In the beginning, there was "Top Chef".
And it was good. Very good.
Now 24 of the best chefs in the nation...
and we're talking all-star level here... are coming to the kitchen to
play the game for charity. Which celebrity superchef will come out on
top and be named the Master of All Masters? Over $250,000 in prizes and
$100,000 in charity money is up for grabs. Time to find out who will be
named... TOP CHEF MASTERS!
The format is the same with one Quickfire
Challenge and one Elimination Challenge, only if you survive the
elimination challenge, you move on to the final round of six. From then,
one person will be eliminated until we have a winner.
Judging the gastronomical giants will be
Gael Greene (culinary critic for New York Magazine), James Oseland
(editor in chef of Saveur Magazine), and Gail Simmons (Food & Wine
Magazine), and Jay Rayner (London Observer).
Tonight's Masterclass is...
Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care
chef/co-owner, Fleur de Lys
New York City
executive chef, Aureole
Fort Worth, TX
chef/owner, Lonesome Dove
March of Dimes
Quickfire Challenge: It's dessert time...
Shudder... From season 4, you're going to have to create a creative,
delicious dessert for a group of four Girl Scouts. You'll see their
reaction, but they won't see you.
They will have one hour to come up with
something that will be scored on a scale of one to five stars.
And the time starts... NOW!
And the time ends.... NOW!
MICHAEL: "Half a little piece of cake
with a ganache on top." It is supposed to be Milk Chocolate Cake, Peanut
Butter Chocolate Candies & Honey Almond Cream. The kids say that it
kinda tastes like a Tagalong and that a little less chocolate would've
TIM: Strawberries Three Ways (chocolate
covered, smoothie, and chicken-fried). The fried is mixed. The milkshake
HUBERT: Chocolate Mousse Swan, Whipped
Cream Mouse, Fruit with Orange Sabayon. It looks awesome. And it's
soft, light, and it looks like a pastry.
CHRIS: French Toast with Caramelized
Banana Orange Sauce & Maple Syrup Fluff. It's "kinda crunchy" and "a
little bit burnt." They don't really like the sauce, saying that it
tastes like a hash-brown.
The scores are...
- Michael: 2.5 stars.
- Tim: 3.5 stars.
- Chris: 3.5 stars.
- Hubert: PERFECT FIVE!
The Quickfire scores will be added to the
Elimination scores to get a final total. Highest score wins $10,000 for
their charity and a place in the Champions Round.
Elimination Challenge: You're going back
to college for this one. Create a three-course meal for the critics and
a group of students at Pomona College using a toaster oven, a microwave,
and a hot plate. You'll have $150 to shop with and a very limited
pantry. You'll have 2 hours to prep and cook before sending your first
dish. Remember, this challenge is worth 20 stars, five from the students
and 15 from the judges.
The chefs head to Whole Foods to shop for
45 minutes. This is a new world for the chefs who are used to ordering
everything in wholesale. A lot of them are going into this flying
Tim's looking for ground pork.. not
finding it. He doesn't know what he's making, though Chris thinks that
this is an advantage to him.
Back in the test kitchen, Michael thinks
that he's ready, while Tim puts all of his stuff in what he thinks is a
refrigerator, but is actually a freezer. Not a bad thing, except that
Tim bought produce, and once you freeze it and defrost it... it's all
downhill from there.
The cooks arrive at Pomona to the
realization that they'll be cooking IN a dorm room. Well, it's only two
hours. What's that compared to four years.
If Hubert wasn't a chef, he'd be a DJ.
Right now, he's probably cutting a mix about how Tim has to defrost his
produce before he can do anything with it.
Michael's dinner is comprised of a Salmon
Crudo, a Cabbage Soup with Bacon, and a Pork a la Apicius.
Hubert has a Scottish salmon, a pea &
carrot soup, and a mac & cheese with prawns. He takes time to think like
a college student, going to the bathroom and chilling his pasta in the
Chris has a snapper ceviche, a creamy
risotto, and a pork chop.
Tim, once he has everything defrosted,
has a scallop carpaccio, a corn "pozole", and skirt steak.
Two hours later, it's time to plate up.
Judging will be Jay, Gael, and James.
Tim: Scallop Carpaccio with Lime & Chili
Michael: Salmon Crudo with Cucumber, Mint, Red Chilies and Kumquat
Chris: Red Snapper Ceviche with Citrus Juices, Avocado and Popcorn
Hubert: Fresh Scottish Salmon Mi Cuit over Creamy Whole Grain Mustard
Michael: Cabbage Soup with Smoked Bacon,
Fennel and White Beans
Chris: Creamy Risotto with Proscuitto di Parma, Sage and Parmigiano
Hubert: Hearty Carrot & Petite Pea Soup with Cinnamon Croutons
Tim: Squash and Corn "Pozole"
Turns out that Tim really turned around a
horrible situation. We'll see if that helps in the scoring. And the
Tim: Skirt Steak & Braised Kale
Michael: Pork a la Apicius with Broccolini and Mushrooms
Hubert: Creamy Macaroni and Cheese with Prawns, Mushrooms & Fresh Herbs
Chris: Pork Chop with Pipérade, Crushed Potatoes, Mâche & Fennel Salad
And the dormrooms are completely trashed.
Sorry about that.
From the school to the principal's
office. Time to go to the Critics' Table. Hubert's execution was
everything that it could've been. He relates the story of the shower.
Jay couldn't grasp the cinnamon in the soup. Gael begs to differ.
Michael's flavor profile was very different, fresh, and clean. Gael was
disappointed at the pork being overcooked. His soup was well seasoned,
he defends. Gael loved the ingredients, calling the dish quite
wonderful. Tim relates his story of how his food was frozen. In all, it
was all face-forward, and the texture was well done... though the skirt
steak was overseasoned. Finally, Chris's risotto was "a scary dish". The
profile was fabulous, but not al dente. Jay thought that the pork chop
was a real risk. The bone helped him keep some of the moisture... and
that pulled the dish off.
Now knowing what we know, they had a lot
of stuff against them, and in the end, they all pulled it off. Hubert's
menu was classic and genius. Something that he could serve in a menu.
Michael's soup was "homely" and "didn't come together". Tim pulled a
trick or two out of his hat, as the judges call it "a remarkable save".
Chris's pork chop was just too much, but the meat was nothing short of
heavenly. The risotto was also well-received... even as it wasn't a
risotto in the most technical sense.
Scores are in. Remember, at stake,
$10,000 for your charity and a spot in the Champions Round.
Michael had 2.5. The diners give him 3.5.
The judges... 7.5 for a total of 13.5 stars.
Tim had 3.5. The diners give him 3. The
judges... 8 for a total of 14.5 stars.
Chris had 3.5. The diners give him 4. The
judges... 11.5 for a total of 19 stars.
Hubert had 5. He needs 14.5 to win today.
The diners give him... 4. The critics... 11.5. That gives him the win
with 20.5 stars! We'll see him in the Champions Round later in the
season and $10,000 goes to his charity. The rest of the chefs will also
get a donation to their charities.
Next week, six more chefs head to the
kitchen to see just how hard your typical Top Chef contestant has it.
Until then... Don't forget to flush when you're done.
To see this episode in its entirety, go