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Season 2
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Previous Episodes
April 7
 

Twenty-two stars of the culinary world have come together on a common battlefield to play the Top Chef game for charity.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Host Kelly Choi
Judges Gael Greene
James Oseland
Jay Rayner
Gail Simmons
Creators Dan Cutforth
Jane Lipsitz (based upon "Top Chef")
EP Dan Cutforth
Jane Lipsitz
Casey Kriley
Gayle Gawlowski
Fred Pichel
Nan Strait
Michael Rucker
Andrew Cohen
Dave Serwatka
Packager Magical Elves for Bravo
Origins Los Angeles
Web www.bravotv.com/topchef  
Airs 10p Wed, Bravo
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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It's My Party
April 14

Last time, three teams of master chefs tried out the singles scene. In the end, Susan Feniger and Tony Mantuano got the high marks and moved on to the Champions Round. Which chefs will join them?

Tonight's culinary masterclass includes...

Marcus Samuelsson
New York City
chef/owner, Red Rooster & Aquavit
Unicef's TAP
David Burke
New York City
chef/restauranteur, David Burke Townhouse
Table to Table
Monica Pope
Houston
chef/owner, T'afia
Recipe for Success
Carmen Gonzalez
orig. Puerto Rico
chef consultant
ASPCA
Thierry Rautureau
Seattle
chef-in-the-hat, Rover's
Food Lifeline

Two players will move on to the Champions Round from this show... First up...

QUICKFIRE CHALLENGE: Five Grilled Cheeses to Go

One of Kelly's favorite foods... the grilled-cheese sandwich. So the challenge... make the best one in 20 minutes. Judging will be... the person who likes grilled-cheeses.

CARMEN: Italian baguette with manchego, garlic, cilantro & lime.
DAVID: Triple cream cheese with prosciutto, almonds, tomato & rosemary.
MARCUS: Gruyere & Cheddar with Gazpacho & Salad
THIERRY: Taleggio & Goat Cheese with Olives, Harissa & Pear, Pine Nut & Arugula Salad
MONICA: Feta & Farmer Cheese with Gates on Raisin Nut Bread & Herb Salad

Kelly gives the win to... MONICA. She gets $5000 and an advantage going into...

ELIMINATION CHALLENGE

We're going Hollywood. The masters will be catering a celebrity birthday party for "ER" star Mekhi Phifer. He charges the chefs with making their own version of soul food for the party.

Since Monica won the Quickfire, she'll get the advantage of getting her choice of protein FIRST. And whatever she chooses no one else will be able to use it. You have 45 minutes and $400 to spend at Whole Foods.

Monica chooses... SHRIMP.

After shopping comes an hour to prep.

Marcus: BBQ Chicken with Mac & Cheese & Collard Greens
Carmen: Yucca & Bacon Mash, Oyster & Hot Sausage Stew with Corn
David: Sweet Potato Custard with Crab, Hush Puppies & Pickled Watermelon Rind
Monica: Shrimp & Grits "Mac & Cheese Style" with Okra and Tomato Jam
Thierry: Moroccan Pork Shoulder , Farro, Roast Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts Slaw

After half an hour of cooking, we get half an hour of packing. And I'm not reasonably certain at this point, but I believe someone forgot something in the kitchen. I wonder who...

Next day, it's the party at the Thompson in Beverly Hills. You have 2.5 hours to cook 125 portions. And we finally figure out who's missing their food... it's Carmen. WOOPS! The other chefs will have to back her up while she drives through LA traffic BACK to the Master Kitchen. Which is 16 miles away. Meanwhile, the chefs all have their OWN dishes to prepare.

David & Monica help their fellow chef out while their wares are cooking. Marcus, on the other hand, knows that the chefs like each other... but it's a competition.

And back at the Thompson, Carmen's yucca is burned. One hour to service. She returns to the kitchen and gets straight to work. She's not going to have enough time to cook or present a dish. If she can't put together a dish in time, she's going to have to pull out.

She's going for it! 

CRITICS TABLE

David's dishes were hard to put out the way they were put out. His combinations were good. Monica tried to keep it really simple and really good, but her shrimp were undercooked. Marcus' chicken and mac & cheese were really on point. Thierry's dish was well-balanced. He had a lot of elements on his plates, perhaps too many. And the story behind Carmen's dish doesn't go unheeded. The disaster only served to make the stew stronger.

The final scores:

  MARCUS DAVID MONICA CARMEN THIERRY
Diners 4.5 3 3.5 4 3
Gail 3.5 2.5 3.5 4 3
Jay 3.5 2.5 3 4 2
James 3 2 3 3.5 3
TOTAL 14.5 10 13 15.5 11

Talk about a comeback! The 15.5 was the highest score of the night, and as a result, Carmen wins $10,000. Also winning $10,000... Marcus. They faced off in spirit, and they'll have to do it again.

Next time, six more chefs will compete for the fifth spot in the Champions Round as well as redemption. Tip the veal, try the waitress.

To see this episode in its entirety, or to get recipes from this episode, go to www.bravotv.com/topchefmasters.