Top Chef Masters (7/15)

So here we meet again. How will our chefs do? I haven’t been doing so well with my favs (such as Besch and Dufrense). Who it going to win this week?

This week we have Michael Chiarello (watched his Easy Entertaining show for a while), Rick Moonen (seems really familiar and not just because he reminds me of Jeff Probst), Nils Noren (also familiar but I am thinking possibly Iron Chef America), and Lachlan M. Patterson (also a bit familiar). I think I know of Rick Moonen from when he was cooking at Oceana and a piece in a magazine on fish conservation issues. Nils was under Samuelson who we have seen on Top Chef before and he is now at French Culinary School. Lachlan is from Boulder and I can’t remember if we saw him when Top Chef was there.

So the Quick Fire is the junk food challenge. They have to use a junk food in a fine dining dish. Michael chose fish sticks and tartar sauce. Lachlin chose a hot dog. Rick chose a corn dog. Lastly Nils chose the fried shrimp. I love how they all chose a protein. The judges are Jeff Lewis and his employees. The chefs seem to be nervous about non-foodies judging them. We are having timing issues. Rick didn’t even present to the judges.

Michael- 4 1/2 stars
Nils- 3 stars
Lachlin- 3 stars
Rick- 0 stars

The Elimination Challenge is to cook a miniature 3 course meal for 100 people by themselves. Basically they have to make appetizer plates representing an appitizer, entree and dessert. They each get $1000. Michael’s gellato wasn’t freezing during prep. Everyone seemed a little crazy about time except for Nils.

Rick- Opakapaka Ceviche, Brandade of Scallop and Shrimp, Preserved Lemon Custard
Lachlan- Pinapple and Speck “Fritta Esotica”, Grilled Beef Short Ribs, Strawberry Frangipane Tart
Michael- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, Spicy Prawns, Balsamic Marinated Strawberries
Nils- Diced Scallop, Slow Cooked Salmon, Chocolate and Goat Cheese Ganache

I am totally going to have to try shaving brussel sprouts. Lachlan’s Fritta seemed a little odd to everyone. Rick’s appetizer went over pretty well. Nils seemed to be the home run for the first course. The judges thought that Michael’s main course was a bit oily and the knife thing was bothersome. Rick’s entree went over well. Lachlan’s entree also went over well. The loved the salad component. The judges once again loved Nil’s dish. Lachlin’s went well but the strawberries reminded them of meat. Michael’s dessert worked for everyone except Gail. Rick’s panacotta went over well. Nil’s dessert didn’t go over well. It had to much smoke.

Gail was amazed that Michael’s dessert did work. They thought that Nil’s scallop was really good and his salmon was liked by 2 out of 3 of them. But Nil’s dessert was to smoky and almost bacony. They thought that Lachlin’s beef was salty. Gail liked Rick’s ceviche and his brandade was a success. They were in awe that Rick made individual custards. They didn’t like the deep fried pineapple from Lachlin.

Final Scores:
Michael- 19 1/2 start
Nils- 17 stars
Rick- 17 stars
Lachlin- 15 1/2 stars

So Michael wins! See you next week to see who else will be going to the champion’s round!

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