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Other Great Reality Shows => Other Reality TV Shows & News => Topic started by: apskip on April 04, 2012, 12:47:10 PM

Title: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on April 04, 2012, 12:47:10 PM
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone returns this summer to host "Top Chef Masters" season four.

A new series "Life After Top Chef" is under development by BRAVO.

For the first time cameras are taken outside of the "Top Chef" kitchen and into the lives of Bravo's most beloved former cheftestants as they reach milestones in their personal lives and culinary careers. From opening their own restaurants to expanding their growing franchises, viewers will follow Jen Carroll in Philadelphia, Richard Blais in Atlanta, Fabio Viviani in Los Angeles and Spike Mendelsohn in DC.

I personally think "Life After Top chef" will be quite interesting. I have seen a lower quality to the competitors for Top chef Masters 3 after the industry icons in TCM1 and TCM2, so I predict further erosion of the stature of competing chefs for TCM4. I hope I'm wrong.

Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on May 24, 2012, 02:52:04 PM
"Top Chef Masters" season four is from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas with 12 new award-winning chefs hungry to compete for the title and win $100,000 for their charity, premiering Wednesday, July 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. In each episode the winners of every quickfire challenge will be awarded $5,000 while the victors of the elimination challenges will receive $10,000 for their designated charities. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone is back as series host alongside returning judges James Oseland and Ruth Reichl with new judges, food and travel journalist Krista Simmons and features editor of Gilt Taste, Francis Lam. Entertainers join the judges table including Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, folk rock music duo Indigo Girls, Burlesque performer Dita Von Teese, popular American party band The B-52's, Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Boitano, Las Vegas performer Holly Madison, among others.

To meet the cast of "Top Chef Masters," visit Photography and bios are available at

Following are the 12 "Top Chef Masters" competing chefs:

· Chris Cosentino - Chef/ Partner Incanto Restaurant, San Francisco; Competing for Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research

· Clark Frasier - Owner of Arrows; Competing for Outright Lewiston/Auburn

· Mark Gaier - Owner of Arrows; Competing for Equality Maine Foundation

· Lorena Garcia - Owner of Lorena Garcia Cocina Restaurant; Competing for Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Inc

· Debbie Gold - Executive Chef of Kansas City's The American Restaurant; Competing for Children's TLC

· Kerry Heffernan - NYC Chef; Competing for City Harvest

· Thierry Rautureau - Chef/owner: Rover's and Luc; Competing for Food Lifeline

· Missy Robbins - Executive Chef: A Voce Madison & A Voce Columbus; Competing for Grow to Learn NYC

· Art Smith - Executive Chef and co-owner: LYFE Kitchen and Southern Art Restaurants; Competing for Common Threads

· Sue Torres - Chef/Owner: Sueños; Competing for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

· Takashi Yagihashi - Owner: Takashi Restaurant and Slurping Turtle; Competing for the American Red Cross, benefitting the Japanese Tsunami Disaster Relief

· Patricia Yeo - Om Restaurant & Lounge/ Moksa Pan Asian Izakaya; Competing for Heifer Project International

Art Smith and Debbie Gold also competed on Top Chef Masters 1 or 2.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on July 19, 2012, 06:06:05 AM
It's Curtis Stone once again as "Around the World in 80 Plates" finished last night. Top Chef Masters 4 is taking over the 10pm time slot on BRAVO effective next Wednesday.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: franxaverian on July 19, 2012, 06:14:13 AM
Yippee!!!! Next week is the start of low season in my workplace so I could go home quick and watch it..
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on July 25, 2012, 02:54:27 PM
The premiere is tonight at 10pm EDT on BRAVO.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on July 26, 2012, 10:06:06 AM
TCM4, Ep. 1

