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Recap: 'Top Chef Masters,' Season 5, Episode 6

Recap: 'Top Chef Masters,' Season 5, Episode 6



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Seven chefs remained heading into this week’s episode, which forced the chefs to do something that’s always a bit tricky: cook for kids. But before that, the chefs met writer, actress, and "romantic comedy aficionado" Mindy Kaling, who challenged them to take a romantic comedy and distill it into a dish. The chef who made the best dish would win $5,000 for their charity, and they had 30 minutes to cook something up. Here’s what they ended up with for the Quickfire:

Sue (Knocked Up): Salty cayenne chips and pickles with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate
David (Sweet Home Alabama): Southern grits with fried duck, slow-roasted tomatillo, and angry chile threads
Douglas (Midnight in Paris): Scrambled eggs and caviar with pommes frites
Neal (Vicky Cristina Barcelona): Mediterranean sea bass and lobster with chile and pepper broth
Bryan (Mystic Pizza): Poached oysters with burrata, prosciutto, kale, migas, and oyster broth
Sang (When Harry Met Sally): Apple pie compote with dates, Chinese cookie crumble, and vanilla bourbon ice cream
Jennifer (Roman Holiday): Insalata di frutti di mare, poached scallops, romanesco, and focaccia crostini

Kaling wasn’t a fan of Sang’s (it didn’t really live up to apple pie à la mode expectations) or Jennifer’s, which just wasn’t as good as the others. She liked Neal’s sea bass, which was "sexy, hearty, and spicy," Douglas' scrambled eggs, because it was perfect date food, and she thought Sue’s was just about perfect as well. Douglas ended up winning $5,000 for his charity, Green Dog Rescue.

Onto the Elimination Challenge, when we learned that David’s sous chef won the Battle of the Sous Chefs, winning David immunity. Moving right along, some crazy-costumed people danced into the set, the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba. The chefs were challenged to create a dish that’s nutritious and delicious, to be served to 60 kids. The winner would receive $10,000 and, oh yeah, this challenge was a double elimination. But that wasn’t all: they had to choose foods kids don’t like — avocados, cottage cheese, beets, cauliflower, eggplant, melon, and Brussels sprouts — which Sue, Jennifer, and Neal had to incorporate into their dish because their sous chefs didn’t do well in the earlier battle.

The kids streamed in, the chefs served them, and Sang called the whole scene a "Chuck E. Cheese on acid." Here are the dishes the kids were served:

Jennifer: Melon-yogurt parfait "sandwich" with pickled Brussels sprouts and mint
Sang: Teriyaki chicken meatballs with cauliflower foam and sweet pickles
Neal: Pasta with Brussels sprouts and spinach Bolognese
Douglas: Eggplant jelly with crispy rice
David: Avocado yogurt and white chocolate pudding with gingered fruit ratatouille
Sue: Mac and cheese with maple-glazed Brussels sprouts and bacon
Bryan: Ruby beet sorbet with toasted granola and vanilla yogurt dome

Douglas, Neal, and Sang were called into the room first, and they turned out to be the ones on top (even Douglas, who served eggplant jelly). Douglas’ dish had a deep savoriness, Sang’s meatballs were great and the cauliflower foam was fun, and Neal’s pasta tasted great and incorporated the Brussels sprouts in a genius way. Neal ended up winning the challenge, and $10,000 for his charity, Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Jennifer, Sue, and Bryan got called back, and they were obviously on the bottom (David had immunity, lucky him). Jennifer’s parfait looked like an ice cream sandwich but was too sour from the pickled Brussels sprouts. Sue’s macaroni and cheese tasted good, but the bacon was unnecessary and the sprouts were very cabbage-y. Bryan’s dish was the least favorite for a lot of kids, and while it was beautiful, it tasted "dry and dirty," according to Gail.

In the end, Sue and Jennifer, the competition’s only two remaining women, got the boot, because the kids didn’t like their food. It was pretty clear that this episode shouldn’t have been the one where two chefs were eliminated, and it appears as if the judges (producers?) had the same thought, as Sue and Jennifer were invited to cook in a Battle of the Sous Chefs, and the winner would be allowed back into the competition. They joined up with their seconds-in-command for the online challenge and cooked some more food, but we won’t know until next week who’s allowed back.


Recap: 'Top Chef Masters,' Season 5, Episode 6 - Recipes

This week's guest judge is former Top Chef Masters competitor Tony Mantuano, of Chicago's Spiaggia. I guess he just happened to be in town and desperate for a television appearance, because the episode has nothing to do with Italian food or Chicago.

Anyhoo(tie hoo). the Quickfire is a bit of craziness - the chefs must create a dish without using normal utensils. No knives, no food processors, no spoons. And that dish would be. stuffing. This is the Swanson Broth Quickfire to test the contestants' imagination and resourcefulness the one who excels will win not only immunity from Elimination in the next challenge but also $20K. And possibly a lifetime supply of Swanson Broth.

Damn good thing that shizz comes in a paper carton! I would have loved to see the recheftestants attempt to open cans without a can opener. Now that takes ingenuity!

Speaking of which, after telling us that "a chef useeng no tools ees like a sorgon dooeeng a-sorgery a-weeth hees a-fingers," Fabio used the top rack of a metal shelving unit to grate Parmesan cheese. He theenks he's hot sheet now.

Meanwhile, Jamie still thinks everything is funny. I swear, she's laughing in just about every shot Bravo has of her. What is so fucking funny?

Tiffani goes on about how stuffing is so specific to regions and even households. I can attest to that. While I think my stuffing is pretty good (and basic), my brother-in-law can take a similarly basic recipe and completely ruin it by adding far too much stock (but probably not Swanson). So much liquid that one can take a handful of stuffing and wring it out. Yeah, that's wet. And not in a good way.

Time's up, utensils down! Wait. scratch that.

Padma and Tony go around tasting the food and seem to be happy with the majority of dishes. Carla unfortunately has chosen to work with black quinoa, a grain that requires more than 45 minutes of cooking. She tells the judges that she made "un-done-tay" quinoa when Mantuano corrects her pronunciation, "you mean al dente," she says "I said un-done-tay" and that's exactly what she meant. She ends up on the bottom, as does Tiffani with her too-sweet maple stuffing and Casey with her Asian-esque stuffing.

On top are Tre and Marcel, and while it looks close, Tre wins it with his Southwestern bread pudding. Yes, I said "bread pudding." Who knew it was a dish that could make or break a chef?

Next came the announcement about the Elimination Challenge, which will involve competing at the US Open. But rather than playing tennis, the chefs will be cooking. I tell you, this was one of the more convoluted contests in all of Top Chef. First, the recheftestants had to choose cans of tennis balls. They were then instructed to remove one ball from their can the color of the ball would reveal the team on which each would be playing. Are they getting sick of the knife block, too?

Before we get any further, here are the teams:

Team Orange Balls: Blais, Carla, Fabio, Mike, Dale, Marcel, and Antonia
Team Yellow Balls: Spike, Tre, Tiffani, Tiffany, Jamie, Angelo, and Casey

Now for the rules: the recheftestants must compete head-to-head in rounds, one Orange Teamer against one Yellow Teamer. The winning dish in each round will score a point for that team, tennis-style (15, 30, love, nonsense shit like that). The team with the most points wins the match, with all of the point-scoring members of that team eligible for the win. The point-losing members of the opposing team would be eligible for elimination. Got that?

Also, the teams need to take into account that they wwill be cooking for tennis players, who are on a strict diet. And because of the whole head-to-head thing, there is an element of strategy involved.

The teams get fifteen minutes to do menu planning then are sent home where they work on strategery. Spike thinks that his team should send their weakest dish out first because he's sure the other team would send out their best and that way would waste their strongest dish. His teammates pretend to agree, but they're all off making sure they can save their own asses.

Carla wants to make a groundnut soup, but Dale shoots her down by saying that the US Open crowd is high end. But she knows better than to listen to someone else and stands her ground.

The next day, after shopping at Whole Foods, the recheftestants have three hours to prep their dishes at the US Open kitchen.

Fabio is making gnocchi yet again, and he's really acting cocky about it. It's as if he's channeling Stefan or something.

Fabs - you're almost not cute anymore. Cut it out.

Angelo finds that his fish is slimy (there's a joke in there somewhere) and begs for fresher fish from Tre who refuses and sends him to Tiffany who does give him some of her tuna. (And there's another joke in there, too.) Tom comes in to ask about strategy. Team Orange is mum on the subject, but Spike reveals his plot to send out the weakest dish while everyone else on his team rolls their eyes and shakes their heads.

While preparing her dish, Carla becomes momentarily distracted and lops off the top of her finger. Blood ensues. The set medic bandages her up and suggests a trip to the hospital, but Carla is a team player, not a. well, you know.

And Spike, so busy plotting, fucks up the shrimp component of his dish and is forced to prepare another batch which he realizes too late is not properly seasoned.

Out on the court, the teams set up tables on opposite sides so they can't see what their opponents are planning. Jamie's dish of chick peas is undercooked, which according to Spike's plan makes it the weakest dish. However, she's refusing to plate so Casey volunteers to go first against Fabio. Team Yellow speculates that if Fabio has the strongest dish, then every dish on the Orange Team must be great. (Shows what they all think of Fabio's abilities, eh?)

Round One: Fabio vs Casey - Fabio wins a point for Team Orange
Round Two: Dale vs Tiffani - Tiffani wins a point for Team Yellow
Round Three: Marcel vs Angelo - Angelo wins a point for Team Yellow
Round Four: Antonia vs Tiffany - Antonia wins a point for Team Orange
Round Five: Blais vs Spike - Blais wins a point for Team Orange
Round Six: Carla vs Tre - Carla wins a point for Team Orange

That makes four points for Orange and two for Yellow, so the last two competitors, Mike Isabella and Jamie, don't need to compete at all, much to Jamie's relief.

During the competition, Angelo is "helpful" to his teammates by sabotaging them. He adds some completely unnecessary lemongrass gelee to Spike's shrimp and soup dish, when it really just needs more seasoning on the shrimp. And he "helps" Tre by overcooking his salmon (perhaps to pay him back for refusing to let him use some in his own dish).

Back at the Stew Room, nobody is surprised to see Fabio, Antonia, Blais, and Carla called out to Judges' Table first, because they were the winners of their round for Team Orange. Gail tells them these were some of the strongest dishes in the past seven seasons, everything was so good. But the best of all was Carla's groundnut soup. For the win, Carla not only gets bragging rights but also a giant bottle of wine and a trip to Italy, courtesy of Terlato Wines.

The bottom four then face the judges: Spike, Casey, Tiffany, and Tre. Tre clearly has the worst dish of the evening with his overcooked salmon, but because he has immunity, he's safe. Spike tells the judges that Angelo tinkered with his food, but they weren't buying it. He's responsible for his dish, and because the shrimp were underseasoned, he's getting the boot.


The Top Chef Recap: Some Overcooked Steaks

Good God, are there still eight episodes to go?

