Top Chef Masters: Episode 5

Left to Right: Michael Chiarello, Nils Noren, Lachlan Patterson, Rick Moonen

Dear Top Chef Masters Contestants,

First of all, congratulations on your recognition. After years of toiling in ungodly circumstances, shedding blood and tears, and doing so before there was any prospect of becoming a celebrity chef, you’re finally getting some well deserved attention in the national spotlight. What’s more, you’re donating your time to helping out a charity that you care about and I’m sure those organizations sing your praises for your hard work. If I may make one humble suggestion though. And this is a minor thing I’ve come to notice with the TCM cast, could you guys please.. for the love of God.. PLATE YOUR MOTHER F$%#ING FOOD before time runs out?! Is it that hard?! Do you see that clock with the numbers on it? When there is only the number 00:15 shortly followed by the the number 00:14 then followed by 00:13.. you see where I’m going with this? Just take what you have and put it on the damn plate.

Is it because you hate your charity or charities in general? I mean don’t get me wrong, I hate babies with cancer as much as the next guy, but I always own up to it. Sometimes it’s the first thing I tell people about myself when being introduced. You’d be surprised, there’s dozens of us out there. Dozens! Go ahead, say it chef.. you can do it. Say, “I hate cancer babies.” How much do you hate cancer babies chef? Say, “Almost as much as I hate Kelly Choi and her dead goat fetish.” Wow chef, that’s a lot of hate. Doesn’t that feel good to get that off your chest? I know I feel better. Glad we had this little talk. Let’s discuss this week’s TCM episode shall we?

More cancer baby hate after the jump..

So this week, we had a fairly unrecognizable crew face a few decent challenges. Meet Michael Chiarello, Nils Noren, Lachlan Patterson and Rick Moonen. All very accomplished and, for the most part, equal in skills. Everyone had a few big hits and a few misses, so as far as competition goes, it was an interesting matchup.

Quickfire brought back the old Season 1 junk food challenge and introduced a new concept to me personally: swordfish meatballs by Chiarello as an interpretation of fish sticks. Nil had fried shrimp but didn’t fry the shrimp, Lachlan took the hot dog but didn’t cook the dog, and Rick took my favorite of the choices, corndogs, most likely out of spite so I would get angry at him for not plating anything. Well played Rick, well played. My roommate was amused by my fist shaking and liberal profanity. You win this round. Chiarello locks down with a solid 4-star victory. Rick gets zero.

Elimination challenge was more a test of stamina than culinary innovation. Each chef was in charge of making 3 hors d’oeuvres by themselves, 100 of each to be exact, for what appeared to be anyone hanging around at the Bravo studio on that particular day. I wasn’t able to catch all the ingredients for each of the chef’s three plates, but the highlights included: Chiarello’s “Pissed Off” spicy prawns, Lachlam’s braised shortribs with just a “kiss” on the grill, and Nil’s slow cooked salmon. Rick, the bastard that somehow grew on me over the course of the hour, ends up delivering one of the best presentations. His brandade of scallops and shrimp won rave reviews and his 100 individually made panna cotta deserts literally gets the “we’re not worthy” bow from the judges. Some redemption was earned.

So Rick ends up getting beat out by Chiarello by just 2.5 stars, even though he put up a donut for the quickfire. I guess that’s just tough shit for Rick. Chiarello had a little something to prove, being the guy furthest removed from the kitchen, so yet another old vet moves on for the finals and we are left with just one more episode before the grand finale. Next week is the last chance for us to see someone get bitch slapped. Cross your fingers.

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  • David Dust July 16, 2009  

    LOL – You are right, these “Masters” should know how to tell time.

    Great recap. Check mine out here…


  • Summer July 16, 2009  

    Yeah, Rick tried to make some drama by not plating his corndogs, but the REAL shocker of the episode was that Kelly made a comment about the food! She said the brandade was crunchy. I’m so glad she mentioned that, I never would have guessed otherwise.

  • Bliz July 16, 2009  

    I find it highly amusing that the camera cuts away from her everytime she’s talking. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just made her record her sound bites and then requested she never open her mouth while on set unless absolutely necessary

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