The first task was for the chefs to pair up to receive by random draw each of 2 ingredients. They then had 30 minutes to create a stunning dish. Here is what they created:
Lorena Garcia, Art Smith -Duck Lettuce Wrap with Corn Salsa and Peach Ricotta Crème
Chris Cosentino, Patricia Yeo -Beefalo de Gato Pescado
Clark Frasier, Debbie Gold-Grilled Langoustine+Parsley Pistou w/ Candied Popped Quinoa
Kerry Heffernan, Takashi Yagihashi -Sauteed Pork Tenderloin w/ Bologna Frisee Salad and Soy Ginger Caramel Sauce
Mark Gaier, Thierry Rautureau- Flank Steak with Corn and Blueberry Salad and Black Garlic Harissa
Missy Robbins, Sue Torres - Brandied Pineapple with Honeyed Yogurt, Almonds and Chilies

The winners of $5,000 each for this task were Chris and Patricia.


Each spent 15 minutes planning for a general buffet, then had $2000 and 45 minutes to shop at Whole Foods. After they returned to the cooking HQ, Curtis came in with a major twist: The first group was going to do a Mexican buffet and the other group was going to do an Indian buffet. Of course all the spices they had purchased fit the prior category, so they were swimming upstream all the way although they had a choice to send a chef back to buy more spices and ingredients.  There was 5 hours to cook. The Red team did send Art Smith back to back additional ingredients, but little time was left when he returned. Missy Robbins sliced her finger badly and had no effective choice but to withdraw from TCM4.

The Blue team’s dishes were:
Clark Gaier - Heirloom Tomato Compote w/ Fried Green Beans, Shallots + Goat Cheese
Debbie Gold - Rose Water Lemon Curd with Spiced Streusel and Meringue
Clark Frasier - Curried Corn Soup with Curried Flatbread
Sue Torres - Indian-Spiced Chicken with Lentil Rice Cakes and Tomato Ginger Jam
Takashi Yagihashi – Shrimp+ Salmon Dumpling w/ Swiss Chard + Curried Coconut Broth
Thierry Rautureau - Masala Salmon and Beef Shoulder with Spiced Couscous

The Red team’s dishes were:
Patricia Yeo on behalf of Missy Robbins - Zucchini Salad w/Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette
Art Smith - "Pan de Tres Leches" with Candied Cocoa Nib and Tequila Caramel Sauce
Chris Cosentino – “Pork and Beans" with Cured Pork and Chickpeas
Kerry Heffernan - Grilled Steak with Arugula, Posole and Chimichurri Coulis
Lorena Garcia – “Leche de Tigre" Ceviche Salad and Tequila Horchata
Patricia Yeo - Chicken and Beef Adobo with Cornmeal Pancakes and Peach Salsa

The judges found the blue team’s dishes to be tasty but not really Indian (not having Indian spices will do that to you). The Red team‘s dishes were spicy and could be identified as Mexican dishes. Red won. The chef of the week was Chris Cosentino for his “pork and beans, for which he won $10,000” 

The deliberations on which blue team chef to eliminate were difficult. There were no clear favorites. The judges eventually decided that Sue had to pack her bags.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on July 26, 2012, 10:08:42 AM
New judge Krista Williams had many appropriately edgy comments. She clearly knows food flavors, ingredients, textures, etc.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on August 04, 2012, 05:24:52 PM
TCM4, Ep. 2

The master chefs were told that there would be no Quickfire because the whole episode was needed for the wedding of Christine and Jay. This couple had a hard luck story, but was willing to have their wedding filmed in return for all the food.The chefs had to first decide who was doing what. They then had 45 minutes and $6000 to shop mostly at Whole Foods for ingredients. There were several key ingredients not available, particularly mango and papaya for Debbie’s Thai papaya salad. Kerry did not have the expected crab in containers at the checkout counter; he only had crab salad.  Here were the dishes prepared:

Art - Inside-Out Upside-Down Pineapple Cake with Rum Vanilla Sauce
Chris - Banana Leaf Braised Pork with Aioli and Adobo Sauces and bitter greens
Clark - Barbecued Duck with Sirloin Szechuan Sauce in Lettuce
Debbie - Grilled Green Napa Cabbage Salad
Kerry - Corn Panna Cotta with Grilled Okra, Crab, and Marjoram
Lorena - Vanilla Leche Flan Topped with Toasted Coconut
Patricia – Asian-style salad with Pickled Mackerel, Young Coconut and Chilies
Takashi - Braised Pork Belly with Pickled Daikon and Steamed Bun
Thierry - Grandma's (Pork) Blood Soup
Mark - Sesame-Coated Baked Atlantic Salmon with Egg Noodle Cake

