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Top Chef Masters 2 Ep. #3 - 04/21/10 (Spoilers)

This is the episode with retreads from TCM1 - Rick Moonen, Graham Elliot Bowles, Jonathan Waxman, Mark Peel, Wylie Dufresne, and Ludo Lefebvre. Let's see if those Bravo teasers about Moonen and Lefebvre arguing is true or just that - teasers that we won't see in the actual show. Not that Bravo's been known to do THAT before, huh?

Quickfire Challenge: pairing a dish with Russian Vodka cocktails; judges are Gael Greene and the Housewives of the OC. The drinks chosen by the chefs are:

Lemongrass Mojito - Waxman
Nutmeg Applik Mojito - Ludo
Russian Tea Room - Wylie
Coriander Mule - Bowles
Ginger Figgle - Peel
Forest Fruits - Moonen

Four of the chefs got 4 stars, and one got a perfect score of 5 stars...the winner of the QF is Jonathan Waxman - the Pork Loin and Poblano-Stuffed Shrimp. AND he finished 20 minutes early in a 45 minute challenge! LOL

For the Elimination Challenge, it looks like they are tasked to re-imagine old-school pub grub, turn it upscale, and make it into something they'd be able to serve in their own restaurants.

Waxman - Shepherd's Pie
Ludo - Irish Stew (which he didn't want and it sounds like he's going to be whining about not getting Fish and Chips all night!)
Wylie - Bangers & Mash
Bowles - Steak & Kidney Pie
Peel - Toad in a Hole
Moonen - Fish & Chips

This ought to be interesting.

And I just noticed that Fiji Water is getting a lot of camera time.

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  1. Wylie and Moonen both got rave reviews on their dishes; Ludo? Not so much. :-)

    Bowles did well, but Peel didn't. Finally, Waxman is up: to me, his dish didn't LOOK appetizing, but it sounds like it tasted great!

    1. Holy CRAP! Ludo is doing absolutely EVERYTHING he can to continue the snotty French nastiness vs. the English, isn't it?

      "The French have culture; the English have nothing!" Yeah, well Ludo, those "nothing English" helped your country remain French, not German. Arggh!!! I'm glad Ludo's not obviously going to win. I really dislike him.

      I'm thinking Waxman and Bowles or Moonen will be the two who move on.

      Waxman - 18-1/2 points - he's the top winner
      Ludo - 11 points
      Wylie - 14-1/2 stars
      Bowles - 13-1/2 stars (including 4-1/2 from the diners!)
      Peel - 9-1/2 stars - ouch!
      Moonen - 16 stars - he also moves to the Champion's round

      And one final note - I *loved* the camaraderie of the chefs (except for Ludo, of course) as compared to the first two episodes of TCM2. These guys just seemed more comfortable with each other. Yeah, they've been there before, but they were this way last season as well.

      Will be interesting to see how the rest of the TCM2 chefs "work together" in upcoming episodes.

      5 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        I wonder if that's because this is an all-male group, like many kitchens. Sad to say, but the women in the Episode 2 group seemed isolated in some ways, not part of the larger "team." Just saying...

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I wish I knew more about why Mark only got a 1 from the general population on his dish. It seemed like the judges really like the seafood sausage even tho the Yorkshire pudding was a disaster. Was it really that bad to deserve a 1 or did the other diners just not like seafood sausage? They seem to be fairly forgiving in general but not this time. I felt bad for him, as he said that was what hurt him the most.

          This was definitely the most fun episode so far. I even enjoyed the haughty French guy. I hate to sound like an ass but with so many women on next week's episode, I'm expecting more dullness.

          1. re: Joanie

            My guess is that Mark got the "1" because the general population only saw the failed Yorkshire pudding, and that can be very off-putting. I don't know how much information the non-judging diners were given, but my impression was that they were not a group of chefs and culinary students who would have any sort of appreciation for the demands that had to be met. He was caught between a brick and a hard place. Don't plate the failed Yorkshire pudding, and it's not anywhere close to the dish he was supposed to prepare. FAIL! Plate the failed Yorkshire pudding, and to the average diner it is absolutely repulsive. FAIL! In his place, I would have thought up a whole lexicon of new and original swear words!

            1. re: Caroline1

              The way it was shown going in to the oven to bake, I think the sausage was baked WITH the Yorkshire pudding - so he couldn't do anything but serve both together.

