Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reactions to Top Chef Masters 2 Episode 8


In week 8 of Top Chef Masters, we find ourselves left with five chefs, all great contenders for the title and the big prize. But, as Kelly Choi reminds us each week, only one can win, yadda yadda....

This week's Quickfire is the "Ultimate Taste Test" which pits these chefs against each other in a game of "Name That Ingredient" as they taste sauces and, well, name the ingredients. First we see Susur v. Marcus, in which Susur, the self-proclaimed "Sauce-Tasting Master" smokes the competition by naming 6 ingredients in a sauce chausseur. Rick Moonen then beats out his opponent Susan Feniger in their half of the first round. Round two pits odd man out Jonathan Waxman against Rick and Susur in battle Thai Green Curry. Jonathan guesses "butter" as an ingredient, the buzzer sounds, and we're left with Rick v. Susur in the final round. Rick wins because apparently Susur puts garlic in his lobster sauce. Well, I guess Chinese lobster sauce *does* have garlic in it.

On to the Elimination Challenge. The chefs must draw knives bearing the names of Greek gods from which they must be inspired to create a dish which will serve as part of a tasting menu for 50 people. Jonathan draws Poseidon, Susan gets Aphrodite, Marcus gets Ares, Rick gets Hades, and Susur gets Dionysus, which he neither knows nor cares about. Plus he can't pronounce it. Poor Susur - first he must deal with the Mystery of Tailgating, now he's face with the Mystery of Some Greek God He Doesn't Give a Rat's Ass About.

A trip to Whole Foods has three of the five clamoring over the seafood counter, trying to buy everything before Rick Moonen, the Fish Guy, buys it all. Moonen, who is inspired by Hades, decides that he need to play diabolical because "someone has to be the bad guy" and spends the rest of the episode laughing evilly. Somehow, it's charming, but then I've been a fan of Moonen for years.

After shopping and some prep time, the chefs presumably go home for the evening. After a commercial break, we are led to believe it is the next day and see the chefs file back into the kitchen to find Kelly, wearing the same outfit she wore the day before. The kitchen doors open to reveal...not the expected cruel twist...but men wheeling in a large French Alps-shaped birthday cake for Jonathan Waxman who turned 59. Ordinarily he spends his birthday in the Alps with his family (rough life) but this year the Alps came to him. Despite it's cheese-tastic-ality, it's pretty obvious that cake didn't come from Charm City Cakes.

The day before, Marcus had been bragging in a voice over how he was the youngest competitor of the five and how fit he was. Today we hear him bitching and moaning about a sore back, and hey - no chefs to whom to delegate the hard work. Karma can be a bitch.

After birthday cake-eating and final prepping, the chefs take their noms to the Top Chef Masters Dining Room and the people start flooding in. The critics this week are Gael, Gail, and Jay (Oseland apparently still felt too manly from last week's football festivities). They seem to both like and find fault in every chef's dish but at Judges' Table it is revealed that Marcus and Rick were the favorites. Rick's slightly overcooked swordfish from hell wins with 18 points. On the bottom side of things, Susur squeaks by to safety with 15 points, and it's looking like the Birthday Boy might get the axe. But it's Susan, with a measly 10.5 points for her eggs and toast with coconut jam who gets the boot. Boo! No more female competitors...it's between the four men. Bah.

What did you think about the episode? Please let us know in the comments!

3 comments:

diningdish said...

I have to admit something, heresy I'm sure, I turned the show off before the final judging. I don't know why I found it a yawn - figured I would read your post which is more exciting.

theminx said...

LOL - hope I didn't disappoint you!

Cliff O'Neill said...

This season is so much more entertaining than the last one! Do wish the women would have made it farther, though.

And I'm still working on my Rick Moonen love-hate thing. ... I'm resisting liking him. But I think I can't do it.

Even if he doesn't know Hades from Satan, which is kind of unforgivable.