The chefs had less than 24 hours to do the total catering, but they were not forced (unlike some prior Top Chef seasons) to work around the clock. Art may have had the longest lead time item with the cake. It fell about 30 minutes before the time for it to be served. He patched it up so it looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa but had most the intended flavor. Debbie could not succeed in her Thai papaya salad with the braised braised cabbage that was the substitute. Mark apparently served raw salmon. So we have our 3 worst chefs.
On the especially good side, Patricia’s mackerel, Takashi’s braised pork belly and Chris’ barbecued duck all won acclaim. The award best chef for this episode was $10,000 to Patricia Yeo and her Heifer International.

There were ample reasons to take out any of the 3 worst chefs. Debbie got the elimination because her dish apparently had no redeeming virtue.  I see both Art and Mark as getting a reprieve that they really did not deserve.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on August 12, 2012, 04:41:49 PM
TCM4, Ep. 3

The Quickfire was to create a seafood dish without using any heat. The other chefs thought this was a shoe-in for Takashi to excel at and win (because he is a sushi chef, quite a bit different from the heat of teppanyaki), although Kerry is exclusively a seafood chef. Here are the dishes the master chefs offered:

Art - Yellow Tomato and Avocado Soup with Chopped Clam and Prawn Salad
Chris - Mackerel Fra Diavolo
Chris - Oysters with Watermelon and Lemon Relis
Kerry - Hamachi with Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Lorena - Spicy Yellowtail Tiraditos with Avocado and Jalapenos
Mark - Geoduck, Cucumber and Seaweed with Sea Urchin Dressing
Patricia - Scallop Crudo with Uni and Cilantro Sauce
Takashi - Sauteed Calamari with Savory Okonomiyaki Pancakes
Thierry - Geoduck, Cucumber and Seaweed with Sea Urchin Dressing

The Guest Judge was the very food-savvy Brian Boitano, Olympic skating gold medalist. He rated two dishes as sub-par: Thierry’s,  Kerry’s. He rated Mark as third-best,Chris as second-best and Takashi’s as best. Takashi won $5000 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for Japan.

The Elimination Challenge started with a split into 3 teams of 3. Those teams shopped for $250 of ingredients in 30 minutes. Each team got to prep for one hour in advance of their 30 minutes on the teppanyaki grill at the MGM Grand Shibuya restaurant. Krista Simmons was not available, so they used Francis Lam for this episode along with James Oseman and Ruth Reichl as Judges. The Guest master chefs from prior TCM seasons were Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Jonathan Waxman and Rick Moonen.

Kerry - Shrimp with Eggplant Herb Salad and Gochujang Sauce
Mark - Scallops with Bok Choy, Pickled Mushrooms and Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce
Lorena – chicken fried rice, Spicy Chili Oil, Cilantro and Orange Guava Sauce

Art - Griddled Shrimp, Cheese Grits Cakes and Swamp Greens Salad   
Chris - Grandma Easton's Rhode Island Clam Chowder
Thierry - Pear Crepe Flambe with Almond Cream and Pear Butter

Clark - Lobster Tails with Miso and Seared Orange Butter
Takashi - Sauteed Calamari with Savory Okonomiyaki Pancakes
Patricia - Beef Kalbi Lettuce Wrap with Gochujang Sauce

The best trio as rated by the judges was Art, Chris and Thierry. Art was best and he won $10,000 for his Common Threads charity. The worst trio was Kerry, Mark and Lorena. All 3 were seriously under-seasoned and Mark’s dish was also incredibly simple. You can get away with that only if the result if extremely tasty.  Mark’s dish was too simple, underseasoned and not very tasty, so he bit the dust of elimination. 
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on August 16, 2012, 12:55:26 PM
TCM4, Ep. 4

