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Top Chef Masters 4 – Episode 9 – Where We Learn That Food Has To Be Delicious

That’s right. The age-old mystery of whether food needs to be “hard” or “delicious” has been solved. I know that longtime viewers of Top Chef – and those who have eaten for all or most of their lives – have wondered this. Gee, this sandwich before me…it is rather soft and spongy. But it tastes rather good. I wish it was hard, but it is so delicious. I am just torn. It’s like Sophie’s Choice.

But lo! Worry no more, fellow eaters. Kerry has solved it. As he told the young’uns who formed the basis of this challenge – more on that later – food doesn’t need to be hard, it needs to be delicious.

Oh, wait. He means “hard” as in difficult? Oh. Hang on.
The second age-old mystery of whether food needs to be ANYTHING other than delicious has now finally been solved by the Puddy look-a-like on Top Chef Masters. Amazingly, it seems that delicious food is the most important thing. Who knew? I thought that complicated recipes and preparation was what we needed to have – but as it turns out, tasting good was the key.

Now I know what I’ve been doing wrong all these years.

In all seriousness, this week we have the final elimination before the Finale. Where the final three remaining Master Chefs will be presented with an opportunity to wow the first class food critics with a dazzling display of their culinary skills, imagination and technique. In order to prove which one is the Master of the Masters.

What? You said the chefs would be judged on a dish that none of them actually cooked? A dish where they were not even permitted to touch the food? One where high school students cooked the meal? That can’t be right – the next thing you’re going to tell me is that all season long, a random of collection of D-List celebrities and random people in Vegas will be judging the Quickfires, determining who gets immunity for the challenges, and doling out thousands of dollars to charities in a seemingly random pattern. But that can’t be right.

And yet…here we are. The funny thing is that this week they actually presented a Quickfire without wheeling in Wayne Newton. This is a repeat of the Quickfire from last Masters’ season where the chefs are set at a workstation divided by a barrier which prevents them from seeing a mystery partner. They have to cook a dish, and at the same time, instruct the mystery person to cook the identical dish. The challenge would be judged on its taste and how similar the two dishes are to each other. The last time we saw this challenge they were paired with a loved one. This time – they are paired with a critic.

Great. Challenge. Slightly less great because of the really terrible accents Lam, Bert and Ruth put on, but still it’s great. Basically, the interesting parts are that Kerry cannot hear Ruth very well, regardless of her fake Russian accent. Bert’s southern accent doesn’t seem to hinder CC. Lam and Ruth are both much slower than their partners in prepping the meal. In fact, Lam is so slow that Lorena had to ditch the pasta from her dish and go with greens.

But the biggest revelation is that CC has nicknamed Bert much better than I ever have. While I still say that Bert not only reminds me of a Muppet, but he especially reminds me of Bert down to the facial expressions. However, Mr. Sweater? I love it. CC – you get full credit for it right here, but I am totally stealing it. Mr. Sweater…it even sounds like it could be a Muppet name.

CC/Mr. Sweater – Prawns with Sautéed Celery, Thyme, Pine Nuts and Chili Threads – The Sweater doesn’t have enough celery on his version, but Stone says he can’t decide which is better. Sweater tells him to shut the front door. But he actually says it.

Lorena/Lam – Swiss Chard with Sautéed Chicken, Onions and Parmesan Cheese – Stone mentions that Lorena’s is soupy. It seems it was supposed to be. Lam’s is not soupy. Stone likes the salty dish – and it is beautiful – but it needed the pasta.

Kerry/Ruth – Sautéed Chicken, Swiss Chard, Bacon, and Parmesan with Rosemary Cream – Ruth’s is a mess as she made half the chicken by mistake. It’s tender, but there’s a whole lot of it. Stone thinks her chicken might even be better than Kerry’s.

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