August 12, 2009 08:25 PM by Britteny Elrick
Tonight on Top Chef Masters, chefs Michael Chiarello, Rick Bayless, Hubert Keller, and Anita Lo will compete in their final challenge before the finale. First, their pallets will be put to the test during a blindfolded Quickfire Challenge, and then they will need to create a buffet for 200 Hollywood insiders. Luckily, they will be able to choose three past Top Chef contestants to assist them. Keep reading to see which chefs will advance to the finals…
Kelly tells them that the Quickfire Challenge will be a blindfolded taste test. They will be given 20 ingredients to test. Rick does terrible. In fact, he thought that Hoisin sauce was ranch dressing. Not that I know what hoisin sauce is, but it sure doesn’t look like ranch. Anita and Rick tie with six correct answers, but Michael got seven and wins the challenge.
Kelly tells them they will be creating a buffet lunch for 200 Hollywood insiders for their elimination challenge. The chefs get to choose three sous chefs to help them, and Michael is up first. Once they are all divided into teams, they have thirty minutes to plan their buffet. They receive a budget of $2000 and go to purchase the food. Immediately, Michael’s team starts to butt heads with him and one of the chefs almost punches him. On the other hand, Hubert’s team is all smiles and rainbows and they work together beautifully.
Kelly walks into the kitchen to tell them that the location of the buffet has been changed and they only have thirty minutes to stop cooking and pack up their food. The chefs freak out as if their worlds are ending, but eventually they get moved onto the rooftop of the SLS hotel. This presents several problems as now their food will be in the direct sunlight. Also, Kelly tells them they must get rid of one chef from each team.
The guests arrive, and they hit Rick’s buffet first. He has a Mexican inspired cuisine, of course. His dessert is avocado ice cream that he freezes on the spot with liquid Nitrogen. Anita is doing an Asian raw buffet with a variety of sauces. Michael’s does a rustic Italian buffet with antipasto, but his table looks terrible.
At the judging, they tell Rick that they thought his buffet was elaborate and were impressed with the ice cream. They move on to Hubert and they felt there were too many items to choose from – however, they loved them all. They thought Anita’s raw bar missed a step (eew, raw seafood in the hot sun) but loved her spare ribs. Afterall, ribs do cover all manner of sins. Moving on to Michael, they didn’t like his shrimp and thought the swordfish had a “curious” texture. The chefs feel that they were a bit unreasonable and gave them an unsurmountable task.
Rick and Hubert have the highest scores and both move on to the final round. However, Hubert edges out Rick by a half star and his charity gains another $10k. Anita and Michael are in the bottom two, but Anita doesn’t get enough stars to move on. She goes home and Michael moves on to the finals.
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Photo Credit: Bravo