Food News

Top Chef Masters Recap: Weird Science

Last episode, the cheftestants helped a geek propose to the girl of their dreams (and we learned that Gael Greene was a hot little number).

Quickfire Challenge

Boy toy Curtis Stone says the cheftestants are standing in a kitchen packed with state of the art appliances but they cant use any of them. Instead they can only use a make breakfast. I guess by state of the art appliances, they mean a blender? Because even though microwaves are hated by real chefs, they are kind of state of the art compared to a pressure cooker.

The judges for this challenge are two women who are on the go a lot (meaning women who use a microwave to cook with, unlike the cheftestants). They have ten minutes for the challenge.

The cheftestants are having problems making eggs in the microwave, which is interesting because that seems like the one thing that fast food restaurants seem to have down.

The guest diners are revealed as Francis and Angela better known as Frangela. I think they have a radio show. Or were on MSNBC or something. A long time ago. The cheftestants make:

Naomi - biscuit egg sandwich

Hugh - baked chanterelle and egg

Mary Sue - warm goat cheese and avocado sandwich

Floyd - chanterelle, spinach and bacon omelet

Traci - oeufs en cocotte

In the "good things to know" department, Curtis says never cook bacon naked. Floyd adds never use a meat grinder naked either. Words of wisdom. Thanks, guys.

Frangela liked Hugh's baked egg the best.


Curtis says that recipes are like scientific formulas. He then brings out five people in lab coats. They're actual scientists. Each cheftestant gets to pick a scientist to work with and a property - elasticity, viscosity, emulsion, Maillard reaction (browning), and acidity.

They're to make a dish that represents that scientific property and then be able to "teach" that property to a group of school kids.

Hugh picks emulsion

Mary Sue chooses viscosity

Naomi gets elasticity

Floyd chooses Maillard reaction

Traci chooses acidity

Hugh said he was skipping class when they were learning about science.

The cheftestants shop at Whole Foods. By the way, they're cooking on Bunsen burners and induction burners and serving the food on Petri dishes. Totally awesome. Wow they're so polite to each other. Mary sue had money left over and actually bought something for Floyd.

Hugh says his scientist thinks he's an idiot. His scientist says that Hugh's not a scientist because you have to be curious to be a scientist. Apparently also a douche.

The students come in to the edible science fair. Hugh makes a great example for emulsification - its like a married couple who don't like each other but have to get together.

Padma is here, by the way. Probably because the season is almost ending and she's going to start plugging regular Top Chef season 826 or something. Shameless marketing by Bravo....

Mary Sue teaches Padma about viscosity by making churros and having the different sauces run down a Petri dish.

Hugh makes fried okra and salad with mayonnaise and green goddess dressing. James Oseland doesn't get the whole emulsion concept and Hugh obviously learns from his scientist because he's a douche to James Oseland.

Traci shows how acidity works by demonstrating how citrus acid cooks tuna without heat (thus making ceviche).

Naomi demonstrates elasticity by having everyone touch mozzarella, dough and mushrooms. Then she makes pizza pockets and calzones for everyone. When they bite into the calzone she yells "See the cheese? That elasticity".

Floyd proves his Maillard reaction by showing how meat browns.

Judges Table

The two favorites were Mary Sues' churros and Floyd's meat. The winning chef is Mary Sue. Floyd reminds Mary Sue of how many times she's beaten him.

James said that Naomi's gelee spurted in his mouth in the most unpleasant way. (heh heh)...

And Hugh was eliminated. What? OMG! I thought he was going all the way. I'm totally going to miss his sarcasm and teeny little pursed lips.

Next week Naomi yells at some old guy and the cheftestants cook for the troops.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss