| Third Course Marcus – Bayless found the texture to be odd. Bert thinks the balls are a lot harder than he wanted. Stop making the jokes too easy, Bert. Jay found it to be very rich, but admired the technique and the story. Bert felt the texture fell apart, and Winky reminded everyone that this might in fact be perfect for this dish; they were just unfamiliar with it. Marcus suggests that it takes a few servings of this before you get used to it. I question his choice of cooking it in this format as a result. Third Course Suser – Bayless thinks it is really good; he has had this type of sausage before and Suser nailed it. Tom is also impressed. Gail loved the lamb flavor. Bert thought the polenta was weak. Jay liked the polenta as a calming influence. Third Course Rick – Theoden thinks it is perfect. Gail says the pear butter is insane. Tom thinks the spice of the pear echoes the mushrooms. Bayless says Rick really stretched with this one, and Winky compares it to a great baseball player suddenly showing up to play basketball. Better known as the reverse Michael Jordan. Bert thought it was minimalist, but brilliant. Jay asked about how he felt about cooking an imported piece of meat despite his sustainability beliefs. Rick says he is not a treehugger; this is a competition, and he was to be a chef. He wanted to surprise them and give this meat the respect it deserved.
Bottom line – Rick made amazing oysters and venison and had a great story arc. Suser hit great highs but had some lows, while making great black bean sauce and effectively merged Asian and Western cuisine. Marcus made an incredible flan and boldly made a dish that was foreign to the judges.
Scores – Suser got four and a half from Jay and Bert, and four from Gail and the diners for 17. Rick got five stars and a marriage proposal from Bert, and four stars from the others for 17. Marcus gets five from Jay, four and a half from Gail and four from the others for 17 ½ and the narrowest of narrow wins.
Congrats to Marcus – even if the season was mostly dominated by Suser (and Rick to a lesser extent), but he came on strong at the end. The choices by the judges still baffle me, none seemed to like the African dish, but they still graded him highly. Got me. Maybe one day I’ll get the codes so I can follow their logic. Anyway, Masters ends, and Top Chef: DC comes to town starting next week. Yay!
• I forgot that Winky edged out Rick last season to get to the Champions round. It would have been nice to get less Winky last year, but at least we got more Rick this year.
• Conspicuous audio looping during NotPadma’s instructions again. Is it me, or does it happen way too often in both this and regular Top Chef. I mean, what they heck were they doing during the live taping?
• When Suser said, “Show me the tuna” during the Whole Foods segment, I had a flashback to Jerry Maguire and it made me chuckle.
• Suser’s strange sentence while shopping – “I’m not really completely looking, but I am.”
• I’m telling you, if this show keeps going on, I think NotPadma will wither away and turn into Flat Stanley.
• Rick is OCD and his kitchen is like a hospital, meanwhile Suser is like a tornado in the kitchen. “Working in Suserland is no joy,” said Rick. I wonder if there is a city of fries in Suserland (callback to last week alert!!!)
Best line – after the meal was over – Rick: “There’s no losers here really.” Beat. Beat. Suser – “Well, there would have to be right?” HA!!!
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