Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recap Roundup - Top Chef Masters 3 Episode 5

Oregon Live on a tight budget: "Working with a selection of basic ingredients, with prices broken all the way down to individual units or ounces, the chefs have to make a gourmet appetizer for under $1. Immediately, you sense that the concept of 'Dollar Store Cuisine' is completely foreign for most of the chefs. Las Vegas chef Alex Stratta starts pricing how much each individual walnut in his dish will cost. Atlanta chef Hugh Acheson, who has had at least one industrial-strength freak-out each week, promptly freaks out when he fumbles an egg for his dish and it breaks. Heavens! That was worth 18 cents!"

Monkeys as Critics on reactions to the Elimination Challenge: "Curtis is already moving on to the Elimination Challenge! Each chef must cook a main dish and a side for 100 people who will not have utensils. Traci is thinking amusement park. She isn’t far off. This seems too simple to be trusted, and that scares the poop out of Hugh. Seriously, he said it scares the poop out of him, I’m not being cutesy paraphrasing here."

Clean Plate Charlie on Hugh: "Hugh only can think of slaw. Slaw? With your hands? He says 'Yes. We've all eaten slaw with our hands but it's done in private.' Once again, I'm not sure whether to worship him or report him to the authorities."

Jordan Baker on slow going: "Oseland talks to a diner who’s been waiting 15 or 20 minutes. He and Alex order one of everything and collect their number – 98. We don’t see the scene where the table with number 3 is still waiting for their food, sipping sullenly at their third grape soda of the day."

Reality TV Calendar on the first shift: "First shift front of house. George, Floyd and Traci with Naomi having grabbed the drive through. It doesn’t take long for chaos to set in. George is not making his orders clear. He’s not specifying sides or telling them 'here' or 'to go'. George says it’s ridiculous. Best chefs in the country working a drive through. Hah!"

A Just Recompense on flirting: "Curtis continues to flirt with Danyelle: normally dates are over after the meal but now they go inside, she says she’s doing ok on their date. Guys, next time, leave this on the cutting room floor, it’s really nauseating. But James and Alan are doing some flirting, too: Alan says, looking over his giant cup of soda, 'When I was interning for you did you ever think we’d end up here?' I find their flirting a lot more palatable."

Eater has more on flirting: "Curt and Restaurant Girl can’t be the only ones having all the fun so he says the same thing Monica said to Bill 15 years ago except he’s not under a desk: 'When I was your intern did you think we’d end up here together?'

AHHHH. The boy is hot for teacher.

Restaurant Girl fires back: “This is my first drive thru date. How’s it going?” Curt then calls her a “hush puppy”. He got her open like 7-11, all day, every day, WOOP... Hot stuff."

AV Club on challenge goals: "As for the Elimination Challenge, I would readily admit that this is not a fair test of the contestants' overall ability as chefs: If the producers had wanted that, they would have told the contestants the challenge ahead of time and had the test be who could make the most sophisticated version of fast food. However, this wasn’t about who could cook the best fast food dish. Instead, it was about who could work with their ingredients to create something different from what they had intended. It was about their skills of imagination and creativity, with perhaps a bit of luck (Mary Sue’s food truck experience, picking the right ingredients) thrown in for good measure."

TWOP on the winner: "Mary Sue admits she took a gamble with her fritters, but the critics think it paid off. But who wins? It's food truck purveyor Mary Sue, who'll take home another $10,000 for Share Our Strength. Oseland says, 'In any context -- fast food, slow food -- what you made for us today was fantastic food.' Mary Sue promises to put the quinoa fritters on her menu."

Grub Street shares one last behind-the-scenes tidbit: "Since this is my last week as a critic on the show, it's as good a time as any to talk about how the judging actually works. Before we call the chefs out, the critics sit down one at a time with the producers and go over their favorite and least favorite dishes. I would have thought that this system would create a lot of conflicts, since the critics ostensibly have to come to some sort of consensus. But we usually pick at least most of the same dishes. It's a little trickier to agree on the top three and the bottom three, but coming up with whose dish was best and whose was worst is pretty clear. Then we sit down at the critics' table, the chefs are brought out, and the producers prompt us (via our earpieces) to tell specific chefs our feelings on their dishes, either positive or negative, depending on whether it was the winning group or the losing group. I really wish there were something juicier I could say about this."

Posted on AllTopChef.com

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