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Top Chef Masters Recap

By Jason Lee

May 9, 2010

Maybe next time she'll actually cook something.

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And we have finally arrived at the Champions Round. Thank God. After four episodes where we had to juggle four to six chefs coming in and out each week, we now have a set group of Masters who we can get to know as their numbers slowly dwindle. Just the way we like it.

Our final eight Masters (incidentally, eight seems like a lot. We only had six last year) include:

  • Susan Feniger, the lovable, kooky old lady
  • Tony Mantuano, Italian master
  • Marcus Samuelsson, whom I’m starting to detest for his overwhelming ego
  • Jonathan Waxman, aka Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Rick Moonen, high-strung seafood master
  • Jody Adams, an adorable grandma-type
  • Susur Lee, the eccentric asian
  • Carmen Gonzalez, she forgot her stew back at the kitchen


Should be a fun bunch. I’m looking forward to this.

The Masters start off their Quickfire by picking pots (apparently, this is their equivalent to drawing knives) and inside each one is an apron of either red or blue hue. The Masters will be competing in two teams of four, and the challenge is...

THE BLINDFOLDED TAG TEAM COOK-OFF.




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Oh my god. I love this challenge. This was debuted in Season 6, with Jen’s team bringing home the bacon (of course, they subsequently crashed and burned in Restaurant Wars, but whatever). Kelly warns the chefs that this will not be easy, noting that cheftestant Kevin last year called this “the most insane one, ever.” Rick judged the actual Quickfire and he’s intimidated. I can’t wait.

The Blue Team is comprised of Susan, Jody, Rick and Jonathan. The Red Team is comprised of Tony, Carmen, Susur and Marcus. Susan looks over at the Red Team and notes that it’s filled with intense chefs. “I’m thinking that they’ll kick our butts,” she admits.

Scared Susan goes first for her team, while Tony starts for the Red. Susan immediately goes for the seafood since Rick is an expert in that cuisine. Tony does a lot of prep work for the next chef.

Jody follows Susan, while Carmen follows Tony. Jody tries to interpret Susan’s “clues,” and preps some prosciutto to go with the fish. She also remembers watching the Tag Team QF on TV and follows in Jen’s footsteps by prepping a sauce. She also starts the mussels cooking, which makes Susan antsy because they might get overcooked. Meanwhile, Carmen, noting that Tony is an Italian master, tries to take their fish in an Italian direction.

Rick follows Susan, and Susur follows Carmen. Rick is intimidated by the mess on his station, but concludes that the dish in progress is a bouillabaisse (fish soup). Very smart. Susur finds that all the prepped ingredients are limited in flavor and starts throwing things into the dish.

Meanwhile, Jonathan (the final chef for the Blue Team) is sweating, literally, in his blindfold. He admits that he suffers from claustrophobia and is having a hard time with not being able to see. In fact, he looks like he’s about to faint.


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