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Top Chef Masters 2, Ep. 1 – Why Is This Show Starting at 11 pm?


Quickfire – a replay of the Season One Quickfire takes the chefs to a gas station to gather ingredients. Teams are divided into groups of two for this and the elimination challenge. The guest judges are the band – The Bravery. And I feel old for not knowing who they are, and I feel lame because Tony does. I loved how the chefs visibly bristled when criticized by the musicians. That was one of the full moments of authenticity you have seen on this show before.

Susan and Tony – Maple Bread Pudding with Caramelized Bananas. The band rightfully says it came from the same snack pack. It is sweet, but delicious. And Susan is right; it is not a pretty dish. Four stars.

Govind and Jimmy – Cheetos Macaroni with Grilled Slim Jims and Tomato Soup. The band likes Slim Jims, and I must agree with that! Jimmy grabbed red, spicy Cheetos, so the dish is bright, neon red. It is actually a bit distracting. Three and a half stars.

Ana and Jerry – Crispy Rice Cake with “Clamesco“ Sauce – They made it with Clamato sauce. I recall Richard Jeni’s old routine where he referred to Clamato – “It’s Clam. It’s Tomato. And you drink it. I say, (burp), you effing drink it. What genius had a glass of tomato juice and said, boy, this needs fish.” After being called bland, Jerry assumes it is bland to them because they are used to salty foods. Three stars.

Elimination – Cook a romantic dinner for 30 couples on their first dates. Pretty dumb challenge. On your first date the only thing you are trying to do with your meal is not eat anything sloppy that makes you look like a pig, trying to buy the correctly priced dishes so you are not perceived as cheap or too big of a spender, and well, trying to get laid. Few people care about what type of spice was used.

Jimmy – Seared Lamb Carpaccio with Baby Arugula and Herb Salad
Govind – Roast Chop with Cauliflower Couscous and Pomegranate Reduction

The raw lamb was surprisingly liked; Jimmy’s decision to sear probably did it. The two lambs are deemed a good pairing. Govind’s choice to have them use their fingers elicited a scary moment when Gael starting talking about sex. Yikes.

Jerry – Lavender Duck Breast with Red Cabbage, Pomegranate and Beets
Ana – Duck Leg in Vermicelli with Orange Blossom smoked cinnamon Almonds.

Bert likes Jerry’s and finds the meal romantic. Gael finds Ana’s awkward to eat, but tasty. Jay reminds us, a la Tom, that this is a cooking competition and oddly enough, he looks for taste. Bert makes an awkward, unfunny joke about pajamas. It was so lame; he felt it necessary to repeat the joke later on. They used flowers in their cooking for flavor, which is a nice use of the love theme.

Susan – Love Potion – Black Pepper Shrimp and Scallops
Tony – Homemade Pasta with Cheese, Mushrooms and Truffles

NotPadma gets turned on by Susan’s description. She later says that Tony’s Pasta was so good she would “invite it back to bed.” Someone get NotPadma one of those first dates! Tony’s pasta is loved, and Susan’s spiciness is praised. Tony later describes their choice of dish as a decision to pursue an homage to the romance of world travel by bringing a Malaysian and an Italian dish to the table. Jay wanted to drink Susan’s broth – at least he didn’t want to drink her milkshake.


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