Top Chef Masters Season 5, Episode 3


Reprinted with permission from

The Sous Chefs made sausage, and didn’t know that they had to leave the Real Chefs enough protein to make a dish. So…Quickfire Challenge! Thirty minutes to make something delicious out of scraps.  Carcasses, fat, bones, and some chefs have more than others. Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura are owners of the butcher Lindy & Grundy and judges for the Quickfire.

Neal made ricotta with pork and duck sausage, and David is pissed because it’s from his menu. Douglas made duck breast, and Curtis finds it too fatty. Lynn made a carbonara with fresh pasta. The judges find it very rich. Sue made charred pork, and Curtis is having trouble finding any. Bryan made venison over granola, which, what? David pressed prawns that may have needed more salt. Sang made spicy pork, which the judges call “ballsy” in its simplicity.

The least favorites are Lynn’s carbonara and Sue’s charred pork. The judge’s favorite dishes are Neal’s pork and duck ricotta, and Sang’s spicy pork. And the win goes to Sang, again.

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs will be cooking for the cast of Days of our Lives, who have just taped their twelve millionth episode. The chefs will be divided up into three teams: sex, greed, and murder. Because Lynn’s Sous Chef won her challenge, Lynn has immunity and gets to choose which story line she wants to cook for…and she picks “sexy.” Chef Sang, Franklin, and Bryan’s Sous Chefs were the worst in the kitchen, so they have a plot twist to be revealed later. Oh, but twist! The teams aren’t teams so much as competitors.


Prep, prep, prep, and the three Real Chefs whose Sous Chefs screwed up receive various time penalties relating to soap operas—thirty minutes in jail, thirty minutes in a coma, there’s even an organ player, and thirty minutes being the murder victim in a crime scene. Unfortunately, the time penalty may have done Sang in as he fails to get all of his elements on the plate.

The cast slithers onto the set, and Curtis is still the most handsome person in the room. Murder is first on the menu. Jennifer made seared and murdered duck. Odette made poison mushroom ravioli. Sang cooked chicken liver meatball. Odette’s presentation falls flat, and Sang’s chicken skin is salty. After murder comes sex. Franklin prepared salmon and crab. Neal made scallop ceviche and snapper.  David cooked lobster scramble with toast. Lynn made bacon wrapped duck breast. Neal’s snapper completely overwhelmed the rest of the dish, David tried too many things and once and the flavors get lost, and Lynn’s dish is way too rich. Finally, greed. Bryan cooked turbot with seafood concentrate. Sue made a few crabs. Douglas also has a crab dish, but with shrimp. Bryan’s dish is too salty, and Douglas’s sauce is “confused.”

The favorite dishes are from Sue, Jennifer, and Franklin. The winning dish was prepared by Jennifer, who “muuuhdehhed the competition.” The least favorite dishes were from Douglas, Lynn, and Odette. Since Lynn has immunity, that leaves Douglas and Odette on the chopping block. Odette’s ravioli lacked flavor and was generally too subtle. Douglas then starts to blame the dislike of his dish and Odette’s oozy egg yolk on the unsophisticated diners, which is an interesting thing to do in front of, oh, I don’t know, the judges who were also the diners!  His food is just too intense for most people. And Odette is going home, which is a shame because Douglas is kind of a dick and she seems super sweet. But, what do I know. I can’t taste the food.


Next week, Curtis makes out with some chick who I hope is his wife.

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