Top Chef: Masters Episode 2

June 19, 2009 at 7:00 am 1 comment

Originally published at Edible TV on June 18, 2009.

Wednesday’s combatants on Top Chef: Masters included the über-cutting-edge Wylie Dufresne (WD-50, New York City), 2002 Food and Wine Best New Chef recipient Suzanne Tracht (Jar, L.A.), one-time Iron Chef challenger Graham Elliot Bowles (Graham Elliot, Chicago) and Elizabeth Falkner (Citizen Cake, Hayes Valley, CA) a former sous chef for Cat Cora.

Both Defrense and Boyles are masters of the hot trend known as molecular gastronomy. Tracht is famous for reinventing old favorites and Falkner’s background is in pastry arts.

Quickfire – The Vending Machine
The chefs had to make an amuse busch from items in a vending machine.  Amuse buschare bite-sized tidbits served before appetizers and a literal translation yields the phrase, “mouth amuser.”

Dufresne over reduced his Dr. Pepper sauce and it solidified before the judges could taste it as a result he came in deadlast with 3 stars, Falkner had 3.5, Graham Elliot Bowles had 4.5 stars but was edged out by Tracht who had a perfect score of 5 stars.

Elimination Challenge – The “Lost” Supper
Contestants had to prepare a dinner with no fresh ingredients except a protein.  All four dishes were amazing despite the use of canned goods and processed foods.  But to those Twitting the show at #topchef Bowles was the clear winner in this stage with his tuna three ways.  The judges, however, seemed to really enjoy Dufresne’s humorous chicken and egg offering.

In the end Falkner had 16.5 stars, Dufresne had 20, Bowles 20.5 but Tracht held on for the victory with a whopping 22.5 stars.  Those Twitting the show did not agree with the outcome citing Trachts poor plate presentation on her second offering.  Most also agree that the freaky challenges are dumb and that they should just let them cook.  Glad I’m not the only one.

The highlight of the show was just watching the chefs interact.  Especially Dufresne and Bowles who are very good friends and just a touch competitive.  The stress level on this show is much better since none of these chefs need to win to have a shot at success.  To the contrary, they wouldn’t be here if they weren’t successful.


Entry filed under: Food on Film, From My Other Blogs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

My Summer Reading List: Kitchen Confidential NFNS 5: Episode 3

1 Comment

  • 1. Top Chef: Masters « Wannabe TV Chef  |  June 22, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    […] you next week for round two. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)’Top Chef Masters’ – No More […]


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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."


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