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Top Chef: Masters 3– Ep 6 – Seven Minutes in Heaven

Meeting the band for the first time, since only one is familiar – Adam Levine the front man. I noticed something a bit odd, shouldn’t a rock band exude some Steven Tyler-ish kind of danger? This group reminds me of a college engineering study group. Or the debate team who recruited their stoner roommate to start a band to play at their fraternity parties. I can’t imagine hotel rooms being in any danger along the Maroon 5 tour. If anything, I think they may straighten up after themselves.

With that knowledge, the fact that half of them are vegan shouldn’t surprise anyone. The challenge to cook for them using the tour RVs as the kitchen was kind of fun, made even more difficult by the random selection of foods they were forced to cook. Japanese. Steak. Thanksgiving. Corn. They might as well just opened up a cookbook and randomly pointed.

Once the chefs realized that a coherent menu was impossible, the task flowed. I loved how they were forced to use the floor, bed, bathroom, etc., to fund workspace or just put things out of the way. It did lead to meatballs on the toilet, which led to some unfortunate thoughts. It also led to Unibrow referencing sexual fetishes about food on the bed. Ew. And best of all, Mary Sue talking about tossing her salad on the floor. That one is more of a discussion more appropriate for Seven Minutes in Heaven.

Unibrow’s unibrow – Yes, Uni has irritated me just a bit, but at least for one week his steady barrage of quips hit more than they missed. For example:
1 – His Quickfire dish was the “most expensive cat food” ever made.
2 – When explaining his vote for Mary Sue’s dish to be in fifth place, ahead of his own seventh place dish, “hers is two better than mine.” Heh.
3 – The aforementioned fetish talk.
4 – As the RV took a sharp turn and upended everything, Unibrow noted that the driver was “140 years old” and took corners way too fast. Somewhere, Amazing Racers are nodding their understanding.
5 – In the Extra scene, Unibrow is straightening up the RV and Mary Sue teases him that he should “pull your pants down so your butt crack shows.” Unibrow adds that he has “youth, panache and one eyebrow on my side.” HA! I no longer feel badly about the nickname.

Oh, you wacky judges – Clearly, the Traci-led team was going win. The other team was in disarray and hers put out a very well received spread of food. We knew this. What was surprising was that Alex, who made so much of the losing team’s food, was the choice to go instead of Celina, who seemed to make the worst and not much of it. Alex carried the team through prep and to the table, and the quality of his dishes probably suffered from the over-extension of his attention.

Alex fell victim to the Team Leader Phenomenon often found in these shows – the Apprentice, Top Chef, Project Runway, etc. – where the person in charge of a losing venture gets the axe, even if they were not responsible for the worst showing.

Celina continues to be the weak link this season, and is playing with fire. I can’t see her lasting too much longer. The funny thing is – who do you really think is worthy of the title of Top Chef Master? Beast? Maybe. Traci? It would be the quietest victory in history. Mary Sue? Lot’s of Bottom Three finishes for a champion. Floyd? See Traci. Unibrow? Dude was the first one voted out. Strange season indeed.

Quickfire – Seven minutes. Kick ass ingredients. Go!

Unibrow – Tuna two way: Chopped with Caviar and Ventresca with Celery – Floyd found bitterness, the others found crapiness.

Traci – Tenderloin Beef Carpaccio, Truffle, Maitake Mushroom and Balsamic – Alex liked the seasoning, Beast found it to be simple and delicious. Mary Sue would want more bites from this one.

Beast – Foie Gras, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Fried Lady Apples – Traci wondered where she got the extra time to cook. Unibrow said it was badass, while Floyd nitpicked about salt.

Celina – Scallop Crudo, Blood Orange, Cumquat, and Lemon Agrumato – Traci thought it lacked salt. Floyd could have given her some from his foie gras.

Mary Sue – Scallop with Pink Salt, Wine and Cilantro – Beast liked the seasoning.

Alex – Prawn Ceviche, Cumquat, Chili Peppers, Celery, and Blood Orange Vinaigrette – Mary Sue said it was fantastic.

Floyd – Prawn with Serrano Chili, Wasabi, Blood Orange Juice. – He fried the head and Mary Sue loved that choice.

The order of finish from worst to first – Celina, Unibrow, Floyd, Mary Sue, Alex, Beast and Traci. That’s her third Quickfire win so far.

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