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Top Chef Masters Ep. 2 06/17/09 (spoilers)

OK, I just *love* the mix of these 4 chefs! Fun QF challenge - the infamous Vending Machine Challenge! And as for guest judges for QF? Mikey's back! LOL (could have done with Ilan, but at least he no longer has the damn mohawk!) Did laugh at Wylie's reaction to seeing them, however!

Thought Wylie would take it, but a bit too much over-reduction. (Why would he have a sauce for a grilled cheese?) Have to say that Suzanne's dish looked the best to me, and obviously tasted the best.

Laughing at Graham and Wylie and their Frick and Frack repartee in WF. Wylie seems very intense, but so much more relaxed in this setting then he does as a judge on regular TC.

AND....ETA so far, if a Chef wins the QC, they also win the EC as well! Suzanne's dish seemed to be a major hodgepodge of lots of things, but I guess the flavors all blended well! Kinda bummed for Wylie...but at least he wasn't the lowest ranked.

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  1. good episode. LOVED the quickfire.

    1. I'm enjoying TCMasters. This is going to be REALLY hard to win. As a Miami Hound, I wish Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz were participating....

      Keller Besh Finale????

      6 Replies
      1. re: The Chowfather

        Oh how I would love a Keller Besh finale! Besh is my favorite chef and I was rooting for him before this show began. I must say that I was pretty impressed with Suzanne Tracht but I don't think she could beat Keller...or Besh.

        1. re: Boudleaux

          a Keller-Besh finale would be so much fun to watch! but i wouldn't place your bets just yet. there are some really talented chefs coming up. Anita Lo or Michael Cimarusti might give those two a run for their money.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            You are so right! Looking forward to it. I think that what I love about Top Chef Masters is getting to see these chefs in the kitchen. I know the show is different from the original but I'm glad there isn't the behind-the-scenes drama, etc. I just want to watch them cook and create.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Do you know the pairings for the remaining first round episodes?

              1. re: The Chowfather

                Next week (Episode 3 on 6/24) is: Rick Bayless (Chicago-Mexican), Cindy Pawclyn (CA, farm-to-table), Wilo Benet (Puerto Rico-creole fusion/Latin), and Ludovic Lefebvre (CA-French).

                It looks like for 7/1 (per TVGuide.com), they're running a new episode of "Fashion Show" @ 10pm and a re-run of next week's episode at both 9pm and 11pm. So we'll have to wait for the next two first round pairings.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  I was not all that thrilled with Wylie, he was a bit - pretentious? Like he expected to win... I really liked the was Suzanne was low key and I'm just doing my thing, lack of attitude-attitude. Very excited for Bayless bext week, and Besh when he comes on. So far I like this version of the show. Its more about the food and it really showcase each 4. That is always a big complaint on TC, too many cooks in the kitchen.

        2. i was rooting for Suzanne from the beginning, so i'm glad she won, and i honestly believe she deserved it.

          having said that, i was really impressed with GEB's performance, he definitely produced good food and gave her some stiff competition. but can someone PLEASE tell me why so many chefs mispronounce Niçoise? it's so irritating!

          Wylie surprised me - he sorta choked. he certainly redeemed himself in the EC, but i really think a regular (i.e. non-Master) TC contestant would have gotten dinged by the judges for screwing up the plating like that. they let him off the hook a little too easily.

          Elizabeth's performance was disappointing, but to be perfectly honest, i didn't expect that much from her - she's really a pastry chef first & foremost.

          and i understand why they used guest QF judges from the original vending machine challenge, but THOSE three? really? ugh, lame choices. what about Sam, Elia & Marcel? or at least Carlos, seeing as he won the original! i would have loved to see Cliff, but given the nature of his departure from the show, we know that would never happen ;)

          all in all, a really enjoyable episode to watch.

          oh, one more thing...i'm NOT happy with all of you who pointed out Kelly Choi's Giada-ness last week. i hadn't really seen it until you pointed it out, and now i can't think of anything else when i watch her!

          17 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Yeah, not my top three picks for the season 2 returnees, but Mikey was memorable in that challenge, Ilan was the season winner, and Betty is from LA and has not shown herself to be camera-shy at all, shall we say -- she may have been an easy choice, logistically -- who knows how many folks were approached.

            And my apologies for my role in the Giada/Kelly comparisons ;-)

            1. re: momjamin

              Actually I've been referring to Kelly as the "low rent Padma." She has the same over-dramatic, breathy speaking voice. Yuck!

              1. re: srr

                Low rent Padma! That's funny. Yes, they both have annoying diction but I find that Padma under-enunciates while Kelly over-enunciates. Padma sounds like she has a short tongue and just woke up from a nap. Kelly sounds like she's overly conscious of her speech and is listening to herself talk. I know this from my own experience of having to learn a new language and being very conscious of my own speech. But I'm not on TV!

                1. re: soniabegonia

                  And the way Kelly Choi kept saying "The Lost Supper" in that over-enunciated tone...my BF and I just kept looking at each other and giggling.

                  I can't help but keep noticing how super thin she is! I know skinny people can pack it down but it just makes her head look *that much* bigger.

                  I also loved how Wylie also kept dropping the F bombs.

