Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Show Alert: Top Chef Masters

It's a battle of famous professional chefs! Will it be as good without Padme as host? Kelly Choi takes her place. They are playing for $100,000 for their charities.

We'll see!

They are doing 4 chefs at a time, against each other, and then I assume, down like a bracket.

First up is Michael Schlow. He is an Italian specialist. He's won the James Beard award, along with lots of others. His charity is for cancer.

Hubert Keller is next. He's also got a handful of restaurants, and among other things, trained White House Chefs on healthy cooking. He is playing for Make a Wish.

Christopher Lee has won many awards in his young career. His charity is Autism Speaks.

Tim Love is a Texan chef. He is playing for March of Dimes. He is not formally trained, and calls himself just a cowboy.

Quickfire Challenge (which they will be bringing back favorite Top Chef Quickfires from seasons past).

They have to make the most creative and original dessert they can make. Girl scouts will be tasting them, and the chefs will be able to see them, but the girl scouts won't see them. They have 60 minutes.

Tim started off with a shot of tequila. For himself. Not the girl scouts. Michael had a bit of a problem - his cakes didn't bake all the way, his ice cream base was liquid, and in the end, he just had candies and hunks of almost cooked cake. Yipes.

Michael - Milk Chocolate Cake, peanut butter chocolate candies and whipped cream. The girl scouts thought the candies tasted like tagalongs (girl scout cookies) and didn't really care for his chocolate.

Tim - Strawberries three ways. He included chicken fried strawberries. Interesting. One girl really liked it, but another didn't. The strawberry shake was called sour.

Hubert - Chocolate Mousse Swan with whipped cream couse, fruit with orange saboyan. The girl scouts were really impressed with the presentation, and seemed to love the flavors.

Christopher - French Toast with caramelized banana, orange sauce, and maple syrup fluff. One of the girl scouts didn't appreciate the caramelization and called it burnt. They didn't seem to like the fluff.

Michael got 2.5 out of 5 stars. Tim got 3.5 stars, as did Christopher. Hubert got a winning 5 stars. It was a pretty awesome dessert. Their quickfire scores will be added to their scores formthe elimination challenge, and the winning chef for the night will win $10,000 for their charities.

Elimination Challenge

They have to create a 3 course meal with a toaster oven, a microwave, and a hot plate. They will be serving them to college students and the panel. They have a very limited pantry, $150 to shop, and 2 hours to prep and cook.

There are 20 stars up for grabs in Elimination challenges. 5 come from the diners, and 15 come from the panel. Some of the chefs had a really hard time shopping, because they are not used to shopping for themselves. Bwah ha ha.

Tim's got a big problem the next day. He put his groceries in the freezer by mistake. Everything froze solid. Christopher admitted that if Tim pulls off making something edible out of that, he deserves to win.

On top of it all, they are cooking in dorm rooms.

Double bwah ha ha!

Tidbit - if Hubert wasn't a chef, he thinks he would have been a dj. That's pretty cool.

Students who live in the dorms come by to check out cooking progress.

Michael's menu is: Salmon Crudo, Cabbage Soup with Bacon, and a Pork a la apicius.

Tim's menu is: Scallop Carpaccio, squash & corn pozole (with no hominy), and skirt steak & braised kale.

Hubert's menu is: Fresh Scottish Salmon, Carrot & Pea Soup with cinnamon, and macaroni & cheese with prawns. He had to drain the pasta in the shower, and cool it there, too. and reheat it there. Fun.

Christopher's menu is: Red Snapper Ceviche, Creamy Risotto, and Pan Roasted Pork Chops.

Critics and Jay Rayner, Gael Green('s hat), and James Oseland.

Eating, the students were amazed that the dishes were made in their rooms. Hubert seemed to win the first course. I think that Hubert won the second round again, though Tim seemed perhaps close. Tim's kale was called bitter. Michael's pork was called overly peppery. I think Hubert won the third round, too, with his shower drained macaroni, though I think Christopher may have come close.

Critic's Table

Hubert's macaroni madness was applauded. Some of the judges didn't get or like the cinnamon in the soup. Gael Green's hat loved the cinnamon.

Michael's pork was lauded for flavoring, but Gael Green's hat thought that the pork was over done. She also loved his soup.

Tim's freezer snafu wasn't that bad, after all. The pozole was called great football food. The steak was ok, but a little too salty. His kale was admitted to be a little bitter.

Christopher's risotto was called delicious, even if the texture wasn't perfect. His pork chops were called well executed.

While the critics discussed, they seemed amazed that the chefs were able to get anything out of the dorm rooms. Hubert got high marks. Michael didn't cook his soup long enough, and cooked his pork too long. Tim managed to come back from adversity, and Gael Green's hat had lots of respect for him in his effort and improvisation. Gael's hat was also in favor of Christopher's risotto attempt, even though it wasn't really risotto.

Michael's Diner score was 3.5 stars. The combined critics gave him 7.5, upping his score to 13.5 stars.

Tim's diner score was 3 stars. The critics brought it up to 14.5 stars total.

Christopher's Diner score was 4 stars. The critics brought his total score up to 19 stars.

Hubert's Diner score was 4 stars. The critics brought it up to 20 1/2 stars. He took the night, got $10,000 for his charity, and moved on to the next round.

(The non-winning chefs will also get an undisclosed amount for their charities.)

1 comment:

Lori said...

Loving this show so far. :)