              And to Joanie, Jody Adams from Rialto is on next week's episode. Not sure how you feel about her, but I'm hoping she represents our city well. :-)

              1. re: LindaWhit

                J.A. seems like a nice person and Rialto is good (have had a few fine if not thrilling meals there) but I still think it could be another yawn of an episode. We'll see.

        2. I think Bravo posted its own spoiler for this episode. They've got a photo of the winning dish that's supposed to link to a video of Kevin recreating it. The link is down, but the photo is up. Saw it there before the show too. Title is "Pub-lic Doman." OK, kind of a lame pun re: the pub food challenge this epi. Presumably the "Doman" part of the title was meant to be "Domain"? Sheesh.

            1. re: QSheba

              Great background information!

              But I found puzzling this last comment by the writer: "But what you won't see are the more discerning criticisms, best left to the pros: Dufresne shouldn't have removed the casings from his sausage because it dried out the meat, Moonen should have sliced his chips thinner so they‘d be less unwieldy."

              Why *not* let us see that? Do they think the people who are watching Top Chef (as opposed to those watching TNFNS or Chopped) wouldn't understand the more detailed criticisms? And even those two examples given in the statement are really *not* that far out of the understanding of good basic cooks, are they?

              1. re: LindaWhit

                They did air the chips criticism. I believe it was Gail who said something.

                1. re: mojoeater

                  I did see that; I had forgotten about it. But I had no idea that Wylie had removed the casing from the sausages.

                  Seeing so little of JT makes me still wish the show was 90 minutes. MORE cooking and a bit more Judges Table!

            2. Linda, i miss watching with you at the same time :(

              my thoughts:
              - i, too, noticed the prominent Fiji bottles...and of course there were plenty of shots of the plastic Ziploc containers :)
              - i don't care that Bravo is trying to cross-promote its brands, this time they went too far - having those OC housewives as judges was an insult to the chefs. "I don't really eat meat." "I don't usually eat pork." "I don't eat ginger." WTF???
              - Ludo is an ass. period.
              - i'm SO happy Gail Simmons is back at Critics' Table...i meant to say that last week :)
              - i'm thrilled that Moonen redeemed himself this time around, i just wish Mark Peel had done better. he's a terrific chef, and at the very least i wanted him to score higher than Ludo!

              this episode felt more like the old TCM. thank goodness!

              5 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I was wondering where you were, ghg. :-) Re: your points:

                - don't forget the zoom in on the GE Monogram oven! At least no one said "let's get in the Lexus and go shop at Whole Foods!" At least not that I heard.

                - There was one of the Housewives who at least seemed to have some taste for one of the dishes with a few good comments about it, but otherwise, the "I don't like..." just showed their complete lack of any knowledge of food. But I really, REALLY want to know the scoop on what Gael Greene thought of them. There were a few looks from her about their comments - I can only imagine after the QF judging was over what she would have said in private. "Scathing" comes to mind. Another is "WTF did Bravo have *them* there for?" LOL

                - 'Nuf said re: Ludo.

                - Agree on having Gail Simmons back, and I would have been happy with either Moonen or Wylie. Had to laugh at Graham Elliot Bowles saying to Wylie "OK, I've got to wash your car, pick up your dry cleaning, and ...." to him.

                It showed a fun friendship, and the entire "comfortableness" of this group just really glares against the first two episodes and how the TCM2 chefs just don't seem to "gel". Perhaps the net was cast a bit wider, and the chefs don't really know each other in this season? We'll have to see next week.

                Next week I only recognize the first 3 chef names (one is a Boston chef): Jody Adams (Rialto/Boston), Susur Lee, Rick Tramonto, Debbie Gold, and Maria Hines.

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  As a Kansas Citian, I'm excited to see Debbie Gold, executive chef of our American Restaurant!

                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  What a slap in the face to have the housewives judge these chefs! They've spent years perfecting their craft only to have vapid women who know nothing about food judge them? What next, will they start reviewing Joshua Bell and other musicians? There was one who seemed to add a little something but the others were embarrassing. I wonder what Gael Greene thought, sitting next to them? Ludo was a jerk but I liked what he had to say about the housewives. He doesn't hold back. But, there were some clips on the Bravo site that showed there was more camaraderie and fun between all the chefs and him.

                  1. re: chowser

                    my issue with Ludo is all his whiiiiiining...boo-hoo, it's not fair, i want to cook French food, why does Rick get to cook seafood when he's been doing it his whole life, poor little me.

                    grow up.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Yeah, the other whining and complaining got to be much but I thought it was so true about the housewives.