It's beginning to look like few of the &mdash what, 480? &mdash cooks left have much talent for anything beyond making grilled-cheese sandwiches. Yet at the end of every episode, the judges solemnly boot someone off &mdash then say they'll have a chance to come back! What is going on here?

I, having had a wonderful four-course dinner at home &mdash fortified with a gin-and-tonic and glasses of Chilean Carmenere, Sonoma Valley pinot noir, and Napa Cabernet &mdash sat down to watch episode six of Top Chef, praying that someone &mdash anyone &mdash would be truly banished from the show. The challenge: to cook for 200 people at something called (yeehaw!) the Cattle Baron's Ball, attended by rich Dallasites in cowboy hats at a banquet room that might as well be a 4-H Club food hall. It's 104 degrees outside.

The 16 contestants come up with a four-course meal that includes a watermelon-and-tomato gazpacho, a seared beef carpaccio with tomato salad, vinaigrette, and "mushroom bacon," a steak that guest chef Dean Fearing insists must be medium-rare (even though Dallasites prefer their steaks cooked to shoe-leather well-done), and a dessert that apparently had been made on a previous show.

Heather is as bossy as usual, dissing all her colleagues. I suspect if she's ever eliminated, cheers will go up among the contestants. Chris, from Chicago, is now sporting a Samurai hair bun, and something tells me that, despite his not showing any particular talent so far, the judges have already made up their minds that he will be the ultimate winner.

Overall, the meal teeters towards disaster &mdash a so-so appetizer, overcooked steaks, a gratin of raw potatoes. Much is made among the contestants of the fact that cooking for 200 people is, like, really, really tough. Maybe they should spend six months with the banquet cooks at a Hyatt or Sheraton hotel and learn how to make food for a crowd.

This episode was the dullest thus far, and the frustrated judges all sound like they're dying to go home. Padma has lost many traces of her earlier bubbly spirit, and Tom Colicchio has become choleric, at least to me. Hugh Acheson is trying hard to say something, anything, that sounds vaguely authoritative.

So, in the end, Whitney, she of the undercooked potato gratin, was sent home with her knives, but in the trailer for the upcoming episodes, there she is, back again in the kitchen, competing against the other losers of previous episodes. Will it never end?


Recap: 'Top Chef Masters,' Season 5, Episode 6 - Recipes

At the Top Chef DC Domicile, the remaining competitors are lamenting the loss of Tim, who was a "father figure" in the house. I'm thinking they don't mean in a icky, incestual way like George Michael. And Andrea is in a "good place" because she ended up in the top two for the last two elimination challenges.

Off to the Top Chef Sponsorless Kitchen where the cheftestants find Padma standing with the by-now-familiar almost-regular guest judge, the cranky-faced really-should-smile-more-often-because-she's-actually-pretty-when-she-does Michelle Bernstein.

Andrea suddenly isn't in such a good place anymore.

But you're ok with Padma, who has no restaurant and no sense of humor, judging you?

Padma and Michelle are standing by a table laden with exotic proteins like crocodile, yak, and the intriguing-in-a-bad-way "duck white kidneys." The Quickfire Challenge is to make something yummy with these odd animals.

BANG! BANG! BANG! That must be the PETA wackos I hear knocking on the door.

But have you played with them?

The chefs draw knives to determine the order in which they select their proteins.

Alex the Pervert draws number 1 and picks the most familiar product - foie gras.
Alpha chooses frog legs.
Ed takes wild boar.
Tiffany takes yak.
Stephen takes crocodile.
Inigo chooses the bowl of white duck kidneys.

Kevin takes ostrich.
Kelly takes rattlesnake.
Tamesha takes llama.
Andrea takes duck tongues.
Amanda gets the only thing left on the table: emu eggs, and a hammer with which to crack them.

There are 45 minutes to cook so the chefs waste no time in getting started. Inigo determines that the duck balls are fluffy, like sweetbreads, and sets about making "testicle marshmallows," no doubt to be served on "penis s'mores."

About fifteen minutes in, Padma shows up:

In a little twist, the cheftestants must change gears and start working the protein found on the station to their left. So now Alex the Pervert has ostrich, Kelly has the emu eggs, Stephen has the frog legs, Kevin has the duck nuts, Tamesha has the duck tongues, Andrea has the wild boar, Tiffany gets the foie, Angelo has the crocodile, Ed has the yak, Kenny has the snake, and Amanda gets the llama.

The cheftestants struggle a bit with their new proteins but get the job done. Padma and Michelle go around and taste the dishes.

Michelle says that Stephen's dish is insipid, Alex the Pervert's ostrich is dry, and Andrea's boar needed to be cooked a little longer.

On the other hand, Michelle thinks Kelly's omelette is amazing, Tamesha's duck tongues are astonishing, and Amanda's sous vide llama is stupendous. But not in those exact words. And the winner is.

The winner is. Kelly. She made a lowly omlette from her used emu eggs but apparently it was a thing of beauty. She gets immunity in the next challenge.

On to the Elimination Challenge. Apparently the Cold War is still going on, at least in Top Cheflandia. Padma announces that the cheftestants will be facing a Cold War of their own by preparing dishes to be served cold. Like revenge. And of course, this being Top Chef 7, a season full of convoluted challenges with stupid names, this stupidly-named challenge has a convolution. The chefs will compete in two groups while one group cooks, the other group tastes their food, and vicey versy. Each tasting group will choose one chef to be up for the win and one chef to be up for the loss. Because Kelly has immunity, she is exempt from kitchen duty but must taste all of the dishes.

In the meantime, the numbers on the knife block are hurriedly changed into As and Bs. The chefs draw again. Group A is Ed, Kenny, Kevin, Amanda, and Alex. Group B is Angelo, Stephen, Tamesha, Tiffany, and Andrea.

