Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Recap Roundup: Top Chef Masters 3 Episode 4

Oregon Live on fashionable food: "New York's Suvir Suran pulls from his Indian roots to create cheese pakoras with garbanzo beans. The chef, who has made as much of an impression for his shiny shoes and fancy pants as he has for his cooking, compares his dish to the world of high fashion: 'It's very Calvin Klein rather than Paul Smith.' What that means is anyone's guess."

Monkeys as Critics on names: "After running crazily through the kitchen and slapping together cheesy things, the chefs learn that their judge will be Norbert Wabnig, owner of The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. I have to say, he has the perfect name for a cheese snob, even if it inadvertently reminds me of Eddie Murphy in a fat suit even though it’s spelled differently."

Grub Street offers a behind-the-scenes fact from Masters' guest judge Alan Sytsma: "Later, Curtis would tell us about the cheese challenge. I almost instantly asked if he meant, like, good cheese, or Kraft singles, the mere suggestion of which horrified Curtis. We then had a ten-minute philosophical conversation about American cheese. Turns out James and I are in the 'for' camp (seriously, how do you make grits without adding a slice of American cheese?), while Curtis and Danyelle are firmly 'against.' To each his own, I suppose, but I still think anyone who believes they're above American cheese is probably a self-righteous asshole."

Oregon Live on cross-promotion: "The cross-promotion between 'Top Chef Masters' and 'The Biggest Loser' is more than a tad shameless (NBC's parent company also owns Bravo), the sort of sweeps-week stunt normally reserved for struggling prime-time dramas. But once the 'Biggest Loser' contestants and the chefs start mingling, you realize that the chefs actually have something to learn from people who have struggled with weight loss. Several chefs note that they don't think about calories or fat content, and that they need to pay better attention to it."

Castles and Cooks on the Elimination Challenge: "Showing that Bravo and NBC will cross promote anything, the elimination challenge was Biggest Loser themed! So everyone got divvied up into teams and assigned a breakfast, lunch or dinner meal based on a Biggest Loser’s contestant’s cravings. But here’s the catch: everyone had to come in under 1500 calories as a team."

Jordan Baker on product placement: "The critics, Sami Brady, and the Biggest Losers enter. As breakfast prepares to go out, Naomi worries that the Stevia has given her food a 'weird, bitter aftertaste.' That is probably both the worst and most refreshing piece of product placement I have ever seen on television. Stevia: low in calories; weird, bitter aftertaste."

AV Club on criticism: "At this stage, the critics’ deliberations seem almost esoteric, ruminations on the food without any sort of concrete notion of what they’re looking for. They thought Alex’s food was the least successful, that Mary Sue was the most safe (which sent John home last week in a head scratching decision) and that Suvir departed too far from his client’s wishes, but where does 'what tasted the worst' fit into that set of criteria?"

TWOP on judgement: "Judgment time. Curtis calls in the blue team (Naomi, Floyd and George) first. They were the most successful, both in calorie reduction and flavor profiles. They managed to snip off almost 4,000 from their original menu. George says he focused on the crust to make his pizza good. Floyd thought the cheese was the key to his dish, and Naomi deemed the fibrous berries an important ingredient. But who wins this week? It's Floyd, with $10,000 for the Young Scientist Cancer Research Fund at Mount Sinai Medical School."

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Posted on AllTopChef.com

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