HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >

Top Chef Masters Season 4 July 25th

Evilbanana11 May 24, 2012 07:28 PM

Premieres July 25th.

Bravo announced the contestants today:

· Chris Cosentino: Chef/ Partner Incanto Restaurant, San Francisco; Competing for Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research
· Clark Frasier: Owner of Arrows, Ogunquit, Maine; Competing for Outright Lewiston/Auburn
· Mark Gaier:Owner of Arrows, Ogunquit, Maine; Competing for Equality Maine Foundation
· Lorena Garcia: Owner of Lorena Garcia Cocina Restaurant, Miami; Competing for Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Inc
· Debbie Gold: Executive Chef of Kansas City’s The American Restaurant; Competing for Children’s TLC
· Kerry Heffernan: NYC Chef; Competing for City Harvest
· Thierry Rautureau: Chef/owner: Rover’s and Luc, Seattle; Competing for Food Lifeline
· Missy Robbins: Executive Chef: A Voce Madison & A Voce Columbus, New York; Competing for Grow to Learn NYC
· Art Smith: Executive Chef and co-owner: LYFE Kitchen and Southern Art Restaurants; Competing for Common Threads
· Sue Torres: Chef/Owner: Sueños, New York; Competing for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
· Takashi Yagihashi: Owner: Takashi Restaurant and Slurping Turtle, Chicago; Competing for the American Red Cross, benefitting the Japanese Tsunami Disaster Relief
· Patricia Yeo: Om Restaurant & Lounge/ Moksa Pan Asian Izakaya, Cambridge, Mass.; Competing for Heifer Project International


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. w
    Worldwide Diner RE: Evilbanana11 May 24, 2012 08:08 PM

    What qualifies these chefs as masters? I'm just wondering if there's any firm criteria.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Worldwide Diner
      ipsedixit RE: Worldwide Diner May 25, 2012 08:25 AM

      Usu. they are established chefs who have been James Beard Award winners, or winners of other types of culinary achievements, and/or have received critical acclaim for their restaurants (e.g. 3 stars from NYT).

      They usually have more gravitas than the up-and-comers of Top Chef contestants.

      1. re: Worldwide Diner
        ChefJune RE: Worldwide Diner May 25, 2012 09:27 AM

        Technically, I don't believe any of them are Certified Master Chefs through the rigorous program run by the ACF. Most people refer to established (and well-known within the industry) chefs who have mentored and/or trained other chefs as "Master Chefs."

        As well, the name of the show is Top Chef Masters, not Top Master Chefs. (fwiw)

      2. f
        FoodPopulist RE: Evilbanana11 May 24, 2012 08:24 PM

        I'm a huge fan of Chris Consentino. I have eaten at his restaurant. I like his championing of offal. I have enjoyed his TV appearances in the past, including the show Chefs vs City.

        7 Replies
        1. re: FoodPopulist
          Janet from Richmond RE: FoodPopulist May 25, 2012 06:58 AM

          I'm looking forward to him also.

          Art Smith competed before......that's kind of odd.

          1. re: Janet from Richmond
            Evilbanana11 RE: Janet from Richmond May 25, 2012 07:08 AM

            Art Smith: "I made this once for Barack and Michelle, while celebrating Bono's birthday at Oprah's mansion. It was so delicious, Brangelina and the Dalai Lama asked me for the recipe. PS. I'm friends with Will Smith"

            1. re: Evilbanana11
              chris2269 RE: Evilbanana11 May 25, 2012 08:42 AM

              LOL yeah he does name drop a lot.

              1. re: chris2269
                ChefJune RE: chris2269 May 25, 2012 09:27 AM

                but his food is delicious!

              2. re: Evilbanana11
                wincountrygirl RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 24, 2012 09:20 AM

                Can't stand Art Smith

                1. re: Evilbanana11
                  2roadsdiverge RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 26, 2012 02:05 PM

                  "I cook for billionaires. I don't do budgets"

                2. re: Janet from Richmond
                  lenwood RE: Janet from Richmond Jul 25, 2012 01:34 PM

                  Last year, too, they selected some chefs that had previously competed and stated so at the beginning.

              3. j
                jujuthomas RE: Evilbanana11 May 25, 2012 06:33 AM

                oh, I can't wait! thanks for posting the info - i hadn't seen this. :)

                1. b
                  bear RE: Evilbanana11 May 25, 2012 08:19 AM

                  Thanks for posting. I was afraid that they weren't going to have a fourth season.

