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


Elimination Challenge – Cook a meal for Maroon 5, with the band indicating the types of foods they like. Time starts at Whole Foods, so shop quickly as prep and cooking will be on the tour RVs. Traci gets to select her team, to consist of three or four chefs. She takes Beast, Unibrow and Mary Sue. This leaves Alex, Celina and Floyd to lose, er, compete on the other squad. The band rattles off random foods – Japanese, steak, veggies, corn, spanikopeta, Thanksgiving, Vegan Mexican food. Yikes. Judges will be Maroon 5, Stone, Bert, Dany and showing up for the band, our old friend Gail Simmons.

Losing Team
Floyd- Winter Salad.
Floyd- Soy and Rice Wine Vinegar Marinated Steak with Asian Slaw
Celina- Silky Vegan Corn Soup
Celina- Spanikopita with Cous Cous Salad
Alex- Penne with Brocolini, Tomato and Garlic
Alex – Enchiladas with Onion and Seitan
Alex – Coconut Almond Tapioca with Grapes
Alex – Breaded Turkey Cutlets

Gail liked the soup, Adam did too. Longhaired guitarist James Valentine praised the corn. Bert isn’t a fan of the spanikopita, and Adam thinks it was microwave quality. Stone thought Alex’s enchiladas were good considering the lack of cheese. However, the pasta was panned. Gail said it was overcooked and Bert thought it looked and tasted like cafeteria food. Adam liked the steak, but Gail was not impressed. Bert was disappointed with the salad, it was like something the band could have made. The gravy was good for the turkey, but Dany said that is a trick to cover up some average meat. Stone thought someone under duress cooked the tapioca. Adam described it as something a person would bring to a potluck event. Stone also wondered what Floyd and Celina were doing as Alex cooked everything.

Winning Team – They made margaritas. Need I say more?
Mary Sue – Chips with Salsa Diablo and Guacamole
Mary Sue – Vegan Tostadas with Black Beans, Chopped Salad and Crispy Fried Avocado Wedge
Unibrow – Corn Soup with Vanilla, Pecans, and Brussels Sprouts
Unibrow – Fennel/Parmesan/Spinach Spanikopita, Dill Salad, Lemon Vinaigrette
Traci – Japanese Style Steak, Miso Braised Daiken, Cucumber and Pea Shoot Salad
Beast – Breaded Turkey, Chanterelle Smashed Potatoes and Sour Cherry Cranberry Chutney
Beast – Apple Crisp with Coconut, Almonds and Oats

Stone loved the margaritas and Adam pointed out the obvious that chips and margaritas work well. Adam was not a fan of the bird poop tostada, but Bert thought it tasted well. Gail thought the corn soup was very superficial. Stone was a fan of the spanikopita and bassist Mike Madden thought it reminded him of mom. Dany loved Traci’s steak, and Adam was very pleased as it combined his two choices of Japanese and steak. Mike described some strange story about women in Japan crying from steak. Bert was not pleased with the turkey breading, as it hurt the roof of his mouth. Although he loved the potatoes. The band was torn on the potatoes, leading Gail to quip that they will be their Yoko Ono. Bert said the apples were flaccid. And the sex jokes continue.

Critics Table – Much credit given for succeeding despite having to use Easy Bake ovens. Mary Sue’s avocadoes and use of seeds in the coating was inspired. Beast’s meal took a pedestrian dish to elegance. Traci’s steak went over very well, especially the jus. Unibrow’s spanikopita knocked Dany’s socks off. Traci gets the win, and it seems to be on between her and Beast.

Alex gets praise for trying to do it all, but the dishes hurt as a result. Gail thought the salad was out of bag, and reminded them that they didn’t need a coherent menu, just cook the food and let the judges worry about it. Dany was surprised that the cous cous was so poor and the spanikopita forgettable. Bert and Gail hated the pasta and agreed that it should not have been served. I think the pasta was Alex’s downfall.

Alex goes home, and then there were six.

Quickfire Hits
• I was wondering why Maroon 5 had made their way onto this show. At first, I just assumed they were foodies, but based on their input, I don’t think so. But then I remembered. NBC owns Bravo – thus the many appearances from NBC-related stars. Adam Levine is a judge on the new American Idol rip off, er, singing show The Voice. Well played, Bravo.
• At Whole Foods, Alex’s cart got stuck on the conveyer belt and he tried to run up the down escalator to free it. I’ve done that. I left my boss waiting for an elevator as he went to deliver a speech, and then realized the speech was still in my hand. I had to run up the down escalator, leaping the last few steps to get it to him as the elevator doors closed. That welt on my leg took weeks to go away.
• Interesting to hear Unibrow and Traci commenting on Be
• Beast’s lack of training. It makes me root for her even more – Traci has 20 years of cooking on her and Beast is not just holding her own, but she is thriving. Team Beast!!
• The show tricked me – when I saw Celina’s confessionals and she was made up and looking pretty, I thought she was out. The woman of Top Chef are often “dolled up” during the episodes where they depart.
• Dutch oven and toilet should never be used in the same sentence. Ever.

Next week – Taste tests, with no smell. Mary Sue loses some of her thumb, and somewhere Fabio nods and Jamie is stunned. And the Most Awkward Moment in TV History, according to Unibrow.

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