimed to not be much of a dessert expert. So Michael wound up with 5 stars, Art 4.5 stars, Roy 4, and Jonathan 3.5…all of which would go toward their final score.
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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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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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