                  Chris Cosentino is the standout for me after a quick glance, and Art Smith should be fun. Patricia Yeo is working outside of Boston now, so I'll have a local to watch.

                  This is my favorite food reality show. There tends to be much less drama than the regular TC.

                  1. ChefJune RE: Evilbanana11 May 25, 2012 09:29 AM

                    It's an interesting and very talented group of chefs. I'm a big fan of Takashi and Thierry Rautureau.

                    1. chefhound RE: Evilbanana11 May 25, 2012 10:06 AM

                      I hope they revamp the format. Last season was terrible. Chefs of this calibre bitching and demeaning themselves. The first two seasons were great - the chefs showed a lot of camaraderie and it was about the cooking. The last season was so depressing - watching respected chefs behave with such incivility. I hope the producers took a good look at how the show went and go back to a more dignified format.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: chefhound
                        Debbie M RE: chefhound May 25, 2012 01:05 PM

                        That's exactly how I felt about Seasons 1-2 versus 3. Towards the end, I didn't even care if I missed episodes. I'm going with the low expectation that this season will have the same format as last, but I will be watching, at least at first, because I like Francis Lam, and I'll be interested to see how he is as a judge, and also for local boy Chris Cosentino.

                        1. re: chefhound
                          2roadsdiverge RE: chefhound Jul 26, 2012 02:06 PM

                          From the previews of future episodes, the amount of bickering has not been reduced. Even in this episode we saw some bitchiness.

                        2. a
                          arjunsr RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 23, 2012 02:53 PM

                          bump to remind its starting this week :)

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: arjunsr
                            jujuthomas RE: arjunsr Jul 23, 2012 07:10 PM

                            thanks, I'd totally forgotten! :)

                            1. re: arjunsr
                              Janet from Richmond RE: arjunsr Jul 24, 2012 08:00 AM

                              Thanks!! I'd forgotten as well.

                              1. re: arjunsr
                                C. Hamster RE: arjunsr Jul 24, 2012 04:58 PM

                                Thanks for the bump!!!

                              2. w
                                wincountrygirl RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 24, 2012 09:17 AM

                                Having just eaten at MC Perkins Cove, I can't wait to see what Mark and Clark can really do.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: wincountrygirl
                                  C. Hamster RE: wincountrygirl Jul 25, 2012 04:15 AM

                                  Where is their restaurant, in relationship to Barnacle Billy's and the end of the road with the little shops??

                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                    Joanie RE: C. Hamster Jul 25, 2012 04:16 AM

                                    Just a bit further down on the left.
                                    I find it odd that they're both on.

                                    1. re: Joanie
                                      huiray RE: Joanie Jul 25, 2012 05:05 AM

                                      I was curious and looked for and peeked at their website but did not see listings of the personnel/staff. Who was minding the store while BOTH chefs were competing on TCM? Did quality "go down the tubes" in their joint absence (and sequestration)?

                                      1. re: huiray
                                        wincountrygirl RE: huiray Jul 25, 2012 09:10 AM

                                        Well, if they were taping in May when I was there, yes!

                                    2. re: C. Hamster
                                      wincountrygirl RE: C. Hamster Jul 25, 2012 09:09 AM

                                      Keep going into Perkins Cove after the parking lot and where all the little shops are. I think it used to be called Hurricane. It's on the ocean.


                                  2. C. Hamster RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 25, 2012 07:08 PM


                                    I have walked around there for years but not noticed it. I will now!

                                    1. LindaWhit RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 25, 2012 08:13 PM

                                      An interesting first show - I liked it! The twists were interesting. Glad to see the winner of the Quickfire and expected the win for the Elimination Challenge based on the visual of the dish.

                                      I'll continue to watch to "Watch What Happens." (Gah - can't believe I just did that! LOL)

                                      But I can definitely see head butting is going to happen - a LOT of strong personalities this season.

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        Worldwide Diner RE: LindaWhit Jul 25, 2012 08:19 PM

                                        Art's bragging again. I serve billionaires - I don't have a budget. I have 5 restaurants and won 2 James Beard - mmmkay.

                                        1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                          ChefJune RE: Worldwide Diner Jul 26, 2012 07:01 AM

                                          Some people can't blow their nose without bragging.

                                          I was sad to see Missy Robbins get so hurt she had to leave. Kinda wished the "critics" had not eliminated another chef, but oh well.

