And then there were three, as Top Chef Masters speeds along towards its finale on Wednesday. And speeding is the right word – unlike the first two Masters seasons which tended to really drag at times, this one is over in a blink of an eye. And if this week is any indication of what the finale will bring, it not only clinches the title of best Masters season, it actually rivals some of the regular Top Chef seasons.
Even with the demise of my favorite this week, this was still an outstanding episode. I guess all Top Chef fans and bloggers fall into one of two categories – interesting and goofy challenges, or not. All of the Masters are elite chefs – they all cook amazing food. If you don’t shake them up then each week we get several plates of delicious meals and judges fawning over them. We’ve seen that, and it’s not good. Making the Masters have to struggle their way through some crazy crap, and STILL make delicious meals…well, that’s worth watching. And fun.
This week was basically about family, comfort and, of course, service to our country. And those things are always good stuff to celebrate. The Quickfire and the Elimination Challenges – which in Masters makes up the whole show (no apartment footage for them) – both integrated this theme in totally different ways. One consistent feature – entertaining.
In the Quickfire, the Final Four were set up next to a giant barrier, which based on what was to come I assume was soundproof somehow, and two sets of identical ingredients and equipment. The chefs were blindfolded as their mystery partners were brought in to the room. The instructions – make a dish while coaching the partners through the exact same dish. Winner based on taste and similarity between the dishes. The twist – these are not chefs. They are family. Brilliant.
I was fascinated how they were unable to recognize the voices and wonder if that kind of soundproof technology is available in most Best Buy locations. I mean, it was just a movable wall, how was Beast unable to recognize her dad’s voice? Floyd could identify an Indian accent, but not that it was his sister? It almost took me out of the moment, but I got over it fairly quickly.
That’s because it was fun watching the chefs try and coach these amateurs though the right procedures. Like not knowing how to Chiffinade – roll into a small cigar and slice thinly. And not knowing what a shallot looked like. The best dynamic was Beast totally losing her patience and resorting to barking orders. “I already told you!!” “Taste it!” Don’t take the mushroom out, “just taste it!!” “I’m not getting disqualified because he can’t crack an egg.”
Upon the reveal that it was her dad…”Yaaaaaahhh!!!” HA! “It’s a good thing I’ve been yelling at my dad all day.” Of course, dad said that is how she always talks to him. I believe that.
Meanwhile, Floyd was disappointed he didn’t know it was his sister because she is “a bad ass cook, we could’ve done something impressive.” Mary Sue’s sister is revealed leading to this strange sentence – “my sister Chris lives in Omaha, Nebraska. That’s a long way to travel to make a salad.” Meanwhile, Traci’s little bro must be used to following Traci’s orders because his dish was actually better than hers!