Top Chef: Masters Wrapup, 4/7/10

OK, so, what’s going on here? It’s Top Chef, that’s what.

This show is a rolling Lexus ad. Something tells me there’s going to be tons of Toyota placement here, even moreso than usual.

They pull the old quickfire switch-a-roo on the team, dumping them off at a gas station and playing the “You’ve got 45 minutes to make something from gas station food” trick. The Masters have used their imaginations here, which surprises me a bit. Cheet-Os macaroni and cheese? Interesting.

I’ve never heard of The Bravery, so I’m not sure how much I should count their opinions.

Susan and Tony chose to go with a bread pudding. It doesn’t look very attractive, but I do like bread pudding, so it

Govino and Jimmy did the flamin’ hot Cheetos macaroni with the slim jims. It looks… well, flamin’ hot red.

Ana and Jerry do the rice cake with clamato. Again, not very attractive, but I bet it was probably OK.

The verdict is in, with the bread pudding winning. Not surprising that a sweet dish won, given that these guys probably like sweet or “heavy” foods. Kudos for something that doesn’t look all that great but still tastes good. I would probably like to try that Mac n Cheese for something geared towards an entree.

Something that seems common across these guys is that they don’t take people that they see as below them having valid opinions, or would probably argue with them a lot. The chefs are surprisingly candid; the honesty seems a bit odd compared to the pointed cattiness in usual Top Chef. Govino’s certainly got some jaws on him, though, he’ll take hits on anyone apparently.

The elimination challenge is another team event. I don’t like team events in general since it means less food to look at, but the dynamics can be interesting. The theme was harmonies as if the dish was a date of two people.

Govino and Jimmy served a lamb carpaccio and a lamb chop. Visually, from the TV, they looked like they went together well and the judge’s banter seemed positive. I’ve never had a lamb carpaccio; it sounds like it would need to be executed perfectly to avoid the raw lamb falling on its face.

Ana and Jerry had the duck breast with soup. People liked the taste, but the soup’s presentation left a lot to be desired. This one just needs to be tasted in person; I don’t think the television does it justice and they didn’t really spend much time on it.

Susan and Tony make “the love potion,” with shrimp & scallop combined with pasta and truffles. Susan’s going a little overboard in her description. The truffle pasta gets a “damning with faint praise” from my viewpoint. They liked it but not enough to really get excited about it. The shrimp and scallop dish was remarked as having too much of a kick.

Critic’s table… seems fairly positive. People with down points got some questions, but they keep the knives at bay, as they usually do. These are some of the best, so they treat them with kid gloves. Jerry and Ana ended up with 15 stars, Govino and Jimmy ran up with 12.5 stars, and Susan and Tony finished with 17 stars. Ultimately, this was another trick of editing; Susan and Tony didn’t seem to knock it out of the park at the tables, but apparently everyone likes it a lot.

What do we think about the start? Well… it’s a start. That’s about all I can say at this point. Masters can be cordial and it can also be pointed. The first episode can seem a bit like doing the motions, but there’ll be plenty of chances for unintended comedy… like Zooey Deschanel’s friends. Ugh.

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