Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reactions to Top Chef Masters 2 Episode Seven

This week's episode was all about sports! YEAAAHH!!! [Insert Manly Grunt and Chest Thump Here] The Quickfire Challenge required our intrepid Masters to create dishes with leg meat. Judging this contest was Olympic gold medalist, swimmer Jason Lezak, who presumably has some great gams, and Jay Rayner, whose legs we probably don't care to see.

Jonathan and Tony both chose to work with crab legs; Susur took leg of lamb; Susan chose chicken; Rich took octopus for some inexplicable reason; and Marcus took frog. In the end, the chicken won this race, winning $5K for Susan Feniger's charity, the Scleroderma Research Foundation.

More sports in the Elimination Challenge, this time USC Football! A re-hash of season 4's Tailgate Party contest, won by Dale Talde, the Masters had to feed 100 rabid Trojans fans. They were supplied with enormous Weber kettle grills and given $500 to shop. And Susan gets some Trojans gear to wear while cooking.

Susur, being from China and living primarily in Canada, had no clue about tailgating and tailgate food, which was kind of cute. And nobody bothered to explain it to him, which seemed unusual because these Masters usually seem to be looking out for one another. Well, apart from Marcus, that is.

Jonathan made freeform strip steak tacos with guacamole. Susan also made tacos, with skirt steak and oodles of salsas. But then one would expect tacos from one of the Too Hot Tamales. Especially since she owns a taco truck. Rick Moonen took tacos into a whole different part of the world by making chermoula-spiced chicken on pita. Tony cleverly decided to make pizza on the grill. Susur did a Korean spiced steak with a bizarre Austrian dumpling. And Marcus, despite rolling his eyes at Susur's cluelessness made a soup...and a burger with chickpea flour in it.

Gael Greene, Jay Rayner, and James Oseland were this week's judges. Oseland said at one point that he was feeling like a manly American after eating so much tailgate food. Despite this, he seemed extra petulant and bitchy during Judges' Table.

In the end, Susan took home the prize with her tacos, and Tony, whose pizza crust did not please Miss Oseland, got the boot.

So what did you think? Please leave a comment!


Tina said...

Well, I guess the absence of comments just about sums it up: it's surprising how quickly the show has gone from being an inspired, classy supplement to the Top Chef franchise to feeling a bit stale and tiresome. Among other things, I find all the celebrity tie-ins and "comfort food" challenges to be rather a bore. (Can someone explain why an Olympic swimmer – and not even Michael Phelps – was the guest judge for the QF? Because it was a "leg" challenge?? Huh?) If/when it returns for a third season, I hope they make some substantial changes. Perhaps a shorter season would work better as well. It feels like it's been on forever. They should have just invited 8 super chefs to compete against one another and then have five elimination challenges + a finale of the top three, or something even briefer and more intense. Bringing in so many "top chefs" in the early rounds just diluted the level of competition (and it didn't help that many of the early round challenges were kind of lame and often favored certain chefs over others, plus the dumb team challenge in episode one).

kayce. said...

am i the only one who hates marcus? not just this episode, either ~ he started working my nerves right from the beginning. a year or two ago when i saw him in the press i'd get a little tingle, but now after getting to know him (and his childishness) a bit better, i get annoyed just seeing his face.

*whew* feels good to get that off my chest.

that said, i like the changes TCM has made to the format of the competition, b/c it allows us to get to know some of the masters a bit better. unfortunately, i have to concur w/ tina that the challenges are only getting more ridiculous. maybe it's a budget thing? i don't know. i liked the wedding challenge, of course, but in general, we're not really able to see the chefs shine as much as i'd like.

but, with the exception of marcus, the producers did manage to pick really interesting, talented people: i especially love susan, susur (so. crazy.), and chef waxman. i'm hoping to see them all in the final, but we'll see.

oh and i'm sure this is an old complaint, but when lord WHEN are they going to ditch kelly choi?!? urgh.

theminx said...

Actually, I have personally heard no complaints about Kelly Choi. And I like her.