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Top Chef: Masters Ep. 2 – Live Together, Dine Alone


Previously on Lost – I would rather be commenting on that show than this mockery of Top Chef
 
Why Lost?  Well, the coolest part of this episode of Masters was the appearance of the brain trust behind one of my favorite shows ever.  Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, along with some of the writers, provided the theme of the Elimination Challenge – what if Master Chefs were stranded on the Island?  Of course, this is a post-Hatch part of the show since they get to use canned goods.  Of course, no Apollo bars anywhere to be found.
 
Again, the structure of Top Chef does not match the concept of this version.  There is just simply no drama.  The Master Chefs don’t really care what happens and in fact seem to find the whole thing to be a bit of a lark.  The judges remain just as boring as sitting in the Swan Station entering the Numbers every 108 minutes.  NotPadma is still not a real person – just an Island apparition conjured by the Smoke Monster.
 
And yes, I am going to keep up the Lost references as much as possible because a) it will get me through talking about this show, and b) I can.  So as Sawyer would say, you got a problem with that, Bubba?
 
Our four chefs competing:

Graham Elliot Bowles – from Chicago.  Bert calls him a tattoo guy.  I guess that makes him Jack.  Hopefully no Bai Ling appearances to explain his tattoos.  He is playing for the American Heart Association to benefit his nephew who needs a transplant.  Good luck to his nephew.

Suzanne Tracht – from LA, she is very laid back.  So laid back she lacks anything resembling a personality.  So, she’s Nikki, the least developed character from Lost ever.  She is playing for Sova, a local food bank.

Wylie Dufresne – from New York.  He is the Molecular Gastronomy guy who has judged multiple episodes of Top Chef.  Jay calls his work the Science of Cookery.  Jack and he are friends – so Wylie is going to be our Sayid.  Due to the technical skills, not torture skills.  Of course, we don’t know Wylie that well, so who knows.  He is playing for Autism Speaks – the second episode in a row someone has done that.

Elizabeth Falkner – from San Francisco.  She is a great pastry chef.  She served as a judge in Season 1 as well.  Because her name is close, and because we don’t have too many female characters to pull from, she’ll be Elizabeth Mitchell’s Juliet.  Just keep her away from giant electromagnets.
 
Quickfire – the infamous vending machine challenge from Season 2.  Judging the challenge are Season 2 Champion Ilan, and Season 2 contestants Betty and Michael.  If you recall, Michael made that gross Cheetoes amuse bouclé in that challenge.
 
What do we learn here?  Sayid can drop some serious F bombs.  It was like Jughead was in the kitchen.  Also, not that much actually cooked that came out of the vending machine, so…boring challenge.

Dishes

Sayid – Red Onion & Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Dr. Pepper Reduction. Betty’s sauce solidified, Mike loved it, Ilan found it hard to eat. 

Nikki – Fried Shallot Rings with Microgreen Salad and Dr. Pepper
Aioli. Betty licked the bowl, they all loved it.  I know I just love Lay’s Fried Shallot Rings, don’t you?

Juliet – Braised Beef Jerky with Orange Juice, Lemon and Horseradish Ice Cream.  Not that popular with the three judges, but Ilan liked it.  At least she used some junk food!  Hurley would be proud.

Jack – Tuna Salad with Pickled Shallot, Ginger Orange Bubbles and Beef Jerky Miso Powder.  Betty thought it was pretty; Mike’s mom apparently makes this kind of tuna salad.  Except that I am sure she doesn’t. 
 
No Dharma Ranch Dressing to be found.
 
Stars – Nikki gets 5, Jack gets 4.5, Juliet gets 3.5 and Sayid gets 3.  If my theory holds, for this episode and all of the others, this competition is already over.  Nikki wins.  Why?  The chances of a Master really screwing things up in an elimination challenge is rather slim; it seems hard for someone to mount a comeback from a Quickfire deficit.
 
Elimination Challenge – the Lost Theme.  Island ingredients like seafood and boar.  No polar bear to be found.  And they can buy canned goods from Whole Foods to match the Dharma food drop and pantry.
 


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