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Top Chef: Masters Ep. 1 – I know Padma Lakshimi …


First Course

Tim – Scallop Carpaccio with Lime and Chili – not a bad choice for frozen scallops

Michael – Salmon Crudo with Cucumber. mint, red chilies and kumquat.  Jay scolds him for not really cooking anything.  Hey, that’s Tom’s line!

Saruman – Red Snapper Ceviche with Citrus Juices, avocado and popcorn.  Popcorn?  Interesting.

Theoden – Fresh Scottish Salmon mi cuit cover, creamy whole grain mustard.  I don’t even understand this, but it looked good.

Second Course

Michael – Cabbage Soup with Smoked Bacon, fennel and white beans

Saruman – Creamy Risotto with Prosciutto, Sage and Parmisiano-Reggiano.  That looked gooooood.

Theoden – Hearty Carrot and Petite Pea Soup with Cinnamon Croutons.  I must say…yuck.

Tim – Squash and Corn Pozole.  Tim is not one for descriptive dishes…Bert thinks this is great tailgating food.  If Bert has ever actually tailgated, I will be stunned.

Third Course

Tim – Skirt Steak and Braised Kale – Bert and Jay think it was salty.  Tim hysterically comments later that it was so shocking to have the British judge criticize something for spiciness.  To quote A Fish Called Wanda – the British contribution to world cuisine…the chip.  World Conquest?  Yes.  Rock & Roll?  Yes.  Oscar-winning actors?  Yes.  Flavorful cuisine?  Not so much.

Michael – Pork a la Apicius with Broccolini and Mushrooms.  I just remember broccolini being CJ’s downfall.  For that, I hate broccolini.

Theoden – Creamy Mac & Cheese with Prawns, Mushrooms and Fresh herbs.  Take out the fungus and I’ll eat that right now. 

Saurman – Pork Chop with Pipenade, Potatoes, Mache and Fennel Salad.

The judging was incredibly boring.  This panel has no personality and no life to it.  Basically, no drama either.  Everyone watching knew Theoden was going to win and he easily did to move on.   I hope this show picks up, because if not, then this will be a long few weeks.  I already miss Fabio!

Quickfire Notes

* Did you notice NotPadma sitting very far away from the judges?  Maybe she really isn’t a real person.

* I have never, ever thought about chicken frying a strawberry.  But man, that sounds tasty.

* I hope Michael doesn’t sweat that much in his restaurant.  That cannot make the health inspector happy.

* The best cooking technique?  Theoden using the dorm shower to chill and heat his pasta.  I remember my dorm’s shower.  I never felt clean while cleaning in there, much less using it for food preparation.  I used it a couple of times for food repulsion, but that’s beside the point.

* In my dorm room, we were not able to find space to put furniture much less allow a chef to cook.  I had a hard time relating to the Pomona College students.  I basically found old food in drawers, so I guess that could have been helpful.

* I did like how excited Saruman got when he saw Gael.  That was very fanboy of him.

* Bert actually said “TMI.”  I wonder if he’ll call someone “girlfriend” next.  Or perhaps ask if you were down with O.P.P.  Whoomp, There it is.

* Tim actually needed the microwave – even though the Top Chef Lost Scene showed Michael and Theoden failing to figure out the nuances of the device.  That defrost function came in handy for Tim.

* Oh, and lastly…well, the catchphrase.  It seems the lovely Padma is not allowing NotPadma to say, “Please pack your knives and go.”  The new line – “Please return to the kitchen and pack your knives.”  Wow, that’s awkward.  That’s like – “The tribe has made some comments and you’ve been asked to leave.”  Or, “Tim and Michael, you are the team that spent the longest arriving to the mat, you will not be racing anymore.”  Or how about, “Your employment services are not required.  Get in the cab.”

No next week clips – but we get a bunch of scenes from the season.  The best part – Neil Patrick Harris shows up. Legen-dary.

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