Top Chef: Masters Episode 4

July 11, 2009 at 7:40 am

Originally posted at Edible TV on July 10, 2009.

After a week off, Top Chef: Masters was back and this time the contestant were Chinese chef Anita Lo (Annisa, New York City), Douglas Rodriguez (Ola, Miami), John Besh (August, New Orleans), and Mark Peel (Campanile, L.A.).  Besh, many of you was dang near an Iron Chef but was edged out in the final by Michael Symon.

As usual I joined an unknown number of foodies on Twitter chatting about the show live at #topchef.

Quickfire: Cook an egg with one hand tied behind your back.
Why?!?!?!  These people are world class chefs, why waste their talents doing something from a junior high Fall festival?  What a crock.  At least the judges were adults even if the challenge was childish.

Rodriguez made arepa.  Peel made duck egg pasta.  Besh did a form of shirred eggs and Lo did Asian flavored scrambled eggs.

 Peel 2 1/2 stars, Besh 1/2 star (his eggs never cooked), Rodriguez got 3 stars and Lo got 5 whole stars.

Elimination Challenge: Magic Dinner
The chefs prepare a fake out dinner for Neil Patrick Harris (Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, Doogie Howser, MD) and some of his pals.  The meal needed to be an illusion – to look like something other than what it is or some sort of spectacle.

Peel is making his play by using deceiving textures and goes first.  Lo’s steak tartar tasted good but she struggle with her presentation.  Rodriguez seemed to be having trouble himself.  Besh, being so far behind, decided to break out the liquid nitrogen.

Peel’s dish (a variation of a beggar’s purse) was well received.  Besh’s theme was surprise s0 preparing the food table-side with the help of Harris was captivating but the Creme fraiche and horseradish sorbet with liquid nitrogen did not wow.  Lo pulled out her presentation and blew the judges away.  Rodriguez served his duck, -four ways with a flaming coconut shell – the fire never went out on one.

Final stars Besh – 12 stars, Rodriguez – 13, Peel – 18.5 stars and Lo easily coasted to the win with 22.5 stars.

Some of the best Tweets of the night from the group watching:

Lilly (@lillij), a Chinese blogger and America’s Test Kitchen cook, “Anita Lo is my hero! She appealed to all the senses! I love when my people are creative rather than just.. you know accountants.”

Jeff Houck (@thestew), food writer for the Tampa Tribune, “Good lord. (host Kelly) Choi walks in looking like a whisk with a dress.”

Hyatt Lazear (@Enrico_Palazzo_) of Dallas quipped, “You mean some culinary grad moonlighting at Dennys doesn’t compare to a James Beard Award winner? Huh…”

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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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