Top Chef Masters Recap
By Jason Lee
April 26, 2010
All suggestions of sodomy aside, the chefs head to the kitchen to prep for two hours. The next day, they head over to a great Irish pub in LA to finish off their dishes. It’s a pretty small space (“a cage,” says Ludo) and tempers flare. In the final minutes of cooking, Ludo asks to use part of Graham’s station and the latter man blows up. My, my.
Meanwhile, the Yorkshire pudding part of Mark Peel’s dish has not set, due to a faulty oven. “If my dish were a car in a NASCAR race,” he laments, “it would have crashed, flipped over onto the roof, and burst into flames. It’s a disaster.” I feel really bad for the guy.
Ludo serves first and calls his plate “a work of art.” Unfortunately, his Irish stew with beef tenderloin, potatoes confit and roasted peanuts with miso is not well received. Gael questions why some of the vegetables are uncooked, and Jay says that the dish would only be okay in a pub (not an upscale restaurant, like the challenge stipulated).
Rick presents his fish and chips, with chicken-fried sable fish, lemon confit tartar sauce, twice friend potatoes and fennel slaw. Jay calls it a great piece of fried fish, though Gail thinks that the cooled potatoes are too hard.
Wylie feels good about his dish, saying that his transformed bangers and mash is actually recognizable as bangers and mash. His new dish has smoked mashed potatoes, onion jus, snow peas and banger sausage. Gael loves the spiciness of the sausage and Jay agrees that it’s recognizable as the original dish.
Graham’s steak and kidney pie is beautiful. He used roasted beef tenderloin, chanterelle purée, plus a bacon and kidney vinaigrette. Graham is not a fan of the flavor of kidney and so he did his best to minimize it. Gael compliments the doneness of the beef but says she “doesn’t know why he had to kill the flavor of kidney, it’s a wonderful flavor.”
Mark Peel’s toad in a hole disaster is up next. He made his own seafood sausage with an onion sauce and lobster broth with mustard greens, but the Yorkshire pudding at the bottom is horrible. There are some things to like (the sauce, the greens, etc.) but no one can get over the pudding.
Lastly, we have Jonathan. He’s worried about coming out on the bottom because he lacks the flair of the other chefs. He has a shepherd’s pie with lamb, mashed potatoes and parmesan cheese. That’s it. It’s plated like a Salisbury steak you’d see at Denny’s. Gael says that the lamb could not be juicer and Jay says that he’s captured the essence of Shepherd’s pie.
We head back to the Top Chef: Masters kitchen to watch the Masters talk things over with the critics, but we have to endure one more spat with Ludo, who is still pissed about having to do Irish Stew instead of fish and chips. He bitches at Rick, who tries to suggest ways he could have revamped Irish stew but cannot be heard over Ludo’s complaints. Finally, Rick bangs his hand loudly on the table and roars, “I’M TALKING HERE.” It’s a pretty distasteful part of the episode.