                                          1. re: Worldwide Diner
                                            LindaWhit RE: Worldwide Diner Jul 26, 2012 07:24 AM

                                            Yeah, it was a bit much from Art. And then his petulance with Chris Cosentino when Chris (at first) wouldn't give him scallions. Those two have already butted heads twice in this one episode. I suspect there will be more to come.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              2roadsdiverge RE: LindaWhit Jul 26, 2012 02:09 PM

                                              Interesting that you saw it as Art being petulant while I saw it as Chris being an ass.

                                              1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                                LindaWhit RE: 2roadsdiverge Jul 26, 2012 05:16 PM

                                                I don't think Chris was any great shakes, but Art was particularly whiny.

                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                            huiray RE: LindaWhit Jul 26, 2012 09:54 AM

                                            I still don't particularly care for their adopting the TC format for TCM. The 1st season's format wasn't the best either, but game-playing was lessened as befitting professional chefs of this caliber. I still wonder if some sort of cumulative scoring over several episodes could work before some cut-off point where the best x chefs go on etc.

                                            Not sure I consider the assignments of "Indian buffet" versus "Mexican buffet" to be equal. I feel the "Mexican" assignment was 'more familiar' between the two to the chefs as a whole, so to speak...

                                            ETA: In Hugh Acheson's blog on this opening episode he said this about the Mexican/Indian divide: "...Not so Indian either. It’s becoming clear that they got the more difficult, or at least more unfamiliar, ethnic cuisine." OTOH, James Oseland's blog said: " I was expecting the Red Team to have a much harder time with their last-minute instruction to make the buffet Mexican than the Blue Team would have with their theme of Indian." then went on to say that he thought Indian food "...relies on a certain basic palette of flavors—cumin, coriander, lime, turmeric, chiles, cardamom—which I would have thought would be simple to apply to whatever dishes the Blue Team had planned...". Hmm, not sure I buy that.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              donovt RE: LindaWhit Jul 27, 2012 07:03 PM

                                              Do you know what the most disappointing part of the first episode was? LindaWhit didn't do a full recap. Boo Linda, boo......

                                              1. re: donovt
                                                LindaWhit RE: donovt Jul 27, 2012 07:14 PM

                                                LOL! I'm watching TCM4 for the enjoyment, donut. :-)

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  KailuaGirl RE: LindaWhit Jul 30, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                  Drat! I was hoping it was just an oversight.

                                                  1. re: KailuaGirl
                                                    LindaWhit RE: KailuaGirl Jul 30, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                    Nope. Have never done recaps for TCM...at least I'm pretty sure I haven't! LOL Don't think I even watched last season. We'll see re: TC this year.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                      John E. RE: LindaWhit Jul 31, 2012 03:30 PM

                                                      If it is easier Linda, you could do a recap that is not quite so 'live' to take some of the pressure off. You could watch the entire episode and THEN write your recap. (As I recall you do have a DVR?)

                                            2. ipsedixit RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 26, 2012 07:59 AM

                                              For some reason I find the TCM format really boring.

                                              Maybe it's because their own skin isn't in the game; it's just for charity. There's less at stake (personally and professionally for the chefs), and ergo less tension and drama.

                                              26 Replies
                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                LindaWhit RE: ipsedixit Jul 26, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                I dunno. I think there will be drama. Art Smith seems to be one who might cause it. They're all seasoned chefs, used to having their own way in the kitchen. But as compared to regular TC? I'm *THANKFUL* there isn't as much drama.

                                                The blogs are up - Hugh Acheson's is funny right off the bat:

                                                I feel for you. I was in your position. I too toiled through the Masters stage, taking critiques, sometimes profound, sometimes obtuse, sometimes off the mark, from Curtis “Ken Doll” Stone, James “Wise Hipster” Oseland, Ruth “Daily Haiku” Reichl, and the bevy of odd visiting judges.


                                                He does a helluva hammering job on Art Smith. ;-)

                                                ETA: BTW, I couldn't believe I heard correctly when Art Smith was in WF the 2nd time shopping for Mexican ingredients "Cilantro. Where is cilantro." A bit more running around and then he said "What IS cilantro?" I rewound the DVR a few times to be sure. He really said it. Stunned.

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  ipsedixit RE: LindaWhit Jul 26, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                  Here's the thing.

                                                  With TC, there's angst amongst the cheftestants not only because they are all so insecure and still trying to make their mark in the world -- but they're sequestered and living together for months.

