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Top Chef: Masters 3 – Premiere – That’s One Giant Scallop


So, I would like to request more things in life since the TV Reality Show Gods have decided to listen to me when it comes to fixing what ails Masters. If I have that kind of clout, perhaps I can get my mortgage paid in full? Might that be possible?

Didn’t think so. But at least my thoughts on how to change Masters for the better seem to have been adopted. NotPadma? Gone. Replaced with REALLY not Padma – an Aussie chef named Curtis Stone. He is a “master chef, best-selling author, TV personality, and entrepreneur” and former contestant on Celebrity Apprentice. And he has a personality, so he has that much more than NotPadma – and for that, I will substitute a burly Australian guy for a good looking model.

Also gone – Jay and Gael. No loss there. Will miss her hats though. Bert (James Oseland of Saveur Magazine – who reminds me of Ernie’s best buddy) remains and is joined by Ruth Reichl, currently Editor at Large at Random House. Her past gigs include Gourmet Magazine, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She also had her own place in the 70s, so she has her own cooking cred. And judging by this week, actually has chemistry with Bert, making them a decent pair.

Tournament style early rounds and goofy star grading system. Gone and gone. Replaced with a traditional one and out per week classic Top Chef format. 12 Masters, one out per week, Final Three at the end (based on the amount of episodes). Soooooooo much better. We can get acquainted with these people and they can suffer the rigors of a real, albeit a bit truncated, Top Chef season.

Great job, Show. Let me know if you need anything else.

The Chefs – Info provided by their bios for the show.

John Rivera Sedlar – Owner: Playa, Los Angeles, CA. He is competing for the American Diabetes Association. He is considered “the father of modern Southwest cuisine” by Gourmet Magazine. He is the youngest chef to ever receive the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts Magazine. He will be known as Old John because, well, there are two Johns and I am freakishly late with this review to be all that creative.

Sue Zemanick – Executive Chef: Gautreau’s, New Orleans, LA. She is competing for the Louisiana SPCA. She was a 2008 Food & Wine “Top 10 Best New Chef,” named 2008 “Chef of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine, one of “5 Chefs to Watch” by Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine and a Finalist for James Beard’s “Rising Star Chef” Award in 2009 and 2010. All I have to say is – Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine?!?

Celina Tio – Chef/Owner: JULIAN Restaurant, Kansas City, MO. She is competing for: Harvesters. She led the Grill Room at the Philadelphia’s Ritz-Carlton when she was 23. When I was 23, I lived in a house on the crack-selling block in Binghamton, NY. There was a Hardee’s down the street. Good times. Tio helped open three specialty restaurants for Walt Disney World; Spoodles, Citricos, Palo. Ironically, also neighbors of mine in that crack neighborhood.

Alessandro Stratta – Executive Chef: ALEX and Stratta, Las Vegas, NV. He worked in one of San Francisco’s finest hotels, the Stanford Court Hotel, where he perfected his skills in the art of baking and pastry. He helped open the Louis XV at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco Ducasse and later worked under Daniel Boulud at New York’s famous Le Cirque restaurant. At 24, he was chosen to head Mary Elaine’s, a gourmet restaurant at the new world class Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jeez – at 24 I was living in a town with no movie theater.


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