The cheftestants then head to the U.S.S. Sequoia, a retired boat that Padma calls the "maritime equivalent of Air Force One." There they are to strategize their dishes for the upcoming challenge, just like Kennedy and Nixon strategized during the actual Cold War. (And if the boat had been in commission during the Bush administration, he would have done some strategery himself, maybe about starting a new war. Oh wait, he managed to do that without a boat.)

The chefs meander around the boat, eavesdropping on and talking about each other and generally being a bit paranoid. As they should be. It is the Cold War, after all. Alpha thinks the other chefs will automatically have it out for him.

Wait, we're talking about cooking here, right? Or something else?

Inigo, on the other hand, has been suspiciously helpful to the other chefs, making lots of suggestions to people other than his BFF Tamesha. We assume he still hasn't shared his crabs with her gotten into her pants.

Back on dry land, the chefs head to Whole Foods with 30 minutes and $200.

After shopping they get 2 hours to prep back at the Top Chef Kitchen.

Amanda has decided to make a chicken galantine, a difficult dish to make well in two hours, and is predictably having technical difficulties.

Also predictably, nobody wants to help her out. Tamesha actually wants to see her dead.

Just because they had words during the school lunch challenge. Well, Amanda wasn't very nice, but I don't think it was a strangle-able offense.

The next day, they head to their venue and finish their dishes. Oddly, they go to a place that doesn't have a kitchen, so they end up working on tables in a big green room. Why they couldn't stay at the Hilton is a mystery to me.

Group A goes first. As expected, the chefs from Group B who are tasting the dishes seem unnecessarily harsh in their judgments. Alpha still thinks he has a chance to be selected as a loser, because his competition is so afraid of his prowess. In the kitchen.

Despite harsh words for most dishes, the cheftestants from Group B pretty much all agree that Kevin's riff on veal tonnatto is the best dish. And of course the resident Alpha Male somehow fucked his dish up enough that they can feel justified in giving him the boot.

As for Group B, although Inigo's dish is arguably good, the cheftestants choose Tiffany's as their favorite. Tamesha, with Inigo's coaching, did some really horrific things to scallops and rhubarb her dish is deemed least successful.

Back at the Not-Particularly-Glad-and-Hey-Where's-the-Beer? Stew Room, the cheftestants await the verdict. Padma comes in and calls for Kevin and Tiffany to stand judgement. I thought it was surprising for Kevin to be on top without Alpha holding his hand so I figured Tiffany would win this. But no - I was wrong. Kevin is declared the winner and given a bonus prize - 6 nights in Hawaii including air fare. Nice.

Alpha and Tamesha were then called out. When asked why he thought he was out there, Alpha said that he was intimidating to the other chefs and they wanted him gone. Michelle Bernstein said, as a newcomer and not part of the kitchen drama, she didn't like his dish either. So there, Mr I'm So Hot.

You know as well as I do that Alpha was not going to be sent home, no matter how bad his dish may have been. Tamesha's was "shockingly bad," but probably not so shocking considering that Inigo tasted every part of it and said it was fine. Sabotage. Probably because she wouldn't sleep with him.


Recap: 'Top Chef Masters,' Season 5, Episode 6 - Recipes

Quickfire Challenge was with Martha Stewart as guest judge (Quickfire only). Martha challenged the chefs to cook simple but not too simple. The theme was one-pot cooking in 45 minutes. Chefs prepared the following dishes:

Jeff - potato risotto w/ crispy pork, sauteed brussels sprouts, verjus
Ariane - cauliflower puree w/ herb-rubbed filet mignon
Stefan - veal celtic goulash w/ potatoes and chanterelle mushrooms w/ garlic, saffron, fresh herbs
Jaime - potato/kale stew w/scallops and fried sage
Leah - not shown
Eugene - spicy Korean stew w/ pork, mushrooms, cilantro sour cream and wonton chips thickened with cornstarch because time not enough for reduction
Fabio - roasted mushroom polenta w/ seared duck breast
Radhika - not shown
Carla - brined turkey breast w/ apple and dried cherry stuffing
Melissa - pork tenderloin w/ braised cabbage, apple bacon, orange, fennel
Hosea - fish, shrimp, chicken, chorizo paella

The losers group was Jeff(starchy and too heavy), Fabio (polenta color grayish, mushrooms not showing), and Eugene (too much cornstarch).
The winners group was Ariane, Hosea, Jaime (perfectly cook and kale winter vegetable available despite filming in August). The winner was Ariane who got the "Martha Stewart's Cooking School" as a prize. She also got immunity for the elimination challenge and had the opportunity to chat as "jersey girls" with Martha. I am compelled to comment that I felt Ariane's food was "too simple" to win but I wasn't tasting it. Maybe there was complexity that was not visually evident.

