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Top Chef Masters Season 3, Episode 4 [Spoilers]

(SPOILER ALERT: i've asked the Mods to add "Spoilers" to the title of this thread, but just to give you fair warning...) Oh that cheese QF! Love that Traci's "carpaccio" won, actually - as the judge said, she let the cheese be the star. Naomi's rare steak & cheese sounded scrumptious, too. Suvir's corn seemed very pedestrian - in fact, it's street food - but I can't see how he thought he could elevate that dish - he prepared it exactly as it's done in my neighborhood by all the Mexican street vendors. Everyone was impressed by Mary Sue's homemade tortilla, but after all, she *does* own three Mexican restaurants.... i wonder what the cheese guy didn't like about Acheson's egg? egg and cheese - a natural to me.

Biggest loser EC - now that's a challenge. Going to watch that now and come back.

ETA: OH NO, IS MARY SUE GOING HOME? Suvir's "lecture on a plate" as whatshername called it, aptly, really should send him home.... commercial break...

Aaaand it's Suvir. Sorry to see him go, but i really think it was deserved.

I thought the discussion between Curtis and Suvir about meat being the cause of America's obesity problem was interesting. Curtis, of course, is right, IMO, there are a multitude of reasons for that malady. And for me, you can't make people change their eating habits by completely taking away everything they love. that's not sustainable, long term. Portion control is key, healthier choices, better cooking techniques, alternative spicing - creatives ways to learn how to eat food you like without killing yourself, literally. Alright, sorry, talk about lecturing....

Floyd's meatball sub looked wonderful.

I'm impressed that they all managed to lower the calories to such an extent, mostly without the use of fat-reduced foods (fat free this or that.) Oh to have a Master Chef in your home....

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  1. Who the heck are these new judges? Rollingmyeyeswithtotalboredom girl and Imcrappingmypantscanyoutell boy? Oy.

    Suvir did deserve the loss but this show has morphed from Top Chef Masters to Top Chef Lite.

    11 Replies
    1. re: MplsM ary

      ^^^^^^^^
      LOL.

      i thought the SAME EXACT THING.

      Bad part with too much gel young "wet behind the ears" bafoon and cute with nothing to say Restaurant Girl. As judges. Again.
      Cool. :(

      Karma. It's a bitch Suvir.
      This show, on the other hand, is no longer about cooking nor top grade ingredients anymore. And obviously it's not about top quality nor well respected food critics/chefs /judges. It's all about the drama.

      RIP Top Chef Masters. RIP.

      1. re: MplsM ary

        I'm with you, MplsM ary. Is that the best that they could do to find expert judges? Huh?

        1. re: roxlet

          Last week when we first saw the bloggers as tasters, I thought “Ooh, look! baby critics!” But then they stayed on for actual judging. That freaked me out.

          This week, like gum on the proverbial shoe, they are still here. I guess Kabletown is trying to attract a younger demographic. In doing so, they have alienated the old farts who can actually afford the Kitchenaid appliances they hawk with every kitchen camera shot. I’m not sure it’s a winning strategy.

          I still like a couple contestants, and will keep watching, but really not paying much attention. This has become just another show to have on while I do other stuff. I took it off my planned DVR record list. Now that Kabletown owns and can monitor my recording for their shows, it’s kinda cool that I can ‘vote’ for NBCUniversal shows just by whether I record them. It’s a bit of a tinfoil hat strategy but I employ it anyway.

          1. re: MplsM ary

            I don't know who's responsible but they are ruining one of my favorite shows!

            I hate these critics. When I saw the bloggers again, I wanted to screamed Nooooo!! until I lost my voice. Where the hell is Ruth? Isn't she supposed to a regular judge? And I've said it before but I want Jay Raynor back. Restaurant Girl is really horrid and GrubStreet guy is so repulsively self-important and condescending. James Oseland has always been annoying but at least he was tempered by Gael and Jay in the past. Now he's lording it over his pathetic proteges.

            Bravo, stop ruining this show. Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!!! I'm turned off by the bickering, the uninteresting food and the sad caliber of the judging. Why are you ruining what was once a truly wonderful, inspirational show?

            1. re: chefhound

              have you complained on their site? Maybe that would do some good. Over here, you're just preaching to the choir.

              1. re: chefhound

                When the GrubStreet guy was introduced last week that he trained underneath James Oseland, I then noticed that the two spoke the same way and had the same critiquing style. Its almost like James Oseland has two votes.

            2. re: roxlet

              Make that unanimous. What is Ruth Reichl doing at the same table as Restaurant Girl and Alan Systma, two people who seem to know nothing about food. LOVED last week when Oseland lectured Systma about being brainwashed to think that veggies needed to be raw (trend over palate).

              1. re: Just Visiting

                Systma - is that the baby-faced male "judge"?

                If so, and Oseland (ugg...) was lecturing him about 'veggies needed to be raw' I might think that Systma knows nothing about cuisines outside his own NA context/preferences. He probably would be bewildered by the Chinese tendency (still) to consider eating raw vegetables, by-and-large and with some exceptions, to be barbaric, for example.

                I have been entirely uninspired by this edition of TCM so far. In fact, I missed the last episode and it was happenstance that I viewed (most of) the last episode and (after deciding I might as well do so) this 4th episode as well. I can;t say it engaged my rapt attention. It's sad, how low TCM has sunk to. It's trash now. Not much better than any of those Housewife spiels.

                TCM1 and TCM2 - those shows were worthy.

