Last night’s “Top Chef Masters” was the prelude to next week’s season finale, and it was one of the most intense and difficult challenges, if not the most difficult, yet. The final four first did their quickfire challenge, where they were blindfolded and had to guess what was being put in their mouths–10 items in all, and among them were peanut butter, hoisin sauce, hummus, pappadum, ketchup, smoked paprika and mango. After looking afraid and not feeling like he did well, Michael Chiarello wound up winning with 7 out of 10 correct. Rick Bayless and Anita Lo had 6 correct and Hubert Keller had 5. So Michael began with 5 stars, Rick and Anita 4 each and Hubert 3.5.
Then came the elimination challenge, and each chef would have to cook a buffet lunch for 200 Hollywood guests, but the catch was that they couldn’t touch the food. Instead, they had to interview and “hire” a staff from among former “Top Chef” contestants. Among them were Fabio and Jamie from last season. They also each had a $2000 budget to work with.
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If you’ve been jonesing for your “Top Chef” fix since Hosea was crowned Season 5 champ a few months back, you’re in for a summer treat–a new reality series called “Top Chef Masters.” Unlike the original series, “Masters” pits top-notch professional chefs against one another each week for charity, and then the winners of the first six rounds will square off the last few weeks of the season, with one chef being eliminated each week until someone is named Top Chef Master. That winner will receive $100,000 for their charity.
Guest stars and judges will include Neil Patrick Harris, Zooey Deschanel and Jeff Lewis, as well as “Top Chef” regulars Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons.
The first episode airs this Wednesday, June 10 on Bravo at 10pm ET/PT and 9pm central and will feature chefs Hubert Keller, Christopher Lee, Tim Love, and Michael Schlow. Hosting the show is Kelly Choi, food journalist and creator/producer/host of “Eat Out NY.”
After watching a screener of the first episode, I can only say that I cannot wait to see more of this show and to see how it all unfolds over the course of the summer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen “Top Chef” before or not–if you’re a foodie, or if you just like good reality TV, you’ll want to watch this or season pass it on your TiVo. We’ll also be blogging the show each Thursday after Wednesday’s episode, so follow it all here on Premium Hollywood as well.