Top Chef Masters by Quincy IL
The Quick Fire Challenge:
The Master Chefs will identify various foods using one of the five senses at a time. They enter their kitchen to find nose plugs, ear phones and a mask. Floyd shares that he has balance issue and is claustrophobic so he knows that he won’t be able to identify food. The prize is $5,000 and there is no immunity. Traci tells us that the level of competition is increasing rapidly.
The chefs test their ability to taste without the other senses. The items are water chestnuts, Worcestershire sauce, papaya, cashews, and mustard greens. Traci spills on her coat as she tried to taste the sauce. Floyd gets none of the correct so he goes to the other side of the room.
The items for the sense of smell challenge are Epoisses cheese, spicy hot sauce, root beer, rice vinegar, ad mayonnaise. Hugh guesses that the rice vinegar is coffee because he wants it to be coffee. Traci is eliminated.
For the sense of touch, the chefs are presented with Arborio rice, black berries, okra, gummy bears and chayote. Hugh has two daughters, 6 and 8 years old, so he knows his gummy bears. Celina and Naomi have the same number of errors so they are eliminated.
The sense of hearing is tested by listening to Rice Krispies in milk with its snap, crackle and pop. No one gets this correct. Huge beats Mary Ellen by the nose when they replay the tape of them guessing the snap of fresh celery being broken. Hugh misses the crunch of potato chips blaming it on the way Australians eat chips. He has a wry almost French sense of humor. Hugh gets the sound of shucking oysters and buttering toast so he beats Mary Ellen and his charity will receive an additional $5,000.
The Elimination Challenge:
The theme is date night with a twist. Chris is in love with Victoria who has introduced him to new foods. He is going to ask her to marry him after the dinner on national TV. The chefs listen to Chris’s food journey with his girlfriend and they will prepare a six course meal that will hopefully help Victoria to understand how much Chris loves her. Hugh met his wife when he was 11 years old and he is not “into” Public Displays of Affection. Chris purchased a bracelet with “je t’aime” so the chefs take note. Hugh reacts by throwing up in his mouth a little. Floyd shares that his first kiss with his wife happened after an 8 year friendship and it was spectacular.
There will be a six course meal served to 21 people. Victoria does not know about the proposal so they will hope she will recognize food from her adventures with Chris.
At the grocery store, Hugh shops for meat and mentions that the couple is not the most culinary people he has ever met. Mary Ellen buys chicken. Floyd buys tuna and shrimp. Traci will make an apple tart for dessert. Chris mentioned red velvet cake, but Traci ignores that request. They purchase their ingredients and love the Lexus that transports them.
They return to the kitchen for food prep. The clams have to be scrubbed and opened. Floyd works with his shrimp. Traci finds that the scale is broken and her pastry may fail as you have to be precise.
Mary Ellen’s husband was married and divorced from her business partner. She met him when he designed a restaurant for them and has been happily married for 27 years.
During prep, Mary Ellen slices off the top of her thumb and throws it in the garbage. She is bleeding and in pain, but she continues working.
The mothers of Chris and Victoria have been invited to wait at the Chef’s table and to watch their children enjoy their dinner and get engaged on a screen.
The chefs are seated at tables. Curtis Stone and Gail Simmons have cheerful banter. James Oseland shares a table with Gael Green who had 30 minutes alone with Elvis and ordered him a fried egg sandwich before she left the room. She has authored a book and has a web site. Gael tries not to get drunk when judging food. James is critical saying that Celine’s food is Junior High and Floyd’s dish is Junior College.
The couples are seated and Victoria likes every plated dish. Patrick’s mother feels he is doing a good job acting as if nothing is going to happen.
Floyd: Karma Sutra Shrimp (wrapped around each other) with watermelon, lime and mint.
Celina: Soft pretzel with cheese sauce and salad. Victoria tells Patrick that they always have pretzels.
Mary Sue: Portuguese mussels and clams with sausage and wine broth. She reacts to the stress by admonishing the other chefs.
Naomi: Porchini braised chicken thigh. Chicken on the bone sometimes is not popular with the public.
James is not impressed with any of the dishes, but Curtis loves the use of the spork which he invented.
Hugh: Braised beef and broccoli with celery root puree and Bordelaise Sauce. An onion ring bracelet is included because Patrick purchased a bracelet for Victoria.
Traci: Apple Pie Gallets. Everyone thinks this is dry.
Curtis rises and gives Chris his opportunity to ask Victoria for her hand in marriage. He gets on one knee and offers her a ring in a box, she is shocked, says, “Yes,” and goes down on the floor to kiss Chris. Then, Victoria is surprised that her mother is there and she shares the news with the first person she would want to tell, her mom.
The judges want to speak to Naomi, Mary Sue and Floyd first. Hugh thinks his team won because they addressed the challenge better. Everyone agreed that the dinner was good. The first team wins. The overall winner was Naomi who will donate $10,000 to Seed Saver’s Exchange. She has won $25,000 to date for that charity.
The bottom chefs were Hugh, Celina and Traci. This is the first time that Traci has been in the bottom. The problem for Traci was the dry pastry. Hugh cooked down to the couple. The judges did not like this. Celine’s combination of pretzel and salad just did not work. Celina is eliminated. Her charity, Harvesters, will receive $10,000.