The Quickfire was a challenge done with the B-52s singing group as Guest Judges. The master chefs had 8 minutes to assemble a salad from 52 ingredient choices on a salad bar. The dishes were:
Art - Tomato, Cucumber and Pomegranate Salad with Watermelon Soup
Chris - Romaine Lettuce with Radish, Egg and Soft Herbs
Clark - Green Olives and Hearts of Palm with Mustard Vinaigrette
Kerry - Salade Russe with Yogurt
Lorena - Grilled Cauliflower with Lemon Vinaigrette
Patricia - Chopped Romaine and Chinese Noodles with Yuzu Dressing
Takashi - Romaine and Arugula with Beets and Pickled Radishes
Thierry - Baby Arugula, Beets and Blueberries with Rice Vinegar Dressing

The better performers were Lorena, Kerry and Thierry. The least attractive were Kerry and Art?. The winner was Lorena, who won $5,000 for Alliance for a Healthier Generation as well as immunity in the Elimination Challenge.

The elimination Challenge started with the introduction of the chairwoman of the Hualapi Nation, which owns Grand Canyon West and has developed it (composed of 2 major viewing points, the famous “Skywalk”, Native American Village, Hualapi Ranch, overnight cabins, and an air strip). Master chefs were paired and drew knives to determine what their primary Hualapi food ingredients were:
Chris and Patricia - Rabbit/Squash.
Art and Lorena - Quail/Prickly pear
Thierry and Takashi - Venison/Yucca flower
Clark and Kerry - Beef/Corn

They were to create dishes that highlighted the Hualapi ingredients cooking for 24 people in 2 hours at the Grand Canyon. The master chefs were taken by helicopter to the air strip and driven to one of the points where some cover and a variety of kitchen equipment was in place. Well into their work, it rained and threatened to impact their preparation of the dishes, but they covered cooking items with tin foil and it seemed to be OK.

The final dishes were:
Lorena and Art - Barbecued Quail and Prickly Pear Slaw
Thierry and Takashi - Grilled Venison and Banana Yucca Cake with Braised Figs
Chris and Patricia – rabbits n’ bits with acorn squash &  agrodolce
Clark and Kerry - Spiced Beef Filet and Corn with Sage Pistou and Chili Ragout

Thierry/Takashi won mostly due to Thierry’s ability to work with yucca flowers, which he had never seen or read about before. They got $5,000 each for their charities.

Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on August 23, 2012, 10:29:07 AM
TCM4, Ep. 5

This episode had a Quickfire to make a meat dish plus a vegetarian dish in 45 minutes for judging by the Indigo Girls duo. The dishes created and served were:
Art – Chicken Pot Pie with a Cheddar Biscuit Crust and Mushroom and Wilted Arugula Pot Pie with a Parmesan Savory Crust
Chris - Beef Bordelaise with Mashed Potatoes and Spinach and Portobello Bordelaise with Mashed Potatoes and Spinach
Kerry – Chicken with Olives and Herb Flan with Olives
Lorena – Arepa Dumpling Soup with Queso Fresco and Chicken Salad Arepa with Avocado and Queso Fresco
Patricia - Faux Pho Noodles w/ Rib Eye and Faux Pho Noodles with Mushrooms (note – she failed at the last minute to get pho into the dish, guaranteeing she wouldn’t win)
Takashi – Agedashi Tofu and Eggplant with a Veggie Somen Noodle Roll and Agedashi Tofu and Eggplant with Pork, Ginger and Japanese Mushrooms
Thierry – Poulet Basquaise and Fricassee of Vegetable Basquaise

The favorite dishes of the Indigo Girls were Art’s vegetarian, Lorena’s vegetarian and Takashi’s meat/tofu dish. Takashi won $5,000 for the American Red Cross Japan Relief Fund plus immunity.