            3. re: MplsM ary

              I thought the same thing about the judges, did they just grab random bloggers? Anyone can create a blog, it does not make them qualified to judge this caliber of chefs.

              1. re: MplsM ary

                Agree. sadly.

                This show is boring. The judges are tedious. The editing is all about the drama.

                Compared with the first season where the contestants were true masters, this is a joke.

                1. re: MplsM ary

                  I couldn't agree more. I was completely turned off watching those pretentious give-foodies-a-bad-name kids. I hope their days are numbered and some real judges/critics come back.

                2. I am pretty sure it was Floyd who made the Mexican corn.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Robinez

                    Same here. I will bite my tongue now.

                    1. Ive been a giant Top Chef freak since season one, its the highlight of my television watching week, but I just can't get into this season of Top Chef Masters. The judges are not interesting and the chefs for the most part are not who I would think would be competing for a top chef master title. Seasons 1 and 2 of top chef masters had chefs who were well known and really are at the top of the food world, I dont even know who half of these people are!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: twyst

                        Well if Twyst doesn't know who they are, then they can't be worth much, right? :)

                        1. re: Lizard

                          They are competing for the title of top chef master. This isnt reguiar top chef. If you dont have a michelin star callling yourself a master is a stretch to say the least.

                          1. re: twyst

                            1) what does name recognition have to do with Michelin stars?
                            2) only a handful the competitors thus far throughout 3 seasons of the show have earned Michelin stars at their restaurants, and two of them - Suvir and George - happen to be among this season's chefs.
                            2) they're not calling *themselves* masters, they were *invited* to do the show.

                            1. re: twyst

                              None of the contestants on the show are actually Master Chefs. That distinction is attained by passing a rigorous battery of tests, both technical and practical, through the auspices of the American Culinary Federation. It is a process that takes YEARS, and immense physical stamina.

                              Many very fine chefs in the US never even attempt that.

                              Michelin stars also have little to do with the ability of the chef. Not sure where you came up with that one, twyst.

                              1. re: twyst

                                Having a michelin star is dependent upon...
                                A) working in a city that michelin reviews - in the US, that's only a few cities
                                B) pleasing the notoriously bizarre and francophile leanings of the michelin inspectors.

                                There are a lot of damn good chefs who don't have michelin stars.

                            2. re: twyst

                              I DO know who they are (except for Acheson), and I'm really very "meh" about this season of TCM. I missed last night's show because I was at an AIWF event, and I was not concerned. More like "Whatever..." And I had no problem logging in here now to see what happened. That would never be the case with the regular Top Chef, nor with either of the previous seasons of TCM.

                              Even though I know these chefs, I agree with those who feel there should have been at least a few more recognizable chefs. They ARE out there. Wonder whether there are many declines to the invitation?

                              imho, this version has jumped the shark.

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                I think part of the reason they have the contestants they do is because with this reformatting, the chefs have to be prepared to commit time-wise to the entire run, whereas originally it was one round, the winner would come back for the semi-finals, the losers would go home. End of story. I suppose we should just be thankful they don't make them all live together.

                                I absolutely loved the staightforward professionalism of first and second seasons of TCM (although they did attempt a little sensational editing with the second season), and it's a shame they felt had to change it. RIP, indeed. I imagine I'll continue to watch, but it's no longer the highlight it once was. And coming so soon after the already too-long All Stars, it's just so much more of the same.

                                Totally agree about the callow judges (though I wasn't a huge Gael Greene fan, either)!

                            3. I felt that this week's episode was marginally better than last week. First of all, it didn't start off with bugs. I'll take cheese over bugs any day of the week. As someone who tries -- often unsuccessfully -- to lighten up my recipes, I found the chef's attempts very interesting, to say nothing about how difficult they found it to be. Some of the dishes they came up with are definitely things I'd like to make. Suvir definitely deserved to go home. His "burger" looked horrid, and his holier-than-thou proselytizing was annoying. Buh-bye!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: roxlet

                                Yeah, he got a little too much with his preaching. I didn't quite hear what he said to Hugh when they were having that exchange in the kitchen, did anyone catch it? Alluding to Hugh doing the same type of thing before? Couldn't tell. I like the guy who does Portugese cooking (George), and the chef who had cancer (?). Floyd seems nice. Not moved by too many of them.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  I'm with you Roxlet, i found his preaching annoying to say the least and his food did not fulfill the requirements of the challenge. I really wanted to see a lightened up bacon cheeseburger!

                                2. Well, I loved the challenges this week.

                                  I'm a cheese-a-holic, myself, so the cheese quickfirevin only 12 minutes was really interesting. Carpaccio!! You knew we'd see it ... But made out if cheese?

                                  I'm also a huge Biggest Loser fan; it's an inspirational show, IMO. I was impressed with their ability to create such great flavorful food while still being healthy and calorie conscious.

                                  Suvir deserved to lose. His rant was ridiculous and his food was a very bad representation of burger and fries. I would have sent him packing for subbing red cabbage for fries even if everything else was good!

                                  And I agree about those judges. Join me in my crusade to bring Gael back!!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                    I'm with you, C.H., i really liked this week's episode.

                                    I'm not impressed by the judges, but i'm still holding out hope that this season gets better all around.

                                    1. re: C. Hamster

                                      Funny that the QF was all about an ingredient know for high caloric content and heart disease (at least how it is served up in the American diet), and an elimination challenge meant to increase our awareness of healthier choices.

                                      1. re: MartinDC

                                        I thought the same thing. But better than quickfire: tofu