Hello, this is your resident culinary expert Dave Hill back from last week’s hiatus because of a botched cosmetic procedure I won’t elaborate on right now (lawsuit pending) to bring you up to speed once again on last night’s episode of Top Chef Masters, the incredible cooking program on the popular Bravo network. It’s hard to type with just a pencil sticking out of my left nostril, but the doctor said if I really wanted to get my money’s worth, I need to stay as motionless as possible.
Okay, here we go. (Please note that it took three minutes to type even that last sentence).
Last night’s show, which is to say episode six of season five, got off to a raging start as usual as host Curtis Stone strolled out, effortlessly tousled hair and casually elegant ensemble and all, and let the chefs know what was goddamn what in that magical yet manly way that only Curtis can. As he spoke, it was hard not to imagine Curtis and me working shirtless together in the hot sun for hours at a time while putting together a wooden deck or something as we talked about chicks and other cool stuff, something I mention simply because I am a completely straight man who is thinking of doing some construction of some sort soon and could really use the help from a guy I’m guessing spends just as much time at the waxer as I do.
Anyway, the Quickfire Challenge started in extra-exciting fashion as television person Mindy Kaling showed up and assigned each chef a dish inspired by a romantic comedy that she just can’t get enough of. Then — in a move that had this critic screaming like a goddamn schoolgirl and pissing off all of my neighbors in the process — Mindy basically told golden boy Sang Yoon to go fuck himself as she sent Doug Keane to the head of the class with his scrambled eggs and caviar with pommes frites. Personally, I think eggs with seafood of any sort is grounds for shooting someone in the face.
As if the Quickfire Challenge weren’t enough for me to have to change pants already, the Elimination Challenge got underway with guns blazing as the entire cast of Yo Gabba Gabba! walked onto the set and started dancing around like they had some sort of glandular condition in order to notify the chefs that they would be cooking for kids this time around.
Most of the chefs practically started cutting themselves at this news, but it seems like any actual cutting was edited out because of the show's early-ish time slot. Anyway, David Burke had immunity this round as all of the other chefs got to work whipping up dishes that included spinach, eggplant, liver, and other ingredients that would make most kids prefer being sent to boarding school than eat.
At one point, Sang made a joke about how he had never been a child, and goddamn it if I didn’t believe him. I mean, look at him. It’s nuts.
Once all of the chefs finished doing their damndest to whip the healthy yet ultimately bullshit ingredients they were presented with into something a child wouldn’t instantly kick them in the nuts for serving, the critics all came out and told most of them how they should never be allowed to set foot in a kitchen again, pretty much.
Still, the judges really liked Neal, Doug, and (of course) Sang’s dishes, so they were not made to feel great shame and call their friends and loved ones to tell them they have failed as human beings.
Neal’s pasta dish won top honors, and even I couldn’t help but get a little damp for him. Meanwhile, Bryan, Jennifer, and Sue were all basically given the finger by the judges, especially Jennifer and Sue, who thought for sure they were total goners until that bossy Aussie Curtis told them they’d have to engage in a fight to the death in the sous-chef kitchen. Whoever wins gets to come back on the show and — one can only assume — try to kill Sang Yoon in his sleep or something since that's the only way he'll lose this thing.
Personally, I think this is kind of bullshit, but whatever. Who the hell am I to tell Curtis Stone how to do his job?
Tune in next week as Top Chef Masters returns with an electrifying episode seven. In the meantime, I will continue to let Gail Simmons haunt my dreams.