His charm is palpable and now the other judges are starting to show it. I have never liked Bert very much, but he has become a LOT more likable. Although I think I nicknamed him far too early – anyone remember Eddie Deezen? Meanwhile, Ruth seems to have vanished, but I did like her insight in those early episodes, and she has been replaced with Bert’s old intern Alan. He is basically Dave Foley’s younger brother, with his boyish appearance and Letterman-like gap in his teeth. I have not warmed to him yet, but what he has done is help bring out a likability in Bert by providing him with a foil with which he has actual chemistry. Their interactions in the fast food restaurant and in the car were amusing. I’ll throw in some lines later.
Speaking of chemistry…maybe Dany and Stone need to get a room. Their back and forth in the car and at the table was straight out of a Preston Sturges comedy. They’re on a date. She’s a “healthy hush puppy.” Even he can’t be sexy while eating an ugly skewer. Thank you Stone for squeezing out some personality from Dany and for single-handedly making Masters worthy of the Top Chef name.
Meanwhile, the goofy challenges produce another win for Beast, and immunity, and a well-earned win for Mary Sue, who has been in danger of elimination quite often. I think she’s going to be fun to watch if she gets more comfortable, her genuine surprise at winning was quite endearing. Meanwhile, sour puss George gets the boot. The man is probably a brilliant chef and will be quite successful, but he didn’t take to the show. He easily could have had some fun and adjusted his dish to the challenge, the way Floyd did, but he chose not to and his dish suffered.
Quickfire – Make an appetizer for $1 or less. Bottom line, ingredients will be scarce, so don’t screw up. Unibrow spills some egg, so he needs to adjust his egg strategy. Mary Sue won’t taste her bacon because she doesn’t have enough. This is the second of three consecutive challenges where the Masters learn how the rest of us live. Last week it was healthy eating – we can’t all use a stick of butter in each dish we eat or we’d be the people on the ship in Wall-E. This challenge is all about the cost of food – albeit to the extreme – and how we have to make due with what we can afford. And the Elimination Challenge touches on the convenience of food – better known as fast food. Sometimes we don’t have time to make a gourmet meal and have to utilize the drive thru. Good job, Top Chef – make those Masters live like the peons!
Judging will be Stone and two hosts of “The Dinner Party Download” from, as Stone said, “American Public Radio.” In actuality, this is a show and podcast from American Public Media, the second largest public radio company after NPR. The hosts are Brendan Newnam and Rico Gagliano.
Celina – Spicy Carrot Soup with Lime-Pickled Shrimp – The guys find a surprising amount of flavor and would expect it to cost $15 in a restaurant. Not bad for 96 cents worth of ingredients.
Mary Sue – Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Salad with Celery Seed Vinaigrette – The boys give her credit for a good idea – BLT Salad – but it is way too salty. The no tasting policy from MS backfired.
Beast – Asparagus and Bread Salad with Cherry Tomato and Lemon Vinaigrette – The boys rave over it and how the bread and lemon work well together
Unibrow – Lyonnaise Salad with Bacon, Frissee, Radicchio and Poached Egg – The bitterness paired with the egg worked.
Alex – Spiced Squid with Garlic, Olives and Almonds – Yummy sounds, and credit for a very skilled dish.
George – Grilled Calamari Salad with Cucumber, Tomatoes and Almonds – Underwhelming and kind of sparse.
Traci – Chicken Paillard with Asparagus, Lemon and Brown Butter – Kind of lukewarm reaction.
Floyd – Fricassee of Shrimp and Asparagus with Beef and Tomatoes – It is spicy, but good.