Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Masters 2 Episode 5

Jordan Baker on Susur's wife (and the rest of the cast): "Once again, Susur’s wife is probably one of the best characters in this series. And we’ve never seen her, and probably never will. Susur’s wife is like the Maris Crane of Top Chef, Masters... The official ranking of my favorite people in this show is: Gael Greene’s Hat; Jonathan; Susur’s wife; Susur; all the lady chefs; Gail; Tony; the other critics and K-Choi; and then Marcus and Rick about six miles back of the pack."

Reality Wanted quickly summarizes: "Overall, the Blue team takes the win. The Red team deals with Marcus’s mushy beef, Carmen not having enough food in the game, Tony’s overcooked pasta and Susur’s not-so-great Carrot Cake. In the end, Carmen Gonzalez ends up going home for lack of food."

Onion AV Club likes that Quickfire: "Tonight's quickfire challenge is one of my favorites from Top Chef past: a culinary reality-show spin on the surrealist circle game exquisite corpse. Each member of a four-person team must cook in succession, blindly inheriting the dish from the former... The producers did well to kick things off with this challenge; it's playful and keeps us guessing. Will they make sense of the clues, or will they totally screw up the original intentions?"

TWOP on the disastrous semolina cake: "What the fuck was up with that cake? Rick calls it "the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of wedding cakes." No one else seems to care, but come on. That cake was a travesty."

CBS News on Waxman's claustrophobia: "This was an interesting challenge for Waxman, who admitted to being claustrophobic. He pulled off his blindfold after 30 minutes to finish a mussel and shrimp stew and help his team win the Quick Fire."

Grub Street on Top Scallop: "Most Overused Ingredient: Scallops! Do all chefs share an unhealthy obsession with this shellfish? We've wondered this for season after season of Top Chef, but last night seemed to confirm it when both teams made a sort of seafood stew during the Quickfire. With access to so many ingredients, why do they keep it so limited? If it’s because scallops are easy to cook, that means they’re lazy."

Serious Eats on the other white meat (funny? too much? yes? no?): "no review of this episode would possibly be complete without addressing the gigantic elephant(s) in the room... namely, the bride's breasticles. Was I the only one who was terrified a boob was going to pop out of that 'dress' at any given moment? No? Okay then. Let's proceed."

Speakeasy (WSJ) on the bride and groom's taste buds: "The chefs stay in their teams to tackle the menu after meeting with the happy couple, who have some very plebian tastes (no lamb, no foie gras, no spices, no pork, no shellfish, but carrot cake and bananas foster, please)."

Fine Cooking on the sweet side of failure: "It's a great reminder that you may be an amazing chef but you still have blunders in the kitchen. Susan Feniger tried to make an Egyptian semolina wedding cake and failed miserably with a dry cake covered in cream and berries that looked very sad indeed. Rick Moonen, famous for his seafood, assembled an on the spot mixed seafood grill plate that was so brown and depressing that you wouldn't have believed it was fish! Marcus Sammuelson tried to add juiciness to a beef tenderloin and ended up making it a mushy mess."

Eater.com on Waxman's ah-ha moment: "Jonathan is claustrophobic and has been freaking out the entire time under the blindfold, but when Marcus and his turn comes to finish the dishes, he takes his time figuring things out and as Rick predicts, has his classic Waxman moment: furrowed brow and frown suddenly turning into a beatific smile."

Daily Loaf on the two paths chosen: "It seemed that the chefs went either way when preparing dishes for this challenge: they either made something that the couple specifically said they wanted (despite maybe having never made it before) or they went their own way and cooked dishes they felt would be sufficient for the challenge, not taking the couple’s tastes in mind."

Food Network Musings on the best wedding favor ever: "Jonathan says for HIS wedding they gave everyone a margarita as they walked it and it set the tone for the entire wedding. I LOVE that idea."

[Photo borrowed from Serious Eats...because Bravo hasn't posted any regular episode photos.]

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