The Elimination Challenge was to cater canapés for Holly Madison’s pool party for 150 people at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. This ruled out anything that could not be eaten with a single bite. The actual dishes prepared in 2 hours and finished the next morning were:

Art – turkeyburger in a biscuit with garlic chutney
Chris – tuna bacon dish with compressed watermelon, Golden Tomatoes, Pistachios
Kerry – Chilled Red Pepper Coulis with Crab and Corn Fritter
Lorena – bunelos w/ Fresh Berry Compote, White Chocolate, Condensed Vanilla Sauce
Patricia – pulled pork on toast
Takashi – Sheep's Milk Yogurt Panna Cotta with Citrus Gelee, Fresh Berry Compote and Almonds
Thierry – croquet madame (really a monsieur with no fried egg on top) on toast with béchamel sauce, Tomato Vodka Shooter

Thierry had problems with burned bread and a béchamel sauce that was not right. James Oseland was upset that Thierry had left off the fried egg; Thierry pointed out that it would not fit. Thierry, Patricia and Chris were rated with the least favored dishes. Patricia’s bun was hated and some did not think her pork was properly pulled because she sliced it (although some thought that was OK). Chris had a conceptually complex dish that not everyone understood even though it was technically very well done. Some judges indicated pool participants complained that the taste evaporated too quickly. The master chef leaving was Thierry.

The master chefs with the best dishes were the other 4. Lorena won the honor plus $10,000 for her Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on August 30, 2012, 04:23:59 PM
TCM4, Ep. 6

The guest judge for the Quickfire was Burlesque Queen Dieter von Teese. The chefs had 30 minutes to make a sexy dish including aphrodisiac ingredients. The dishes created were:

Art – Ile Flottante - Chocolate Vanilla Sauce with Strawberries and Brittle Bits
Chris – Foie Gras and Figs in Rose, Fig and Champagne Sauce
Kerry – Seared Tuna with Uni, Soy and Aromatics
Lorena – Tuna Telitas with Avocado and Arugula
Patricia – Chawanmushi, Caviar, Tempura Asparagus and Love Apple Salad
Takashi – Chilled Oyster and Sea Urchin with Yuzu-Truffle Vinaigrette
The two worst dishes were by Lorena (not sexy at all) and Art (very pedestrian).  The two best were by Chris and Takashi. The winner once again was Takashi, with $5000 for the American Red Cross Japan Relief fund and immunity in the Elimination Challenge.

Elimination Challenge
The master chefs were taken to the Las Vegas restaurant Lotus of Siam where owner Saipin Chutima explained and served a number of normal Thai dishes. Of the master chefs, only Patricia had prior experience with Thai food, having lived in Thailand for 2 years. The chefs were charged with opening a Thai restaurant in about 24 hours by assigning roles, creating a menu, buying the ingredients at Whole Foods and at Ranch 99 for spices with $4000 in 30 minutes, prepping in 4 hours then cooking. The judges were prior season judge Alan Systma, James Oseland, Francis  Lam and Krista Simmons.

The roles assigned were: Art Smith – FOH, Lorena Garcia – FOH, Patricia Yeo – line cook, Chris Cosentino – line cook, Takashi Tagihashi – line cook, Kerry Heffernan – expeditor (the most important). There was major conflict in the kitchen between Lorena and Patricia. The dishes crated and served were:

Art – Cashew-Crusted Chicken, Crispy Rice Salad with Lemongrass-Lime Vinaigrette
Chris – Sirloin Steak Larb Tartare
Kerry – Braised Pork Belly with Chinese Mustard Greens and Taro Root Puree
Lorena – Pisco Chicken Soup with Galangal, Cilantro and Lime
Patricia – Seared Duck Breast with Green Pineapple and Massaman Curry
Takashi - Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Crispy Noodles

The overall response of Saipin was that she wasn’t interested in eating any future Thai food by any of these master chefs. The best dishes were by Chris and Kerry. The $10,000 for best of the best went to Chris. The worst dishes were by Lorena, Patricia and Art. Lorena’s dish indicated that the chicken and broth had been poached separately and not melded, with resulting impact on its flavor profile. Patricia’s dish had extenuating circumstances with it having to wait for Kerry’s dish, be refired and then be too raw. Art tried to make a southern cuisine version of Thai cuisine. That didn’t work. Art was eliminated.

