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Top Chef Masters Season 5 Ep 6 – There’s A Party In My Tummy

So Yummy! So Yummy!

For everyone who has a kid, this episode was fun. For everyone else, it was a reaction like Burke who didn’t know what was going on. For the uninitiated, Yo Gabba Gabba is one of the strangest, and most awesome, kids programming you can find on TV. It is also the most awesome stoner broadcast you can find. It is Sesame Street on acid. It’s the Muppet Show if run by Snoop Dogg. It consists of a DJ dressed all in orange…and…well…just watch this and see.

So, the challenge was to cook for a ton of kids and make a dish they like featuring a traditionally “icky” kid ingredient. The Gabba Gang would be there for the event – sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club – and there would, for some unknown, random reason – be two chefs departing after the challenge. I’m fine with double eliminations if they are a natural occurrence – following a non-elimination, or a team challenge, etc. – but this one felt unnecessary. Especially with immunities still an option – it meant there was a 33% chance of elimination while in the Final 7.

I dug the challenge – it required creativity and strategy to come up with a dish that not only incorporates the anti-kid food, but does so in a healthy manner. A big feature of Yo Gabba Gabba is teaching kids to eat healthily in a fun way. How does one do that? Great challenge. Factor in the chefs who faced the sous challenge penalty – Neal, Jennifer, Sue – who are forced to include second anti-kid ingredient…the Brussels Sprout.

I will say, however, that I think the judges’ choice was insane. But more on that in a bit.

QUICKFIRE CHALLENGE
Hey look! It’s Mindy Kaling! Which is weird because Bravo is an NBC network, and her show is on Fox. Usually that’s the network synergy we see on this shows. And yet, here she is. And Bot seems to know about The Mindy Project , despite its mediocre ratings. Or he is reading her bio as provided by the producers.

Anyway, anyone who has watched her show (and I have, it’s not bad) knows that Mindy loves rom coms. This challenge – randomly pick one of her favorite rom coms, which surprisingly all have an obvious food or city connection, and make a dish inspired by the movie.

Sue – Knocked Up. She’s doing pregnant/stoner craving food.
Burke – Sweet Home Alabama. Bad movie. But sweet and Alabama in the title.
Doug – Midnight in Paris. Um, French food.
Neal – Nicky Cristina Barcelona. Spanish and sexy.
Bot – Mystic Pizza. Do I need to say it?
Sang – When Harry Met Sally. Iconic scene in a deli, and Sang’s brilliant move of making pie a la mode with ice cream on the side.
Jennifer – Roman Holiday. Roman. Welcome to Italy.

Sue chooses to use liquid nitrogen for the first time. Why do chefs keep choosing network TV competition programs to use techniques for the first time? Even the Masters!

Mindy wants to get high with Stone and come back for Sue’s dish again. She is impressed with Burke’s sweaty face. Doug flirts with her and suggests feeding each other on a date. Um. Ok. Neal suggests that too much spice could end a date really fast. Bot puts out a pizza that looks nothing like pizza. Sang’s dish gets a very cute response. Jennifer’s antipasti gets ignored.

On the bottom – Sang and Jen. Mindy’s reasons are pretty dumb – she hits Sang for not making apple pie and Jen’s for not being memorable. On the top – Neal and his sexy, hearty, spicy dish. Doug for the great combo of eggs and caviar. Sue for the stellar stoner/preggers dish. Doug wins and the pooches get another $5K. Sang hysterically wonders what Doug did with his extra 27 minutes – you know, eggs and caviar.

Quickfire Dishes:
Sue
Jennifer
Neal
Burke
Doug
Bot
Sang

ELIMINATION CHALLENGE

Burke is immune and Sue/Neal/Jen have the sprout penalty. They also do not get 30 minutes of prep time with the sous chefs. The anti-kid ingredient for each of them – Sang/Cauliflower, Burke/anchovies, Neal/Spinach, Sue/Cottage Cheese, Bot/Beets, Jen/Melon, Doug/Eggplant. My son actually likes about half of those.

Sang put the cauliflower into a foam form. Good call. Neal has ground up the spinach and sprouts into pasta. Another huge call. Bot has made the beets into ice cream. Not good. Doug has made an eggplant jelly. He really has. I can’t say ‘eww’ enough. Burke has made something that makes no sense. He’s really lucky to have immunity. Jen carved out a cool pineapple, and then made a boring looking melon dish.

Jen’s dish is too sour, according to Gail. Lam thinks kids would never voluntarily eat something this sour. Sang’s line was non-stop for his meatballs and foam. Lam thought the foam was brilliant. Ruth says Neal’s was awesome, and that he created a gourmet Chef Boyardee. Doug’s was not something that Ruth thought a kid would like, but Gail thought it was slimy but fun. A kid said Doug wouldn’t win the challenge…well…

Burke’s was so bad and didn’t get any attention. I think he would have been out with no immunity. Sue’s mac and cheese was obvious, according to Stone. Lam is amazed she put the cottage cheese in there so effectively. Ruth found it to be too heavy, and with the bacon…not so healthy. Bot’s is really, really beety. Lam thinks it was a “faceful of mud.”

Somehow…and I am not alone, as Sang and Neal were amazed too…Doug/Sang/Neal are in the top. Doug?!?! And his eggplant jelly? What?!?!? Doug even knows – “(Sang) is standing next to jello boy, he thought he was dead.” Thankfully, Neal wins the challenge and not the jelly. That’s ten grand to research cancer. Glad we rewarded that instead of the dogs. Nothing against dogs and all, but…cancer.

Bot, Sue and Jen are the Bottom Three and two are out, thanks to Burke’s immunity. Jen’s was sour and boring. Sue’s was not healthy and too cabbagy. Bot’s was an “intense beet bomb,” according to Lam. To be honest, I am stunned that Bot was saved. And as a result, all the ladies are gone.

But wait, here’s Stone with a twist. The next sous chef internet challenge will pit Jen and her sous vs. Sue and hers, with the winner returning.

AH! So THAT’s why there was a double elim. Pretty sneaky sis.

Elimination Dishes:
Sue
Jennifer
Neal
Burke
Doug
Bot
Sang

Quickfire Hits
• Burke cries at movies. That’s pretty great. I also think he may have been drunk during this episode. All of his confessionals made no sense and his dishes were not very good.
• Oh, the sous chef drama for Doug? Family emergency and Doug gets a new sous. So, no drama.
• Jen wanted to choke Jor-El – and they are eliminated now – but really, he’s Kryptonian. It ain’t happening Jen.
• Regarding Plex…Kid – “What’s inside of him?” Gail – “Computer chips?” Kid – “No, a person” HA!
• That kid saying “teriyaki”? Pretty amazing.
• Extra scene – Lam and Gail singing “Party In My Tummy” with the son of the Gabba creator. Very cute.

Next week – The chefs go fishing. Or perhaps that’s a plot summary of an Andy Griffith Show. Not sure.

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