The Elimination Challenge is to cater a holiday party for 250 guests at the Prince George Ballroom for the American Foundation for Aids Research (AMFAR). the judges would be Michelle Bernstein and actress/foodie Natasha Richardson. Padma called in the Harlem Gospel Choir to sing about the food theme for the event. It is the song 12 Days of Christmas and each of the 11 chefs drew a knife (except for #4 which didn't make it to the event because there was one chef less than the number of days). Chefs were given a budget of $400 each at Whole Foods, which works out to maybe $4000 total food spending ($16 per guest). Days drawn were:

1 Radhika Partridge in a Pear Tree grilled duck leg, toasted brioche, pear chutney, toasted pistachios
2 Carla Turtle Doves braised chicken w/ duxelles, mushroom cap
3 Leah French Hens braised guinea hen with butternut squash puree over puffed pastry
4 nobody Calling Birds
5 Eugene Golden Rings Poisson Cru w/ pineapple ring, Yukon Gold potato chip
6 Ariane Geese a Laying Devilled Eggs 6 ways
7 Jamie Swans Aswimming crudo of sea scallop in vichyssoise, lemon agrumato, leeks, microgreens
8 Melissa Maids Amilking gorgonzola and NY strip steak on sourdough crostini w/ cranberry vinaigrette
9 Fabio Ladies Dancing sweet corn and roasted pepper crabcake, chipotle, lime aioli, coleslaw
10 Jeff Lords Aleaping seared Halloumi and Kasseri cheese, roasted beets, pears, mint and spices
11 Hosea Piper Piping sauteed pork w/ chipotle mashed potatoes, apple brandy jus
12 Stefan Drummers Drumming Chicken pot pie w/ English peas, white asparagus, thyme and parsley

The constraints are that they have 3 hours to prep, then 1 hour to prep and pack in the top Chef kitchen, followed by one more hour onsite. They will have to plate 300 dishes of their dishes. What happens overnight is that the refrigerators were overloaded and running much higher than normal temperatures. Hosea's pork and Radhika's duck were pretty much wiped out, with Melissa having some minor damage. The entire group of chefs came to their rescue the next morning and helped them redo their dishes. You will see what the results are.

The event guests voted for their favorite dish by pinning AIDS ribbons onto a board for each chef. Some pinned them directly onto a favorite chef, particularly Hosea(for his food) and Fabio(you know why with a huge crowd predominantly female at least what was shown on camera). The judges ate sequentially and caucused after each dish.

The final results were that Hosea, Jeff, Stefan and Radhika were in the Winners Group. The win went to Hosea, who got a copy of Michelle Bernstein's book. Michelle then undercut the value of that gift by announcing that all chefs (not clear if limited to winners group) would also receive one. One comment Padma made and Tom seconded was "does she (Ariane) expect to win with a devilled egg". I think Ariane once again went too simple. Note that two of the four "winners" were the ones burned by the refrigerator incident.

The losers group was Jaime, Eugene and Melissa. Jaime was called out for not cooking the scallops, which if done would have improved the dish. Eugene had a hard-headed attitude that his dish was fabulous in spite of feedback to the contrary. Melissa was criticized for having too much cheese on her dish.

Tom Colicchio stated that he was disappointed in the overall level of cuisine enough that he was going to talk to the chefs and urge them to raise the level of their cooking in the future. He said "we are not looking for a little canape, we are looking for amazing food." Tom announced that in the spirit of the holidays nobody be eliminated. Natasha had originated that concept. Eugene, Melissa and Jaime had not done that badly in my opinion compared to previous losers groups, so there was a second rationale for this decision.

I get the last word here and I am appalled at the license allowed chefs when you have the "the days of Christmas" theme. Only Ariane and Jaime seemed to adhere to any semblance of the their "day". It looked like the chefs used this as an opportunity to make favorite dishes that could work in that environment. I think that is wrong and the judging should have called them out on this. At the very least, each chef should be forced to state how their food was related to their theme (a few made a pathetic effort at this).

I will also say that my long-range predictions have not changed . There are 3 groups right now, the winners such as Stefan, Fabio, Hosea and Ariane, the middle group of Radhika, Leah, Jaime (in spite of her difficult last two episodes), and Jeff and the soon-to-be-eliminated group of Eugene and Melissa and Carla.


Are You The One? Season 5 Recap: Episode 5 – Sex, Lies And Truth Booths

This week on Are You The One? 2017, friendships and relationships will be tested! The house will be given lie detector tests, and true colors will be shown. Will they ever get a perfect match, or could this be the first house to lose?! Lets get into it, on Are You The One? 2017 recap!

Are You The One? season 5 episode 5, “sex, lies, and truth booths” opens with the group in great spirits after getting four beams at the match up ceremony. Shannon and Tyler continue to pursue relationship, believing they could be one of those beams. On the other side of the house, Taylor and Andre seem to be spicing things up.

Although the house might be feeling good, Kam on the other hand, is not. While Alicia and Edward‘s connection is blossoming, she can only think about how he was HER first connection. These two friends will have to talk this one out eventually…

While the craziness around the Are You The One? 2017 house is going on, Ozzy and Hannah step aside to have a more intimate conversation. After talking about their reasonings and history for doing this experiment, these two seem to have a genuine connection. Could they possibly be one of the four beams?

As all good things must come to an end, here it comes… lie detector tests! This challenge’s winners will be the most truthful contestants. Surprisingly, Gianna is asked about Hayden, and her answer is not something that compliments his self esteem. I’m guessing these two were not a match for a reason…

Just like that, another roommate gets hit with the difficult questions. After Gianna, Tyler is then asked if he “believes in the match making process.” As he answers yes, the lie detector tests prove that was a lie! Turns out a player will always be a player.

And the results are in… the ladies are the winners of the challenge! The two couples who get to head out on the getaway date included Kam & Edward, and Kari & Mike.

After confessing her feelings to Hayden, Gianna jumps into the closet with Michael! Attempting to make a new connection, Carolina gives Hayden another shot, but is shut down once again. If only he knew…!

During the getaway date, Kam lets Edward know she is certain he is her match, and then they then share a kiss! As expected, these two are the winners of the truth booth. And just like that, we have the FIRST perfect match of the season! Alicia is not happy about this, and in the middle of the night sneaks off with Edward. Unbeknownst to her, Kam wakes up and finds out her perfect match it missing. The next morning, she confronts Alicia about the night before, but does not accept her apology.

