Monday, July 27, 2009

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Masters Episode 6

And round one is finished! This week, there was a whole lotta love and a side dish of name-dropping, but not a ton of drama overall. Is there a kitchen-specific term for "bromance"? Let's see what the bloggers have to say:

Cliffieland on the show's biggest problem (or virtue, depending on your perspective): "Nope, they’re all professionals and friends. So, if you were looking for drama, I suggest you switch over to I Love Money 3 on VH1; there’s nothing for you here."

David Dust on his looove for winner Art Smith: "Oh Em Gee – I think Art is my long-lost sister! Bitch is big and hysterical and makes a mean fried chicken. And you just KNOW Art is a riot after about 6 vodkas."

Jordan Baker on the other opinion of Art Smith (+ Gael's hat): "Then we have that fat load Big Gay Art. Gael Greene's Hat says everyone thinks of him as "Oprah's chef," and the face under the hat sneers appropriately at this. It's delicious. I love you, Gael Green's Hat!"

Meal Ticket on what the future holds: "I don’t see the show getting any more trashy. These last few episodes will probably feature a good amount of bro-hugging and cheek-pecking and helping-hand-ing as the sextet reaches for that $100K donation. Maybe I’m wrong — but if I’m not, at least it’ll make the Aug. 26 debut of the regular Top Chef seem that much trashier/glorious."

Chicagoist on Quickfire shopping: "At Whole Foods, Jonathan informs us that he does not open jars or cans or "deal with that kind of thing." Our eyes roll back in our head. Michael is in the pastry aisle and braves it well. Roy finds himself in an aisle with Italian food ingredients and goes that route. Then....we get to Art. He gets grains. And takes a moment to name drop again...ah, there's Oprah."

It Happened Last Night on what could've happened: "At first I thought the challenge would be like “Chopped” (the Food Network show) with more ingredients, but no one wound up having to make anything with avocado, tahini and bran flakes, or the like. Phew."

Onion AV Club on the week that everybody goes back to hating Kelly: "That meal the chefs made together looked like it might have been a lot of fun if somebody hadn't invited Kelly Choi."

Televicious with a question I have as well: "Chefs have to make the best dish possible using the ingredients from only one grocery store aisle, and their budget is… $20. They are shopping at Whole Foods, so that should get them, like, 1.5 items? Why is it that they always get so much more for their money than I would shopping there?"

Endless Simmer on what little drama there was: "Now I’m sure the producers helped craft this little drama leaving selective tidbits on the cutting room floor, but last night you had Old Pappa Bear Waxman strategically f*ck over his main competitor/protoge Cimarusti."

Serious Eats on the chef-love: "We ended up with another episode of brotherly love. “You all took care of each other!” said Gael One. “I’ve never seen this before!” gasped Gail Two. No evil ingredients, no death wishes, no trash-talking. These were chefs who clearly respected each other. (As well they should.)"

B-Side Blog on why I love Gael Greene: "Gael: 'I quite enjoyed Art's whimsical nod to Southern fried decadence. It was reminiscent of the late forties when a young Spirrow Agnew and I, intoxicated by fumes of opium and elderberries, stumbled into a Chick-Fil-A and demanded that the proprietor feed us nothing but breaded cutlets of his finest meats. We made love five times that night. Six, if you count the fan dance.'"

Culture Crumbs summing up the season so far: "We've met chefs who seem to deserve their deity-like praise (Hubert Keller and Rick Bayless), watched top names melt like spoiled %^!#! sorbet (Wylie Dufresne and Ludo Lefebvre) and figured out that most of us common folk have a leg up on these culinary superstars when it comes to shopping in a grocery store and using a microwave."

Slashfood on the outrageous extent of the love: "The competing foursome went to a place somewhere beyond mere camaraderie -- a place even further than the conciliatory, bromantic half-hug shared by final-round losers Roy Yamaguchi (Roy's Hawaiian Kitchen) and Michael Cimarusti (of LA's acclaimed Providence). What we witnessed last night was an emotional journey, a blubbering, four-hanky love-in"

Televisionary on the lesson for future cheftestants: "Cimarusti tempted the judges with a chocolate parfait with ginger syrup, Sauternes, and sesame crackers. This to me was the perfect dessert effort for a chef who doesn't focus on pastry. It was innovative, delicious, and beautifully presented and executed. Dessert doesn't need to be pastry or poached fruit; there's a number of alternatives that make sense and are easy to prepare."

Top Chef Examiner on the perfect storm of ingredients: "Roy seemingly created the picture perfect mystery box for Art allowing him to create something right in his comfort zone, fried chicken."

The Stew on Chicago hometown boy Art's attitude: "Art's strategy is to cook 'with love'-- which we hear enough throughout the show to want to gag-- delivering flavor, not chefy hijinks. Art jokes, "I'm gonna take the show" … at least we think he’s joking, as he’s giggling like a kid."

LA Times on the original aisle challenge: "I still fondly recall Hung's smurf village, which he made after landing in the cereal aisle. It was pretty. It won him squat"

TWOP on Jonathan Waxman's prior sins: "Jonathan Waxman from New York City. He's been a chef for nearly forty years and trained many other famous chefs, including Bobby Flay. He's responsible for Bobby Flay? Burn him!"

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