Thursday, May 12, 2011

Reactions for Top Chef Masters 3 Episode 6

This week, the seven remaining cheftestants faced two interesting challenges. The Quickfire Challenge involved "heavenly" ingredients such as caviar and foie gras (which Curtis pronounced "fwa gwa"). Cooking with luxury ingredients wasn't really the challenging part - that would be the time constraint - a big 7 minutes. After the frenzy of mostly raw preparations, the chefs then rated each others' dishes. Of course with this group, there was tons of both honesty and modesty.

Celina ends up at the bottom of the pack, while Traci takes the win with her beef carpaccio, getting $5K for her charity La Cocina, and immunity in the next challenge...

...which is to cook a family-style meal for the band Maroon 5, based on their requests. And the requests are quite varied - there's a vegetarian and a vegan in the group, but lead singer Adam Levine wants steak and Japanese food. There are also requests for corn, spanikopita, and Thanksgiving dinner.

The chefs head to Whole Foods and then get to working on their prep and cooking - on two tour buses. The buses are small, with 3-burner stoves and a tiny oven. While it's mentioned that this challenge is really about time management, I think it's more about 3 or 4 people working in a tiny area with no counter space. It's like me, trying to make a holiday meal in my kitchen - if a guest comes in and tries to help (aka - get in my way) then I go ballistic. But I'm not a mild-mannered Master chef, either.

Anyway...because Traci won the QF, she got to choose a team, and whether she wanted 2 or 3 teammates. She went for 3, choosing Hugh, Naomi, and Mary Sue for her Black Team. The other three - Alex, Floyd, Celina - became the Red Team. Was choosing three people a good idea when the space ended up being so tiny?

Maybe, maybe not. The Red Team serves first. It surprised me that both teams pretty much gave the band exactly what they asked for - spanikopita, steak, corn, and Thanksgiving. Personally, I thought they'd be a bit more creative, like making spanikopita filled with corn, or baking a chicken served with cranberry sauce. But nope. Anyway...since both teams pretty much made the same things, it made comparisons all that much easier for the critics and the band. Their main issue with the Red Team's meal was the soggy "cafeteria food" pasta served by Alex, and they weren't all that happy with Celina's spinach pie/cous cous duo. Floyd made an uninteresting salad that even Adam Levine says he could have done.

The Black Team fares much better. Although Mary Sue's fried avocado looked like "a piece of poop rolled in birdseed," it was a delicious poop. Traci's steak with Japanese flavors was a unanimous favorite, and Hugh's spinach pie was miles better than Celina's, as was Naomi's Thanksgiving dinner. And the margaritas they served probably helped, too.

Ultimately, the four-man Black Team came out on top, with Traci's steak getting the win. All three of the Red Team's members had their faults, but Alex's dishes - all of them - were the worst, which got him eliminated this week.

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

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MoHub said...

I love Celina, but I'm disappointed in her performance. It's a miracle she's still in the competition. She's had more regenerations than a Time Lord.

Tina said...

That was the worst episode of an already dismal season. I found it cringe inducing to watch the masters subjected to one humiliation (tour bus) after another (Maroon 5) after another (awful female judge + Curtis Stone). The decision to keep Celina after again landing in the bottom was just icing on the (inedible) cake. The only thing that keeps me watching is the hope that one of the chefs will just give the judge(s) a piece of their mind.