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Top Chef Masters Season 3 - Episode 8 Recap

Posted on 06/04/2011 by Michael in Top Chef Masters

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Top Chef Masters Season 3


By Michael J. Lamp

"Chemistry 101"

We're down to the final five chefs: Floyd, Mary Sue, Traci, Hugh and Naomi.

This season has been pegged as ‘boring' by more than a few people, and I can't totally disagree with that argument, but I will say that I've been excited to see the domination of female chefs. It's really a first for the Top Chef franchise, and that alone is a pretty redeeming quality for an otherwise drama-free (see also: dull) season.

For their Quickfire Challenge, the chefs have 10 minutes to prep and cook a dish...in a microwave. And you know how master chefs just love microwaves. For the slower readers out there, that was extreme sarcasm. The chefs are pissing and moaning about microwaves, as per usual.

Comedienne team Frangela are the guest judges for this week's Quickfire. They weren't feelin' feelin' Mary Sue's avocado sandwich or Traci's banana and egg combination. They did enjoy Floyd's omelet and Hugh's baked eggs, though. So much for female domination. Hugh gets the win, adding to his dollar haul for Wholesome Wave.

This week's Elimination Challenge finds the chefs working with scientists and focusing on a specific culinary/scientific concept. The challenge is to create and demo a dish that demonstrates each scientific principle. Oh, and the chefs will only use science equipment. Think hot plates and test tubes in lieu of stovetops and pans. Love it.

Cooking on reduction burners isn't boding well for the chefs. Mary Sue is having heat production issues, and they all just seem very irritated.

Padma (hey girl, hey!) joins Curtis at the Edible Science Fair, while Oseland questions Hugh's dish almost immediately.

All the judges get called to Critic's Table at once. The favorites of the day were Mary Sue and Floyd. Mary Sue's viscosity demonstration with dulce de leche inside a churro won the judges over. Floyd's interpretation of the Maillard reaction with broth and beef was also a shining success, but it wasn't enough to topple Mary Sue, who claims the victory and brings her Share Our Strength fundraising total to $30,000. Back in the game, ladies.

Naomi's elasticity demonstration with pizza pockets was crowded and the dough was soggy. Hugh's emulsification prompts another run-in with James, who thinks the mayonnaise had broken apart. Hugh defends his dish yet again, and things get a tad awkward. The judges thought Traci's demonstration of acidity was kind of obvious.

After all is said and done, Hugh gets the boot...again. At least his Top Chef reprise kept him in the game for almost the entire season. Personally, I'll miss his always hilarious interaction - and sometimes palpable tension - with Naomi.

Top Chef: Masters airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Bravo.

(Image courtesy of Bravo)

Follow Michael @mjlamp


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