James Oseland, despite working on this show for a second season, questioned why chefs had to be eliminated (actually Art in particular). Curtis gave him a succinct rationale for that based on the need to make choices between better and worse.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on September 04, 2012, 10:48:05 AM
It's time for me to make my picks on who will be the final 2 in this competition. I believe that Takashi will be one and Lorena the other. I expect Takashi to win the $100,000 prize for his charity.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on September 06, 2012, 01:10:55 PM

TCM4, Ep. 7

This episode stated with a mise-en-place relay race, with the chefs cracking eggs, shaving cheese and slicing filet beef into perfect pieces weighing between 7.5 and 8.5 ounces. Takashi and Kerry are the last 2 master chefs standing, so they competed. Takashi offered vegetables, potatoes, an egg, and seared steak. Kerry offered country fried steak encrusted with parmesan cheese and a jus.  Kerry won, earning immunity from the elimination challenge and $5,000 for his charity City Harvest.

The challenge was judged by former world champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, so it took the format of a boxing ring competition. Pairs of master chefs competed to make the better dish out of mystery box ingredients in 20 minutes.

Chris vs. Takashi with Bacon
Takahashi - Sauteed Beef Tenderloin with Bacon, Egg and Provencal Vegetables
Chris - Cal-Mex Bacon and Eggs
Chris’ fish was the winner.

Patricia vs. Lorena, also with Bacon
Lorena - Potato and Bacon Soup with Corn and Bacon Sofrito
Patricia - "BLT" - Bacon, Leek and Tomato Salad
Lorena’s dish was the winner.

Chris vs. Lorena with Sugar
Chris - Zabaglione and Summer Fruit
Lorena - chocolate cakes and grilled pineapple and a second one, Caramelized Pineapple and Dulce de Leche Sauce
Lorena won the championship belt for herself plus $10,000 for alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Elimination Round with Chicken Livers
Patricia - Warm Asparagus Salad with Chicken Liver and Prosciutto + a cherry tomato
Takahashi - Chicken Liver with Prosciutto and Pickled Red Cabbage
Patricia won and Takashi was sent home.

It will not be Takashi winning the grand prize. Of the 4 master chefs remaining, I like Lorena next best fr the win.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on September 08, 2012, 12:07:25 PM
It's difficult to predict the winner of TCM4 at this stage, but I think Lorena has the best chance.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on September 17, 2012, 11:06:48 AM
TCM4, Ep. 8

The Quickfire was a team event and knife draws made the teams Kerry and Lorena versus Patricia and Chris. The teams were restricted to have each member stay on one side of a line, which meant that one essentially prepped for both and the other cooked for both. Lorena criticized her partner for giving priority to himself. She got her rice accompaniment too late to make it onto the plate. The dishes were:
Kerry – Shrimp Farfalle with Herbs and Yellow Tomato Beurre Fondue
Lorena – seared salmon over Salsa Verde and Arugula-Celery Salad; without the intended sticky rice
Chris – Berber duck with dates, pinenuts, and spices
Patricia - tuna tataki and nori with Ginger and Scallion Vinaigrette
The judge was a Las Vegas oddsmaker, Johnny Avello.  The verdict was that Kerry and Lorena won and split $5000 for their charities.

The Elimination Challenge was a unique Diner en Blanc very upscale picnic held outside on the large patio at the Venetian Hotel.  Foodies had been invited to join the inventor of this concept worldwide in wearing all- white clothes, bringing their own white tablecloths and table decorations and wine and utensils. Tables just materialized out of thin air, but I believe the hotel pre-staged them. The chefs had to prepare food for 3 tables of about 25 diners each and serve it in white bags and boxes. They had the usual 30 minutes to shop and $750 each for ingredients.