                                                  TCM has none of that. Just pure competition. It's like one long serial season of Chopped.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                    LindaWhit RE: ipsedixit Jul 26, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                    Are you sure they're not living in the Cosmopolitan Hotel? I know Ruth Reichl said on her blog that the judges are there (her room is larger than her apt., she said).

                                                    They film this in one sitting - about 30 days, just as they do the regular TC (I don't think it's months - Tom Colicchio has always said it's a day in/day out thing - 30 days to film the episodes).

                                                    So why aren't these chefs subjected to the same thing - sequestered until the end of the show is filmed? I don't think they get to go back to their restaurants. I wonder if anyone recalls Hugh Acheson saying anything about that on his blog.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                      ipsedixit RE: LindaWhit Jul 26, 2012 08:59 AM

                                                      Yes, but you don't see their daily lives (or the backscenes) like you do in TC -- like the toilet seat prank with the saran wrap ...

                                                      Plus, they're in a hotel with separate rooms and locking doors and privacy.

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                        LindaWhit RE: ipsedixit Jul 26, 2012 09:07 AM

                                                        Well, as I said earlier - I'm thankful we don't see any personal drama. I want to see the cooking and how they do with twists like "OK, you cook Mexican food and you cook Indian food" after having already bought their ingredients.

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                          saeyedoc RE: LindaWhit Jul 26, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                          But they could go back to WF for more ingredients, the Indian group's mistake was not doing that.

                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                    huiray RE: LindaWhit Jul 26, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                    What, he's (HA, that is) retiring his "Aussie Blond Bombshell" moniker for CS?

                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                      LindaWhit RE: huiray Jul 26, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                      I like "Ken Doll" better. ;-)

                                                    2. re: LindaWhit
                                                      huiray RE: LindaWhit Jul 26, 2012 10:54 AM

                                                      What about Daily Haiku's blog... http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef-maste...
                                                      "Until you get used to eating with almost naked men, it’s a little hard to concentrate."

                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                        LindaWhit RE: huiray Jul 26, 2012 11:27 AM

                                                        I was hoping someone else would see that, huiray. I do have to say - I quite agree with Daily Haiku. ;-)

                                                      2. re: LindaWhit
                                                        arjunsr RE: LindaWhit Jul 26, 2012 10:59 AM

                                                        glad i waited to see hugh's blog before commenting. i would have never realized that lorena garcia was the taco bell cantina chef.

                                                        art has always seemed very down to earth/friendly anytime i've seen him before last night. he was annoying/rude and condescending.

                                                        1. re: arjunsr
                                                          cwdonald RE: arjunsr Jul 26, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                          Can anyone tell me how many of the chefs have competed before? I thought Takahashi, Art Smith and Debbie Gold all had... others?

                                                          1. re: cwdonald
                                                            Joanie RE: cwdonald Jul 27, 2012 05:40 AM

                                                            Thierry was on before.

                                                          2. re: arjunsr
                                                            Janet from Richmond RE: arjunsr Jul 30, 2012 06:48 AM

                                                            I think Art is hungry now ;-) Some mac & cheese would cheer him right up.

                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                              LindaWhit RE: Janet from Richmond Jul 30, 2012 06:54 AM

                                                              LOL! By jove, that could be it!

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                huiray RE: LindaWhit Jul 30, 2012 07:09 AM

                                                                By Jupiter, maybe his blood sugar still drops (maybe) during these non-stop activity sessions? (He was diagnosed as diabetic but is said to have "reversed" that [or was it just the "diagnosis" thereof?] after his dieting and exercise and weight loss)

                                                            2. re: arjunsr
                                                              acgold7 RE: arjunsr Jul 30, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                              All fat people who lose a lot of weight become thoroughly obnoxious. It is for this reason that I have resolved to stay as fat as possible.

                                                              1. re: acgold7
                                                                Moon Cake RE: acgold7 Jul 31, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                                You're my new hero.

                                                                1. re: acgold7
                                                                  hambone RE: acgold7 Jul 31, 2012 05:58 PM

                                                                  Reminds me of the old Henny Youngman joke, "Husband makes a passing comment about his wife's wait. "Do you want a wife who is skinny or pleasant?" she asks. Husband thinks a moment... "That depends, how much fatter are you going to get before you are nice?'"

