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Top Chef Masters 4 – Episode 1 – Excuse Me, I’m The Queen of Lemons

Mark/Hat Black Garlic and Flank SteakFlank Steak with Corn and Blueberry Salad and Black Garlic Harissa. It seems to lack kick to the salsa.

Takashi/KerryPork Tenderloin and BolognaSautéed Pork Tenderloin with Bologna Frisee Salad and Soy Ginger Caramel Sauce. Stone has never had bologna. I wonder if he knows how it is spelled. The dealers seem to like it.

Clark/DebbieLangoustine and QuinoaGrilled Langoustine and Parsley Pistow with Candied Popped Quinoa. It is described as being wheatgrass-like. Ugh.

Missy/SueBrandy and HoneycombBrandied Pineapple with Honeyed Yogurt, Almonds and Chiles – It is called sweet and refreshing. However, I think it looked and sounded gross.

Art/LorenaPeaches and Duck BreastDuck Lettuce Wrap with Corn Salsa and Peach Ricotta Crème – The dealers and Stone eat it incorrectly, they were supposed to eat it as a wrap. However, it is fresh and has good duck flavors.

Chris/YeoBone in Rib Eye and CatfishBeefalo De Gato Pescado – Great name. They love it, especially the jalapeno kick.
Chris and Yeo win the 10 grand and the challenge. No word as to who was at the bottom or who else finished near the top.
Elimination Challenge – Stone says it will be one of the biggest traditions in town. Debauchery? Mob-related crime? Selling your jewelry to pay your gambling debts? Nope. The buffet. Ah, yes. The crown jewel of our country’s obesity problem. They are divided into two teams and have to create two buffets for a bunch of clichéd Vegas characters.

The Blue Team consists of Missy, both Nelson members, Debbie, Sue and The Hat. Debbie voluntarily elects to make dessert. Uh oh – she doesn’t know about the show’s dessert curse. The Red Team thus has Takashi, Kerry, Art, Lorena, Chris and Yeo. Art and Chris get into it a bit over Chris’ decision to make tiny bowls of pork and beans, while Art wanted to go big and fabulous. They go shopping and the only things of note are that The Hat manages to buy all of the salmon in the store, Art spilled berries everywhere and we learn that Art is an extremely slow shopper. Something of note a bit later.

They return for their five hour prep, and are greeted by Stone’s first twist. They all get scratch-off cards with various twists for each team member. Art & Debbie: Immunity. Kerry, Lorena, Sue and Mark: Lose 30 minutes of prep. Yeo, Chris, The Hat and Clark: Wins $1,000 each. Takashi and Missy: Switch Teams. Cool twist. They also each get another card – this one tells the Red Team that their buffet is going to be Mexican, and the Blue Team will be Indian. This, despite each team already purchasing ingredients. Oops. The teams have to decide if they should send one team member out to purchase appropriate ingredients and lose some prep time, or to go with what they have already. The Red Team sends Art and his immunity out to buy Mexican ingredients, while the Blue Team chooses not to enhance their Indian spread. This proves to be the decision which decides the whole thing.

At first it bodes badly for the Reds, as with Art at the store, Missy slices open her finger. Badly. She has to go to the hospital, so they are now down 6-4 and it gets frantic. Chris snaps at Art later on over vegetables.

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