July 22, 2009 09:12 PM by Britteny Elrick
Tonight on Top Chef Masters, master chefs Art Smith, Jonathan Waxman, Roy Yamaguchi, and Michael Cimarusti will go head to head as they compete for the last spot in the championship round. In their Quickfire Challenge, the chefs must create a mealusing ingredients from only one aisle of the grocery store. Then things get trickyduring the Elimination Challenge as they have to create a meal using a mystery box of ingredients that were chosen by one of the other chefs. I can only hope, for entertainment sake,that the chefs suddenly turn into high school girls when given the opportunity for sabotage.
The master chefs introduce themselves and Kelly instructs them to draw knives. All I know is that I remember Oprah raving about Art Smith, who served as her personal chef for awhile, and so I’m pulling for him. Anyway, they must buy everything they need to create a meal from one aisle at Whole Foods that corresponds to the number on their knife. Oh, and they get twenty bucks. Once they get back from their trip, Kelly tells them that they will be cooking for Whole Foods employees.
Roy had the Italian aisle and created an Asian pasta with a fried egg on top. Jonathan had the international foods aisle and made a mint and roasted pepper salad. Art drew the beans and rice aisle made a multi-grain risotto with a crispy rice salad. Michael got stuck with the bakery aisle and made a chocolate parfait with ginger and sesame crackers. He scores a full five stars and wins the Quickfire Challenge. I mean, who wouldn’t pick the dessert over that other crap?
Now things get sticky. The chefs draw names and must create a mystery box of ingredients for their chef to cook with in the elimination challenge. They will be cooking for the usual critics and a group of culinary students. Later on that evening, the boys put competition aside and cooked a meal for themselves and Kelly.
It’s the day of the elimination challenge, and the chefs open their mystery boxes. Art was overly -I mean, scarily, excited – that chicken was in his box. There wasn’t any sabotage going on among the chefs, they all picked out things they thought the others would like. This seems like a nice concept at first, but I think it’s actually because they think the victory will be more enjoyable if their competition can’t blame their crappy dish on bad ingredients. Oh yea, I’m on to them.
Art serves a very southern comfort-food dish of fried chicken done two ways and a mango pie. Roy presents beef short ribs along with a ginger crusted Mahi Mahi. Michael makes a loin of lamb with a sun-choke puree but didn’t have enough time to put orange sauce on everyone’s plate. Lastly, Jonathan makes an “80′s dish” that looks like something your mom would give you on Sunday afternoon. He cooks pork sausage and pork chops with some kind of celery root something or other.
Now it’s time for them to face the judges. They all participate in a lengthy discussion of flavors, pallets, and words that I’ll inevitably misspell if I try. Jonathan is up first and he receives a total of 20 stars. Roy scores a final total of 15 stars and is immediately eliminated. Michael gains 17.5 stars and is also eliminated. It looks like Jonathan’s 80′s dish is the one to beat. Art gets a perfect 5 stars from the diners and from Gail, bringing his total to 22 stars. Art is the last master chef to move on to the championship round.
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Photo Credit: Bravo