Top Chef: Masters Thoughts for May 5

Hey, folks. It’s time for another week’s review of Top Chef: Masters. We’re taking a quick break from Dew Reviews, but I promise that Whiteout’s already written and will be up on Friday. I’m hoping to try to make this week’s post less “whole episode reviewy” than the past few. This is probably due to my laziness, but it’s also been because of the show’s rushing through, well, everything. This week starts the Champions Round, so hopefully there’ll be less expository garbage and more concentration on food.

The Quickfire is Tag Team cookoff. I hate team matches, but the Tag Team event was one of my favorite bits of Season 6. It’s fairly interesting to see if the receiver gets the vision of the hand-offer and decides to go in a different direction on purpose or by accident.

The quickfire is, for my taste, far too quick. Ther’s about 30 seconds to just short of a minute for each tag of the team. I found the most insightful bit to be about Waxman’s “Obi-Wan” style, as Rick calls it. I got quite the chuckle out of the moment it clicks for Waxman. I’d really like to eat at his place some day – he’s got a clear vision and great chops to execute it.

Overall, there’s actually very little panic in this compared to the first tag team. This surprises me a bit, and I can’t read much from Rayner’s minute worth of thoughts. I can agree with the Blue Team’s victory – Waxman seems to be the guy to join. It’s interesting how both of the quickfire dishes were so similar; these chefs are probably more alike than they are different.

And, oh boy, it’s ANOTHER team event and this time it’s Wedding Wars. I hope it has some amount of comedy. It’s very tough for people to excel in either Restaurant Wars or Wedding Wars because it’s such a giant challenge. The Blue Team goes with the Bride, and she just doesn’t seem to like anything… at least, the editors show us that. We barely get anything on the Red Team and the groom, except that he just HAS to have a carrot cake.

Susur Lee’s knife skills continue to amaze me. This guy’s like a woodchipper, except with hands and knives. Watching him destroy these vegetables is like art. Much like his knife action, the prep time is over in the blink of an eye. The editors continue to show us things only going well; I haven’t seen much panic or problems. Sure, there’s plenty of grumbling about time, but something that is a bit refreshing is that these guys grin, bear it, and kick ass. There’s a reason they’re on Masters.

The grumbling grows as they get closer to serving time. The Blue Team’s appetizers come out, and James Oseland is back. Bleh. Still, the blue team’s got some good stuff. Plenty of positive comments all around, except for Rick’s dish. I dunno. Once again, there just isn’t much there for me to pull out. Doing all of the challenge work for the main course in probably 15 minutes of screen time is just not enough.

Lastly, it’s dessert time. Blue team has the bizarro cake and banana’s foster. Red Team has Susur’s huge array of desserts. I’ve got a lot of respect for the quantity that he put out, and the reaction (that’s it, reaction) seems positive. Susan’s cake, with the potporri of berries… not so much.

Critic’s table is not drawn out at all as far as the winning team is concerned. Blue team wins, four people are not going to be eliminated. Thankfully, Waxman is going forward. I think he’s got a great chance of taking the whole thing. Jody wins the top prize, and it reminds me that I still need to drive to Cambridge and go to her restaurant. Got that over with quickly, with ten whole minutes left in the hour for the losers. That seems awfully long. Very few positive comments and not getting a feel at all for who’s going home. Jay Rayner has similar thoughts as Kevin does on “simple” dishes, which seem to escape Oseland. Man, that guy is such a downer; I wonder how many more weeks we have of him.

Carmen is totally getting destroyed here, unfortunately. 11 stars. Tony and Susur are safe, so it’s Marcus vs. Carmen, and the judges already gave him 9 stars. Guests gave him 4, so unfortunately, Carmen goes home. I’m not sure if she’d want to hug Marcus after what he said a few weeks ago. Also, why was everybody clapping when Carmen came in as a loser? Seemed a bit strange to me. Anyway, her corn salad, while probably tasty, looked to be very minimal, even though she seemed to execute it well according to comments. Yet Marcus, who seemed to make a crime against beef, gets more stars? I don’t understand these guys.

We leave another episode of Masters a little confused but entertained by neat food, as we usually do. Come back next week for more fun… and food.

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