                                                              2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                Joanie RE: LindaWhit Jul 27, 2012 05:59 AM

                                                                Hugh's blog was great. My favorite section listed below. But did you notice Linda (or anyone else but since we're in Boston, we may be paying more attention) that when he's intro-ing the chefs, he says "We have Patricia Yeo" and every other chef gets a fun little description? I wondered if he'd seem disparaging or ignore her more in the wrap up but he doesn't at all. It was kind of odd.

                                                                "As Art giggles at the poor people cleaning up his mess he states, “I cook for billionaires; I don’t have budgets.” Nice one; very man of the people.

                                                                They get back to the kitchen and it’s scratch and win time. Various consequences occur, like team switching, monetary bonuses, time penalties, and something called “waterboarding by Curtis.”

                                                                The big surprise comes when they are informed that though they have already shopped and come up with their dishes, one team is now deemed Mexican and one deemed Indian. They will now be profiled by the TSA and the Vegas police. I would have challenged the idea and made Mayan food, hitting both sides of the equation.

                                                                Team Mexican sends Art shopping, but Art has had a personal shopper since 1985 and this will be the second time in 1/4 of a a century that he has had to go to the grocery store. The last time was an hour ago. Back in 1984, he and Oprah used to go down to Kroger a lot."

                                                                1. re: Joanie
                                                                  LindaWhit RE: Joanie Jul 27, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                                  I *did* notice that he didn't give any fun descriptive background on Patricia Yeo and wondered what that was about.

                                                                  Hugh's blogs are always a fun read, but with people he knows? Could be snort-inducing (I know when I read it yesterday I did!)

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    huiray RE: LindaWhit Jul 27, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                                    He's treading on eggshells because he does still have to work with people who are his compatriots after all is said and done.

                                                                    1. re: huiray
                                                                      LindaWhit RE: huiray Jul 27, 2012 10:23 AM

                                                                      True. Except he did throw out the caveat at the beginning of the blog telling them all he was going to make fun of them. Because he could. Didn't mean he didn't respect them as chefs. I actually think it gives him MORE license to be a bit more acerbic about them!

                                                                      "That said, I want you to clearly understand something: I am going to make fun of you. No matter what I say or write, realize that my respect for you is always there and I mean no disrespect. Remember: it’s TV. My humor is a little on the acerbic side, so think it through before you get offended. When we do meet up I will give you a big hug, buy you a lot to drink, and you can make fun of my monobrow. I can take it. "

                                                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  Dee S RE: LindaWhit Jul 27, 2012 01:14 PM

                                                                  Linda, did you notice how long Art was shopping? When he left, the clock was at 4 hours and so many minutes. When he got back, there was an HOUR left!!!! What???

                                                                  Maybe all the time was spent looking for cilantro....seriously.....

                                                                  1. re: Dee S
                                                                    LindaWhit RE: Dee S Jul 27, 2012 03:40 PM

                                                                    Whoa - I didn't see the time clock - I figured he was there for a long time, because Chris was very rushed when he told Art about being a team without the chef who cut herself.

                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    ratgirlagogo RE: LindaWhit Jul 28, 2012 05:55 PM

                                                                    I heard the "What IS cilantro?" with some amazement as well, but I'm still not sure it wasn't just the bad sound. What made me laugh though was him saying, "I STILL don't know what they're talking about. What's a Fresno chile?" I know what it is, but he has a point. For TCM challenge purposes the difference between a Fresno and a regular jalapeno probably wouldn't be worth the time he spent trying to figure it out.

                                                                3. e
                                                                  Evilbanana11 RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 26, 2012 08:35 PM

                                                                  I'm rooting for Chris and Patricia. I hope anyone but anyone but Art Smith wins.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Evilbanana11
                                                                    saeyedoc RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 27, 2012 07:11 AM

                                                                    To me the only person more annoying than Art is Paula Deen, at least she's not on this show so far, she seems to pop up everywhere.

                                                                    1. re: saeyedoc
                                                                      2roadsdiverge RE: saeyedoc Jul 30, 2012 01:57 PM

                                                                      Paula's a Food Network person. There's not a lot of crossover between Bravo and FN. Some, but not a lot.

                                                                  2. C. Hamster RE: Evilbanana11 Jul 27, 2012 07:35 AM

                                                                    The new slim and trim Art has grown very wearysome already ...

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                      huiray RE: C. Hamster Jul 27, 2012 07:41 AM

                                                                      He does seem to be portrayed as a bit of a Bitchy Queen. That saddens me.

                                                                    Show Hidden Posts