May 04, 2011 09:00 PM by Lisa Princ
Bravo‘s Top Chef Masters is back tonight with a brand new episode in which Curtis Stone issued the contestants another culinary challenge that was near and dear to his heart. Keep reading for all the details!
On tonight’s episode of Top Chef Masters, we saw what looked like a fast and casual theme, which rings near and dear to Curtis Stone, who just finished up on America’s Next Great Restaurant in which it was fast, casual, dining. For the quickfire challenge this week, the chefs to choose from a table filled with ingredients, all marked with prices and create an appetizer for under one dollar – yes, a buck! Talk about a tough challenge! Joining Curtis this week to judge the quickfire were Brendan Newnam and Rico Galiano of “The Dinner Party Download”.
It was interesting to see what some of the chefs did manage to create though, such as Celina’s spicy carrot soup, Mary Sue’s BLT salad and Naomi’s asparagus bread salad – she was trying to go with more bang for your buck. The other dishes created for under a dollar in the challenge were a Lyonnaise salad made by Hugh; a spiced squid from Alex; grilled calamari salad done by George; chicken paillard by Traci and shrimp with asparagus made by Floyd.
The judges did not like the grilled calamari as it was bland and they hoped it would have been kicked up a notch as well as the BLT salad in which they claimed was too salty. Their favorites were the carrot soup, the spiced squid and the bread salad. It was Naomi’s bread and asparagus salad that won them over, earning her the win as well as immunity and $5k for her charity, Seed Savers Exchange.
But the fast food concept did not end there. For their main dish challenge, the contestants were sent to shop blind, only being told that they would need to feed 100 people and they would not be using utensils. After they finished their shopping, Curtis met them at a local fast food restaurant where it then became clear what kind of food they would be cooking – fast food! With that now in mind, we watched as some of the chefs re-thought their dishes while others did not and stuck with their original ideas.
The chefs were split into two groups, who each took turns cooking and running the restaurant, as well as a drive through. Naomi who had immunity to decided to tackle the drive though and when the dining room became backed up, she removed her headset and started to help out there. That proved to be a big mistake as Curtis and Danielle showed up at the drive through and had to wait quite a few moments for her to get that headset back to take their orders. This group actually did not do a bad job, but when they traded places it went downhill fast.
As they switched, the diners began to flow in and orders started to back up. Celina could not get a grip on giving out the orders to the chefs who were cooking while Hugh spent way too much time mingling from the cash register. When the judges pulled up to the drive through this time, they waited longer than they did the last but eventually got all their food. The judges were pleasantly surprised at how some of the chefs adapted their dishes to fit into the fast food environment, but sadly not everyone did.
When it came time to taste and judge the dishes, the winner of the challenge was Mary Sue who just happened to have a fryer handy to fry up some fritters that the judges just adored, giving her $10k for her charity, Share our strength which prevent childhood hunger. But there were some bad dishes as well including Alex’ fish taco was “too sweet” and they were disappointed that he did not fry the fish first. Celina was also in the bottom for her “wrap” that was laid out like a pancake and not fast food friendly. Ultimately though it was George’s pork kabobs that were the biggest disappointed due to their lack of imagination, flavor or even sauce on the side thus sending George Mendes home this week!
Then be sure to tune next week at 10 pm EST on Bravo for a brand new episode of Top Chef Masters!
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