Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reactions to Top Chef Masters 3 Episode 4

This week's Quickfire Challenge was a bit cheesetastic - literally. The nine remaining chefs had to create dishes from a wide variety of only 12 minutes. Super-ambitious Naomi immediately slaps a steak into a pan, while Traci takes a simpler route by turning a slab of Colombier into "carpaccio." Suvir reaches to his Indian roots and makes cheese pakora, which he plates simply, saying the presentation was "more Calvin Klein than Paul Smith." Mary Sue makes her own tortillas, of course. 

Curtis brings in cheese expert Norbert from Beverly Hills Cheese Shop to sample the chefs' wares. While Floyd's version of elote (cheesed-up corn) is a bit too spicy for Norbert, and George's onions were too oniony, Naomi's steak and Traci's carpaccio were perfect. Traci wins this challenge and gets another $5K for her immunity in the next challenge...

...which is a Kabletown NBC cross-promotion with their hit show, The Biggest Loser. The chefs have to take the fattening favorites of this season's former fatties and create lower-calorie (but still delicious versions). There are three each breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, plus one dessert. The real challenge here is that the chefs have to work in teams of three to create a full day's menu that comes in under 1500 total calories.

The Blue Team of Naomi, George, and Floyd have to transform French toast, pizza, and meatball subs, respectively.

The Red Team of Celina, Traci, and Hugh must cut the calories from a bacon and egg sandwich, a Chinese buffet, and roast beef with baked potatoes.

And the Green Team of Mary Sue, Alex, and Suvir have to make corned beef hash, fried chicken, and bacon cheeseburgers healthier.

All have to make a variation on brownies for dessert.

The Biggest Loser Allison Sweeney and two of the trainers, Carla and Brett, are on hand, as are the show's contestants, to talk to the chefs about their favorite foods and ideas on how to lighten things up a bit.

After thirty minutes of shopping and ninety minutes of cooking, the chefs present their dishes, breakfasts first. Miraculously, the chefs have managed to keep their meals way under the 1500 calorie limit: Blue adds up to 1221, Red to 1263, and Green to 1368. But how did everything taste?

The Blue Team was called to Critics' Table first and told that they had the best dishes of the evening. Floyd's bison meatball sub with paneer made everyone happy, so he was awarded 10K for his charity.

The Green Team didn't fare as well. Mary Sue's hash was too chunky and her eggs were unevenly cooked; Alex's cornbread was leaden and his version of fried chicken didn't thrill James very much. But Suvir, who insisted on making an all-vegetarian version of a bacon cheeseburger, even lecturing the diners about the evils of red meat while presenting his dish, really fell flat. His sandwich did not satisfy the craving for a slab of greasy meat and this very charming chef was asked to leave.

So what did you think about this episode? Please leave a comment!

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ellen said...

There is a very low drama content to Top Chef Masters. That was true last season, and it's really true so far. I don't know if it's the personalities of the chefs, the judging, Curtis....
I'm a fan but I'm finding it pretty dullsville. Thoughts? Anyone? Anyone?

MoHub said...

Oh, Suvir:

"I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57 and French-fried potato
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Good God Almighty, which way do I steer?"

Jimmy Buffett would not have liked Suvir's offering one bit.

theminx said...

Ellen - yes, very much dullsville. I think all of the chefs like each other too much.

Mo - doubt Suvir would care. He doesn't seem like a Buffet fan to me.