Thursday, July 9, 2009

Top Chef Masters - The Incredible Edible Egg...Mostly

We are back to Top Chef Masters after a one week break and some technical glitches for yours truly.  Now that all the ghosts have been purged from the machine it's time to meet this week's Masters.
Say hello to Douglas Rodriguez, Anita Lo, Mark Peel and John Besh.  The only one who has been a guest judge on Top Chef is Besh, on Season 5.   He's also had quite a bit of experience over on the Food Network with Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef.  Will it help him?  Let's ask the Magic Eight Ball.
That was helpful.  Here's our perky hostess to reveal this week's Classic Quickfire Challenge.
Sweet, I loved this challenge back when they did it for the All Stars Episode between teams from Season 1 and Season 2.  Remember?
I thought you might.  Perfectly cooking an egg is hard enough, cooking an egg dish to compete against 3 other chefs is tough, even tougher with four servings in 25 minutes.  Now try it with one hand behind your back.  Go ahead, try it...just don't ask me to sample it.
Anita looks a bit dubious as to how she's going to pull this off.
Meanwhile Mark Peel shares with us that his dad was born with one arm and that those spectacular auditory sensory receptors were indeed hereditary.  

Anita gets a little help from her friends.
Besh seems to be on track with his tiny pots of eggs.
Yet Master Chef Mark Peel is really working this challenge for all it's worth with not only kneading dough...
...but also rolling it out!!
Sadly the same cannot be said for Besh as he can only manage one undressed, half baked egg dish.
I don't think our judges will look kindly upon that.  Who are our Quickfire Judges tonight?
All is right in my Top Chef world now that Gail Simmons is back at the Judges table. She's been with Top Chef since Episode One, Season One and I think she's the best permanent judge the show has had.  Plus you just don't mess with Gail's eggs.  Joining Gail at the Banquette of Scrutiny is Terry Reish, egg farmer and Monica May, Executive Chef at the Nickel Diner. 
We start our Egg-travaganza with Douglas's Open Faced Corn Cake with Scrambled Eggs and Ham.  The judges seem to like it but it's nothing spectacular. 
 Next is Mark's amazing fresh Duck Egg Pasta with Egg & Olive Oil Cream Sauce.  The judges like the tenderness of the fresh noodles but call out it's blandness. It's then that Mark realizes that he neglected to dress his dish with the olive oil thereby missing some extra zing.
Anita's beautifully presented dish of Soft Scrambled Eggs & Shitake Mushrooms with Truffle Oil and Oyster Sauce has the judges raving about both taste and presentation.
As expected no raving here.  And boy does it show in the scoring.
Chef Anita takes a commanding lead.  Next?
We try and figure how this guy escaped from Isengard.


frogponder said...

>We try and figure how this guy escaped from Isengard.<


moi said...

If there's anything that scares me more than clowns or their next of kin – magicians – it's a badly cooked egg.

LaDivaCucina said...

La Diva was truly amazed that Mark Peel made pasta with one hand, considering the trouble I've had making it with both! Incredible! If you ever get to L.A. go to Campanile, his restaurant, all local produce and only limited amounts of each on the menu.

Anita really deserved to win, La Diva was highly impressed with both of her dishes, so creative! Really enjoyed the camaraderie displayed by the chefs of this episode.

Anonymous said...

of course, it will be a tough call to see who on the final is more emotional--anita or suzanne!