                  I was really rooting for Tracht too, as she seemed so unassuming and calm. Just wished the presentation on her EC dish was a little neater. It looked like a little too much like a holiday plate! :-)

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I missed the Choi/Giada association on previous posts but as I watch tonight that hit me like a brick.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                <I missed the Choi/Giada association on previous posts but as I watch tonight that hit me like a brick.>

                I think Giada is much more graceful than Kelly Choi. As well, Choi really irritates me with all that "we" stuff in reference to Top Chef, the original. She has nothing to do with that, and the writers need to get that correct.

                1. re: ChefJune

                  "As well, Choi really irritates me with all that "we" stuff in reference to Top Chef, the original. She has nothing to do with that, and the writers need to get that correct."
                  ~~~~~~~
                  i said the exact same thing last week! it really irks me.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    The hostess is the official voice of the producers, which makes the word "we" appropriate.

                2. re: scubadoo97

                  Other associations: Choi kinda looks like a bratz doll. MrLit remarked that she reminded him of the description of Draco Malfoy's mother in the Harry Potter series: a woman who always looks as if she's smelling dung right under her nose.

                  I do love the camraderie of the chefs, and in this episode I loved WD's potty mouth. Funny! This is a great addition to the Top Chef franchise, imo. It's nice to see a more human side to these famed chefs.

                3. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I was thrilled that Suzanne Tracht won as well. Especially given that the competition was fierce, with Wylie Dufresne, Graham Elliot and Elizabeth Falkner. This week it seemed like the cheftestants took it a little more seriously, with a better result on the food front.

                  I have to say I was tickled to hear their challenge was cooking from packages and cans, other than the proteins provided. I threw a party a couple of years ago, in the summer of 2004 prior to the election, that I dubbed the "End of the World" party, where everything I served was canned or preserved, as if we were the survivors. My friends thought I was crazy, but when caviar, escargot (canned, from France, from the store Surfas in Los Angeles), and other goodies appeared on the menu, the party ended up being a success.

                  I am really enjoying this mini-season of Top Chef, and it is so entertaining to see so many seriously TOP chefs willing to participate. I hope next week is as good as this week was :-)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I agree with the choices of guest QF judges - not particularly thrilled except with Mikey. Betty seemed MUCH more toned down, as did Ilan. But my distaste for him is such that I just want him to fall off the face of the earth never to be seen again.

                    And so far, I've avoided remembering the Giada-ness of Kelly. But frequent mentions will probably put it front and center soon enough. :-) (Still not crazy about her tho.)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Sorry - I know I am a bit late for this discussion, but I finally caught up with TCM yesterday. Out of the 3 episodes, this one was my favorite so far. I LOVE WD anyway, so to watch him in action was really entertaining for me.
                      I loved the cookie scene too.

                      But my comment here is - Is it me - or did Betty get some kind of face-lift or something??
                      I thought her face looked different - and weird!!!

                      1. re: NellyNel

                        Rather Joker-ish? LOL I'd have to go back and look at the clips with her in it. I just thought perhaps because her hair wasn't pulled back she looked a bit different.

                        And I agree - I enjoyed this ep most so far.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          LOL!

                          "Joker-ish"
                          Yup - that's the word!!!

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      <but can someone PLEASE tell me why so many chefs mispronounce Niçoise? it's so irritating!> I agree. and how about "AAAA-oli?" that also gets my goat (especially when it's all gussied up with a whole bunch of flavors that have NTHING to do with Aioli).

                      Loved this episode. I thought even before the series started, that in almost every case the chef who may seem most "obvious" will not be the winner. It's about more than cooking under pressure, it's a lot about being comfortable in front of the camera.

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        same with "vichyssoise"

                        quick French lesson: if there's an e after the s, you pronounce the s. If no e, the s is *usually* silent. Not always, but in most cases.

                    3. I missed the first episode but was able to watch tonight. I love the show.

                      What I don't like is that it's just one episode (one chance) and you're out. I'd love to see a season of masters but suppose that's unlikely because they'd have to leave what they're doing for too long a time.

                      This show and the regular Top Chef have inspired me. I've become much more inspired and innovative in my cooking. Kudos to Bravo for bringing some great programming to my boob tube.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch

                        "What I don't like is that it's just one episode (one chance) and you're out."
                        ~~~~~~~
                        but that's the way it is with the regular TC as well.

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          I think Ima's talking about the fact that THREE of the chefs are gone in each episode of TC Masters, vs. only one of the cheftestants from the regular TC.

                          Essentially, with 24 Master chefs competing, the "season" is only going to be 7 episodes....6 to get through the initial 24 at a rate of 4/episode, and then the finale. Unless they split the finale into two episodes, and then we get 8 total.

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Linda's right. It seems a shame that even if a chef outperforms two other chefs, they're still packing their knives.

                            1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch

                              I'm surprised they don't have a wild card spot or two.

                              1. re: The Chowfather

                                You give me hope, Chowfather! That's a fantastic idea. Maybe they can do a viewer's choice kind of thing.

                                1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch

                                  They should bring back the eliminated chefs and have them battle for one wild card spot. That would make 7. I would also bring back all the past Top Chef winners and have them battle for one spot. That would leave us with 6 winners and two wild cards for the Great Eight.

                                  1. re: The Chowfather

                                    How about getting all the past TC winners together to form a JT.

                      2. I'm loving the show. One criticism I have is I miss the meal development that you have on TC. On masters you don't really know what they are making until they are serving it to the judges.