As the match up ceremony in under way, Kam calls out Alicia in front of the house. Once Alicia is able to speak, she reveals her and Edward’s late night talk was more then just a kiss! While the argument is going on, Andre attempts to have Alicia’s back, which causes chaos to break out between him and Derrick.

Potential new Are You The One? 2017 couples: Ozzy & Hannah, Taylor & Andre, Tyler & Shannon, Kari & Mike.

  • Week 1: 2 beams
  • Week 2: 0 beams
  • Week 3: 4 beams
  • Week 4: 4 beams
  • Week 5: 4 beams – No improvement is made once again!

Are You The One? Season 5 airs every Wednesday 9/8c! Make sure to check back here every week after the show for your recap! Bookmark us or friend us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus for all our latest updates. Want to see more from Contributing Writer Karly McGuire? Follow along with her over on Instagram!


"It's Hard to Know, but There Could Have Been a Lot of Conspiracy"

This week on Top Chef: The Cold War-themed elimination challenge is just one of many battles for the contestants. Kelly snatches the Quickfire victory, Kevin goes all out with duck testicles and a winning carpaccio, slimy scallops mean packed bags for Tamesha, and as part of this week's twist, the contestants judge each other "solely on the food." As part of our ongoing weekly recaps on Eat Like a Man, Top Chef judge Eric Ripert offers us his wisdom on emu eggs, sabotage, and Tamesha's elimination.

ESQUIRE: Tell us a bit about the Quickfire round and how Kelly won.

ERIC RIPERT: For the Quickfire round they had some weird ingredients, like emu eggs, llama, rattlesnake, crocodile, duck testicles, frog legs, ostrich. And most of them had no idea what to do with it. The twist, where in the middle of their preparation Padma asks them to basically give what they have in their hands to the person on their left, was challenging. So when Kelly ended up with the emu eggs, which are very big and green and strange, I think she was very clever. They had a very short amount of time to create something, and she decided to basically make a great omelet with goat cheese, almonds, and a fennel salad and vinaigrette.

ESQ: Is it hard to make a great omelet?

ER: An omelet is very difficult to make perfect. And she made it very well, and it shows technique, and it shows the fact that she has good taste. So she won because of that.

ESQ: Do you think Kevin won the main challenge solely based on his food?

ER: He did a tuna and veal cut very thin, almost like a carpaccio, with Mediterranean condiments, so he won. The trick was that they had two teams: They worked on two teams, Team A and Team B, and they could judge the other team. So, they could sit down with the other judges. For instance, Padma and Tom and Gail had some of the contestants judging the food of the other contestants, and deciding who would be winning and who would be in the bottom.

ESQ: Sounds like a perfect opportunity for conspiracy.

ER: It's hard to know, but there could have been a lot of conspiracy to get rid of the favorites, which are Kenny and Angelo. So when they were interviewing the contestants, some of them were saying, "No, I'm going to judge solely on the quality of the food." Some of them were wondering if there would be a conspiracy because it would make life simpler for the contestants, and what we saw was that Kenny didn't perform well. He was in the bottom. And Angelo was not on the top either. And then Tamesha got eliminated.

ESQ: Where did Tamesha go wrong?

ER: She did a scallop dish with pickled rhubarb. It looked like she didn't cook the scallops properly and they had a weird consistency, almost slimy. And it looks like the seasoning was not there, and the acidity level of the rhubarb was way too much for the scallops. Everybody seemed to agree that it was a bad dish.

ESQ: Do you think there was any major sabotage going on?

ER: The only thing that was a bit strange was that at one point, Tamesha, during the preparation, showed Angelo what she was doing, and he was telling her that it was good. It could have been a conspiracy I have no idea. But in the previous episode we saw them getting closer, so you would have believed that he would have been sincere. She was very sad to lose.


Who Won Top Chef Masters 2013 Last Night?

For last night’s Top Chef Masters 2013 Season Finale, the three remaining chefs had to make a four course meal based around the concept: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something sous. The first three are pretty self explainable, but the dessert course was a little more complicated. Their sous chefs had their final challenge, determining what their chefs would be making in the finale of Top Chef Masters 2013. On top of all that, Douglas” sous chef had the least favorite dish, leaving him without any help for the seven hours of prep!

After shopping and prepping for seven hours the chefs prepared for their final Top Chef Masters 2013 challenge and judging. Picking which chef made the best dishes was clearly a challenge for the Top Chef Masters 2013 judges. All the chefs dishes were superb so minor mistakes had to be considered.

For judging the only criticism for Douglas was his overcooked duck. Jennifer’s made a gnocchi dish that was one of the judge’s favorite dishes. Jennifer’s one misstep was her overly complex dessert. Bryan’s dishes were almost flawless in the judges eyes. His third course was a little bit of a meat overload.

After discussing the meals, the judges crowned Douglas Keane the winner of Top Chef Masters 2013.


‘Top Chef’ Portland’s Sara Hauman on self-confidence, yogurt and the importance of little fish

The 34-year-old, one of two chefs with local ties featured on the popular reality show’s first Portland season, says that yogurt just happened to be front-and-center in the “Top Chef” fridge whenever she needed dairy, which over the first six episodes was often. And, yes, in her day-to-day life, she does use yogurt as a replacement for sour cream or buttermilk, leaning on the ingredient to add some natural tang to a dish.

“It’s funny,” Hauman says, sitting near a leafy strawberry patch at the display garden at Soter Vineyards, the stunning wine country tasting room near Carlton. “After I came back from filming, I looked at the menu from my sous chef, and for dessert it had ‘yogurt pudding,’ and I was like, ‘How does she know?”

