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Top Chef Masters Season 5 Ep 2 – Double Elimination, Double Your Fun

Elimination Challenge – at the 626 Asian Pop Up Market, the chefs need to make an Asian twist on an American classic. They get two hours to prep and cook for 200 guests. The sous chefs are going to help with the challenge. They also get 45 minutes to shop in the market for the challenge.

The big issue for the challenge is the unfortunate decision by Hipster to purchase a baguette. There have been errors with bread choices in the past on the show. She had chosen to make a sandwich and not change the plans, even when discovering the chewiness of the bread. Sue was sharing in the bread, but upon discovering the same issues, she chose to make her dish an open face sandwich. That decision seems to be the difference in the elimination.

Also a factor in the challenge – Kathie Lee Gifford and her new face seem to be a part of it. No idea why. She has no connection to anything in the challenge – or any part of the show. And she seemed to hate everything served, and didn’t care to have an open mind about anything on the menu. Ugh. That’s all I have to say about her.

The judges for the challenge – Lam, Senor Sweater, Stone and Gail.

Hipster – Banh Mi with Pork Meatballs, Chili Mayo & Cilantro-Cucumber Salad – Mr. Sweater found a big bread issue, although Gail thought the meatball was fantastic.

Cap – Peking-style Burger with Chicken, Pork, Duck, Charred Scallion and Eggplant Fries – Captain Sweater found it to be a smart dish. Stone thought it was full of flavor, but Gail thought there was too much oil on the fries.

Odette – Glass Vermicelli with Mushrooms, Fish Ball, Tomato and Miso Broth – Gail liked the effort for the Italian chef to make spaghetti Asian. Lam found it to be heavy like gnocchi.

BryanBot – Mom’s Gyoza Dumplings, Chicken Feet, Green Diakon, Snap Peas and Floral Herbs – Kaiser Sweater loves the soup. Lam said this kind of broth takes about 9,000 hours to make the flavors pop like this, and BryanBot did it in two hours. Le Gran Sweater asked Kathie Lee to come inside his body. And now I need a whole team of therapists and hypnotists to purge that image.

Neal – Pako-Crusted Chicken with Coconut Curry Peanut Sauce and Chicken Heart – Admiral Sweater’s heart is bleeding. Stone likes his. Lam found it to be muscly and meaty to chew. Adm. Sweater added something about a salty nugget. And jeez, guys stop making the sex jokes so easy.

Sang – Fried Shrimp Head and Poached Tail with Chili Garlic Aioli and Burmese Cabbage Slaw – Stone gives it a wow. Sweater, DDS loves the head, and Gail thought it was full of flavor.

Canada – Ginger Chili BBQ Pulled Pork and Asian Slaw on a Scallion Biscuit – Stone thought it was delicious. El Capitan thought the slaw was a bit food courty.

Jennifer – BLT with Scallion Mayo, Bacon, Bonito Marinated Tomato and BBQ Spiced Lotus Chips – Sheik Sweater thought it was simply too much like a regular BLT. Lam wondered where the Asian twist was.

David – Ginger BBQ Chicken Dumpling and Wonton Miso Soup – Lam said the skin was just amazing. The others loved how all of the elements come together.

Douglas – Coconut and Green Cardamom Cream with Black Sesame Cookie Soil and a Rice Krispie Treat – Soil? Yum. Rev. Sweater is not happy with a sweet/savory dessert. To say nothing for the inclusion of soil. However, he is pleasantly surprised. “Mmmm. Oh my gosh. Shut my mouth.” Gail is “super into it.” Gail is about to have sex with cookie soil. Lam is all warm and happy.

The winners are BryanBot, Douglas and Sang.

Sang – Kathie Lee loved the slaw. Woo. Gail found treasures in her shrimp, while Master Sweater called it the “great and subtle unami dish.”

Doug – Lam felt the bitterness evolved into nuttiness. Sounds like my sense of humor sometimes. Stone called it his favorite dish of the lot.

Bot – Lam gushed over the broth some more. Bot used a pressure cooker to get it done quicker. Gail was impressed by the complexity.

With that, I expected a Bot win. Instead, Sang gets the back-to-back wins. And 10 grand for orphans.

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