Top Chef Masters Recap: Heaven and Rock 'n' Roll RV Hell

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The cheftestants walk into the kitchen to see Curtis and gourmet ingredients. Curtis says these ingredients are heavenly...

Quickfire Challenge

The table is full of heavenly ingredients like foie gras, scallops, and prime beef, and nary a bug or canned good is in sight. The catch?

Remember the quickfire challenge when Tom Colicchio set the bar by making a dish in eight minutes? Well, the cheftestants have to make a dish in seven minutes.

Wait -- it gets better. They have to make two identical plates in the "seven minutes in heaven challenge" (Get it? Seven minutes in heaven? Where you make out with someone in a closet for seven minutes à la junior high school?)

The chefs are going nutso. They're running around. Hugh is making tuna and says he might be making the most elaborate cat food of all time. Hah! Hugh has all the one-liners. Without him, this season would be a snorefest. These "serious chefs" are too "serious." In another kick in the head, the chefs have to judge each other (in other words, they couldn't find a muppet to guest-judge tonight's quickfire).

The chefs have to rank each dish from one to seven -- one being the best, seven the worst.

  • Hugh makes tuna two ways chopped with caviar
  • Traci makes tenderloin beef carpaccio
  • Naomi prepares seared foie gras with lady apples
  • Celina makes diver scallop crudo
  • Mary Sue cooks scallops with pink salt, lime, and cilantro
  • Alex makes prawn ceviche
  • Floyd prepares prawn with Serrano chili

The results are as follows: 

  • Hugh gets three sevens, including from himself (that's right -- Hugh gave himself the lousiest score possible)
  • Traci gets great scores
  • Naomi gets a 1 from Hugh, but Floyd gives her dish a 6
  • Celina gets lousy scores
  • Mary Sue's dish gets lukewarm scores all around
  • Alex is the only one who doesn't like his own dish
  • Floyd likes his own dish the best

Celina is at the bottom, and Traci is the winner.

Elimination Challenge

The cheftestants have to split into two teams. Traci won the Quickfire, so she can pick her team, and she picks Hugh, Mary Sue, and Naomi. Alex, Floyd, and Celina are on the other team.

The teams must cook dinner for Maroon 5. The challenge is about time management. Each team has to make a family-style dinner, preparing dishes according to what each band member likes (sorry, I know only Adam Levine's name), and each likes a different thing -- Mexican, Japanese, vegetarian, Thanksgiving, and... corn (one of guys is from Nebraska and, apparently, homesick).

Each team has an RV that it has to cook in. On the way back from shopping, the cheftestants start to prep the vegetables.

Floyd is cooking over the toilet. I'm really glad I'm not eating his stuff. The cheftestants are having a hard time preparing their dishes in the teeny RV kitchen that's probably the way 50 percent of Americans cook.

Hugh is hil-ar-e-ous! He says that Mary Sue has covered the bed with tostadas and that's no fetish he's ever heard of before. He also says he's not worried because he's got youth and panache and one eyebrow on his side. I love this serial-killer-looking cheftestant. I want to totally write him letters in prison when they finally find the bodies he must have stashed in his attic. 

The cheftestants manage to prepare:

  • Floyd - Winter salad and steak.
  • Celina - Corn soup and crispy salad with spanakopita.
  • Alex - Overcooked pasta with runny sauce and breaded turkey cutlets, enchiladas, and tapioca.
  • Mary Sue - Salsa diablo, guacamole and chips, tostadas.
  • Hugh - Fennel and corn soup and spanakopita.
  • Traci - Japanese-style steak. And a margarita. 
  • Naomi - Breaded turkey and apple crisp.

Adam Levine said that given the fact that they made the food in an RV, it was incredible. 

Judges Table

The Black Team (Traci, Mary Sue, Naomi, and Hugh) is called in to the Judges Table. They're the winning team. Gayle said the food was comforting. The winning chef is Traci.

The Red Team (Alex, Floyd, and Celina) are the losing team. James Oseland (who, by the way is not wearing another picnic tablecloth tonight) said Alex's enchilada was bizarre. Alex is given the boot and told to go packing.

Next week: Blindfolded taste testing, and Mary Sue cuts her thumb off and throws it in the garbage as a couple practically have sex in the dining room. I'll have what they're having.

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


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