Other than providing montage material, the yogurt obsession hasn’t slowed Hauman down. Over “Top Chef” Portland’s first six episodes, she has notched two Elimination Challenge wins, more than any chef besides Seattle’s Shota Nakajima. (Nakajima and Austin chef Gabe Erales remain her closest friends from the show even sending flowers for her birthday last month). Hauman has managed to establish herself as a front-runner despite a self-deprecating nature played up by the production.

“I was nervous,” Hauman says, speaking through an iris-patterned mask fashioned from an old curtain. “I said crazy things, I kept having these out of body experiences at the judges’ table, where I would be like, ‘Sara, shut up, you never talk this much,’ and words would keep falling out of my mouth. You do weird things in high stress situations.”

Filming wrapped last October. Since then, Hauman has spent her workdays commuting to Soter from her Southeast Portland home, driving down 99W through Newberg, out into open wine country before turning up a steep and winding gravel road and passing a small pond, a field of deep red amaranth off in the distance. From the top of the hill, Soter has some of the most beguiling vistas in Oregon, with handsome tasting rooms looking out over rolling vineyards, open valleys and mist-shrouded hills. (It’s also home to Bill, an orange tabby cat who swishes his crooked tail between our legs throughout the interview.)

By nature, Hauman seems like an open book. Ten minutes after we meet, a question about her pre-Oregon cooking career in San Francisco, where she racked up awards and positive reviews, leads to a frank discussion of her father’s death, and how, at age 26, she suddenly became responsible for his hospice care. At the time, Hauman was nearing the end of a six-month stint cooking in Spain.

“I didn’t really know how sick my dad was until I got a call from his hospice social worker, who said, ‘He has a week to live,’ ” Hauman says. “So I flew back to San Diego, fingers crossed, hoping to make it in time. My parents are divorced, my mom’s in a different state, so I just kind of had to deal with it on my own. I never wish that upon anyone. My dad did not want to be in a hospital. I got off a plane and was given 15 bottles of pills from a nurse who said, ‘See you later.’”

Don't forget the yogurt! Sara Hauman competes on "Top Chef's" first filmed-in-Portland season. David Moir/Bravo

Some of her earliest memories involve traveling with her dad from their home north of San Diego down to Tijuana to bet on horse races or jai alai.

“I grew up at the Del Mar racetrack,” Hauman said. “My dad would let me put bets on, and explain what all the bets were and what they meant. And I’m over here like, “Dad, can I get a $2 quinella box?’”

With both parents working full-time, Hauman, a precocious student and youth soccer player, was often left at home with boxes of cake mix to bake by herself. But it was during a first trip to Spain, in a small village in the hills west of Málaga where her father moved after retiring, when Hauman decided she wanted to make cooking her career.

“It was the idea that eating was an event that got me really excited about food,” Hauman says. “We would go to eat lunch and it would be multiple courses eaten over hours, from 2 to 5 p.m., and then you sleep. And people seemed so happy and healthy, like they really enjoyed life.”

Hauman flirted with “Top Chef” several times over the years. But each time a casting agent reached out, a job offer would come in that she couldn’t refuse. The first call came just before an opportunity to work under Melissa Perello at San Francisco’s Octavia. Then, another inquiry came from the show just after she accepted the job at Arden, a wine bar and restaurant in Portland’s Pearl District. By the time she decided she was ready, she had to wait: “Top Chef” was gearing up to film its “All Star” season, featuring notable former contestants such as Portland’s Gregory Gourdet.

Though Hauman says she’s “never really done a cooking competition before,” her career has set her up well for “Top Chef.” Some of her first cooking jobs were at wellness centers in the San Diego area including The Golden Door, a “swanky hippie spa” best known for its psychedelic-fueled parties in the 1970s and for hosting the likes of Oprah and Barbra Streisand. At another spa nearby, Hauman was tasked with making food without sugar, butter and very little salt, like some kind of health-conscious Quickfire Challenge.

“I can still make you some sugar-free sorbet if you want it,” Hauman says (pass), accompanied by her trademark hair-trigger laugh. “But there was a moment where my sous chef told me if the mashed potatoes taste really good, then you put way too much salt and Earth Balance in there. And I was like, ‘Yeah, I can’t work here anymore.’ How are you going to work in a place where your job is to make food and you’re being told, ‘Don’t make it taste too good?’”

After working with rising-star chef Brandon Jew at San Francisco’s Bar Agricole, Hauman applied for a six-month stage, or unpaid internship, at Etxebarri, the Basque Country grill often ranked among the best restaurants in the world. While in Spain, she learned the art of treating phenomenal ingredients with extreme care, whether oily little anchovies on grilled toast, plump prawns kissed by fire or fresh fish descaled to order.

“I love ‘Top Chef,’ but we weren’t getting that kind of well-sourced food by any means,” Hauman says, contrasting the two experiences. “We were doing the online shopping thing. And that’s hard. To not be able to feel something, smell something, look at something? How are you going to know the quality of that food?”

Two weeks before the end of her stage, Hauman returned to the United States to see to her father’s final arrangements, then moved back to San Francisco, where she was offered a job running a new fine-dining restaurant. At The Huxley, Hauman would earn many of her accolades, including two Rising Star James Beard Award nominations and a strong review from the San Francisco Chronicle. The attention seemed a bit much to Hauman, who largely ran the 27-seat restaurant by herself, including one memorable brunch where she had to cook with the restaurant’s phone in her pocket because she was the only one there to answer it.

Hauman was approached about opening her own restaurant, including at least one with a multimillion-dollar budget, but the idea of starting a business in that city -- any business -- just didn’t seem feasible. And she didn’t want to take investors’ money with the knowledge it would likely never be paid back. At 30, she was starting to realize she preferred working with food to being a restaurateur.

