Master Chef Begins Again: Gator Triumphs

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Master Chef is back again. Contestants battle it out to win $250,000 and the title of Master Chef. The judges: Gordon Ramsey (of course), Graham Elliot (youngest 4-star chef in America), and Joe Bastianich (owner of multiple wineries and 24 Italian restaurants -- you got to love the way he sniffs every bit of food he samples).

Last night featured try-outs --and contestants ranging from totally nutty to a total hoot. Which was Albert, the alligator guy, who won a coveted spot on the show? Haven't quite decided, but even Bastianich was impressed by the flavors in Albert's sausage and gator jambalaya dish and called his first bite ever of alligator, toothsome. Albert earned a unanimous vote to continue on in the competition. 

My personal favorite had nothing to do with gators, and everything to do with lamb heart. That's right, this Scottish contestant preparing haggis was a trip. Her vibrant personality shone through the reality TV snippets and you can see why Ramsey said she had posh.

Also of note were Monica, who prepared the Korean dish bimibap and Tracy, a Coral Springs, FL native, who made it through to the next round despite topping her wild mushroom risotto and egg with the dreaded white truffle oil.

Christian Collins, the last contestant featured on last night's show, proved one to watch. His cioppino, or as he called it shipwreck stew, wowed the judges. Collins hails from seafood haven Gloucester, MA.

But who will win is still anyone's game. The next episode will still feature tryouts. Chef Ramsey is bound to offer advice similar to what he told the hopefuls last night, "You're here because you want to become the next Master Chef. Trust me, wanting it is not enough. You have to become culinary perfection."

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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