Thursday, May 5, 2011

Reactions to Top Chef Masters 3 Episode 5

For this week's Quickfire, the eight remaining master chefs had 20 minutes to create an appetizer with a total cost of a dollar. The chefs all pretended to have trouble with this concept, but I've been charged $12 for a salad that had about $2.00 worth of ingredients so how hard could it be? The end results were judged by APM's Dinner Party Download hosts Brendan and Rico, who loved Naomi's bread salad, giving her $5K for her charity and immunity.

The Elimination Challenge started with a bit of a tease. Curtis reveals nothing other than the chefs need to each create a main dish and a side that can be eaten without utensils, for up to 100 people. The next day, they get 30 minutes and $300 to shop at Whole Foods before being driven to their venue: Farmer Boy's, a fast-casual burger chain in California.

Half the chefs - Hugh, Celina, Mary Sue, and Alex - get to work in the kitchen, while the other half - Floyd, George, Naomi, and Traci - man the front of the house. The diners arrive and it's chaos. Fast casual food should take about 5-7 minutes from order to table, but these chefs, not used to this kind of pacing, are taking far longer, causing lines and consternation. George turns out to be a horrible expediter, which I think is strange because really, isn't expediting the main duty of most executive chefs these days? They don't actually cook, but instead hang out at the pass and make sure that the food that goes out is perfect.

Then the critics show up. Alan Sytsma (where the hell is Ruth Reichl?) and James Oseland hit the dining room, while Curtis and Danyelle take the drive-thru. It's kind of pathetic how Danyelle flirts with Curtis the whole time they're supposed to be eating. Guess she doesn't get to date much. Curtis takes the obvious flirtation in stride, but part of me senses that he's annoyed by her. Or maybe it's just me who is annoyed.

And then everybody switches! The kitchen chefs become FOH and vice versa. The critics change places as well and find that the food is taking even longer to come out than the first time around.

Eventually, the chaos is over and the chefs get critiqued. Curtis calls George, Alex, and Celina to the table. They have created the least favorite dishes of the day. Celina's "wrap" was really a pancake with stuff on top, not wrapped at all, and impossible to eat. Plus - bland. George's pork and chorizo skewer, with a clam in a cucumber boat on the side, was also hard to eat and probably not suited to a fast food challenge. Alex's "taco" was really a "burrito" and it was too sweet.

They are sent back to the kitchen to call out the top three, Mary Sue, Floyd, and Traci. Floyd made an Indian street food dish called a "franky," which the judges called "genius." Curtis fell in love with Traci's burrito (which sounds really dirty, huh?). Best of all was Mary Sue's steak quesadilla and unusual quinoa fritters, which earned her a second win and another $10K for Share our Strength.

The bottom three get called back out and their faults are recounted. While it seems to the viewing audience that Celina's dish was the most problematic, it ends up being George who is given the boot.

So what did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments!

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1 comment:

raphael said...

For her charity, Naomi is kicking _ _ _! You go girl!