“This is my rationale,” Hauman says. “If your restaurant makes it to five years, because that’s lucky, you will have worked 90 to 100 hours a week to maybe break even. If you’re not in it for the ego or the awards, what is the point?”

Just 30 years old and burned out by the San Francisco bubble, Hauman began hunting for jobs in other cities, including Portland, where a cousin lived, and where she had been impressed by the easy access to nature and the abundant sidewalk gardens.

“I realized I didn’t have any hobbies,” Hauman says. “I just worked. And then on my days off I would eat and sleep and do laundry. I didn’t have a whole lot of friends because I couldn’t keep up the friendships just from working too much.”

"Top Chef" contestant Sara Hauman stands in a field of poppies near the tasting room at Soter Vineyards. Mark Graves/The Oregonian

In 2018, Hauman helped open Arden, a Pearl District wine bar and restaurant that introduced Oregonians to the delicate cooking style she would soon deploy on “Top Chef.” In July, The Oregonian named the restaurant one of the best new restaurants of 2018, praising Hauman’s “creative snacks” including “house-cured anchovies with grilled bread brushed with a whisper of tomato jam.” But her time there was not to last.

“I came up here and very quickly realized that I’m in a different city, but it’s the same restaurant B.S.,” Hauman says. “It’s front of the house and back of the house tensions. It’s the owner seeing things in a different way than the chef. It’s me being pretty transparent about not wanting to be chained to the stove, and wanting to really learn more about the process of running a restaurant, and not getting that.”

In 2019, Hauman learned that Soter was looking for a head chef, and after a few “great conversations,” decided to give it a try. The chic vineyard reminded her of those early health spa days and, she hoped, might offer a break from traditional restaurant stress, and the time to pursue some of those missing hobbies. Lately, that has meant caring for house plants, making fish sauce at home and escaping to the forest with Stella and Rambo, her two chihuahua mixes picked up from the Oregon Humane Society.

At work, Hauman cooks what she wants, typically using ingredients from the vineyard and its farms. She doesn’t worry too much about specific pairings, working under the maxim that “delicious food just goes well with delicious wine.” These days, as Hauman waits for some chickens and two cows from the ranch to be slaughtered this summer, guests are eating lots of seafood, an ingredient Hauman could become better known for than yogurt.

“My job’s easy,” Hauman says. “After people drive out here and come up to the top of the hill, I have to really try to mess something up in order for them to not have a great time.”

Near the end of our interview, as Hauman is showing me around the little outdoor market she set up at Soter during the pandemic, with its nuts and granola and silvery little anchovies swimming in orange oil, a delivery van pulls up, and Hauman signs for a bag of unshucked oysters. That afternoon, she plans to drive to Seattle, where Nakajima recently reopened his Japanese restaurant, Taku. Together, they will watch the most-recent episode of “Top Chef,” then shoot some fundraising videos for The Wave, a nonprofit that works with Indigenous fishers and small boat communities.

In Episode 6, the most recent to air as of this writing, Hauman wins an Elimination Challenge by partnering up with Nakajima to cook a dish with rabbit and smelt, then admits that her “dream of a lifetime” was to own a “boutique cannery.” It’s said with a laugh, but Hauman says she is actually “super serious” about the pursuit. (That fish sauce project starts to sound less like a hobby, and more like recipe testing for a new business.)

For Hauman, who remembers eating canned smoked oysters with cream cheese on bread as a kid, the burgeoning concept is as much about the environment as it is about the food.

“The fact that the coastline is so large, and there are hundreds of rivers in Oregon, and yet it’s still a very meat-centric place, seems so backwards. And when people eat fish, it’s albacore and salmon. At the store, it’s albacore and salmon. If you eat out a lot, you might think black cod is pretty mainstream, but for the average consumer, it’s not. But black cod is incredibly abundant in Oregon waters. Black cod, rockfish, Petrale sole, these are all fishes we should be eating to be a little nicer to our salmon and tuna populations.”

Before joining “Top Chef,” Hauman assumed she wouldn’t make it far, and would end up “going to go back to work and deleting all my social media.” She was raised in a kitchen culture that saw appearing on food shows as “selling out.”

“I still have that feeling,” Hauman says. “I didn’t really go into it thinking that I would make friends, or anything like that. I just did it because my life was boring.”

But lately, she has worked to get over her self doubt and embrace the fun, posting selfies and “Top Chef” stills to an Instagram account that has nearly doubled in followers over the past few months. And she even started filming Instagram Live cooking demonstrations for her new fans.


Pack Your Knives and Go

Karen plating her duck. Photo: courtesy Nicole Weingart/Bravo

The four on the bottom this week didn’t suffer for lack of a good concept, each of their mistakes was technical in nature: Melissa didn’t get her custard to set properly Malarkey’s soup was too cold so the ingredients didn’t steep in the way he wanted them too Gregory’s broth desperately needed salt and Karen’s duck was cut inconsistently on top of the the skin not being crispy enough. Ultimately, those two mistakes were one too many for our powerlifting friend.

It’s déjà vu all over again as Padma tells Karen to pack her knives and go for a second time this season. She’ll head to Last Chance Kitchen once again and Karen leaves this episode saying she’ll keep fighting because “Goonies never say die.” So true, Karen. Also have I told you all about the time I ate next to Josh Brolin in a restaurant in Venice and said “I liked Stranger Things more the first time I saw it and it was called The Goonies”? No? Well, ok, I’ll tell you another time.


Watch the video: Beyond Reality - Top Chef Masters Recap 61009