The chefs prepared and bagged/boxed these dishes:
Lorena - Jerk Chicken salad w/mango +caramelized pine nuts, potato salad w/ cheese + chile sauce + cilantro, Jalapeno chocolate mousse w/ Berries + Whipped Cream
Patricia – daikon, edamame and radish salad with whitebait, bison with chili jam, flatbread, curried cauliflower and lentils
Chris - conserva of swordfish, marinated mushrooms with toasted pinenuts, a terrine of pork and chicken liver pate with hazelnuts and truffles, vegetables cooked in hay
Kerry - cauliflower soup with saffron coulis, a haricots verts pesto-orzo salad with mozzarella, peppered chicken kebab and Kielbasa with Peppers and Paprika Coulis

The winner was Chris, with Kerry a close second. The eliminated chef was Patricia.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on September 20, 2012, 03:38:03 PM
TCM4, Ep. 9

This episode opened with a Quickfire to test communication skills, Create Identical Dishes with a Mystery Teammate. Barriers were set up between each chef and an unknown individual (which turned out later to be the judges). The chef had to communicate what he or she was doing in sufficient detail over 20 minutes to allow that individual to match the dish the chef was preparing. The ingredients provided to each chef and partner were the same. The dishes created were:

Chris/James – Prawns with Sautéed Celery, Thyme, Pine Nuts and Chili Threads
Kerry/Ruth – Sauteed Chicken, Swiss Chard, Bacon, Parmesan with Rosemary Cream
Lorena/Francis – Swiss Chard with Sauteed Chicken, Onions, and Parmesan Cheese

The teaching styles of the master chefs were: Lorena patient and encouraging; Chris methodical; Kerry demanding. Lorena was not able to get her pasta cooked in time, so it stayed off the final plating. Curtis selected the pairing of Chris and James. Chris won $5,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

The Elimination Challenge was also a communications test titled “Guide Culinary Students to Create a Masterly Dish.” Two high school culinary students from the Southwest Career & Technical Academy were assigned to each chef. That chef had to guide them through all the steps in the preparation of a meal without ever touching the food. That involved menu planning, purchase of ingredients for $300 in 30 minutes at Whole Foods, then prepping and cooking for 2.5 hours. The dishes were supposed to be worthy of the menu in the professional restaurants of the master chefs. They were:

Chris overseeing Lacey and Emilio with Florentine-Inspired Chicken with orzo and Asparagus Ragout
Kerry overseeing Brittany and Erwin with Pork Loin with Hazelnut Brown Butter, Apples, and Watercress
Lorena overseeing JoJo and Jhane with 3 meat lasagna with goat cheese and Arugula Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

The learning experience for the students was the core of this exercise. Chris talked about minimizing ingredients and keeping things simple, clean and fresh, and learning new techniques. He elected to plate early and their dish may have suffered. Lorena taught how a hearty, home-cooked meal served family-style could bring a table of diners together. Kerry showed the students how focus, hustle and tough love can pay off in a pressure-filled environment.

The meal was served to the judges, the principal of the academy, culinary instructor and selected family members of the students. Then all but the judges were dismissed. The judges commented to the chefs on how well they had done in mentoring. However, they were limited (except for Curtis) to the quality of the end product on the plate. James Oseland felt that Kerry’s students’ creamed spinach was the best he had ever eaten. Kerry was judged the winner of $10,000 for City Harvest and a ticket to the finale. The TV audience rated his mentoring skills at 4%, but the judges did not know that months before when they decided.

The really difficult judges’ decision was between Chris and Lorena. Lorena’s lasagna was derided by Ruth as not worthy of being on any menu, but the other judges appeared to support Lorena. Chris’ pork loin was termed elegant by Ruth but perhaps overcooked and the salad wilted by its early plating by other judges. In the final decision, it was Lorena who was eliminated due to not elevating the dish sufficiently. Chris is going to the finale.
Title: Re: Top Chef Masters 4
Post by: apskip on September 27, 2012, 03:25:07 PM
TCM4, Ep. 10, Finale

It’s Chris Cosentino versus Kerry Heffernan mano a mano for the grand prize of $100,000 (to their selected charity) plus the title of Top Chef Master.

There is no Quickfire for a TCM finale. The master chefs went straight to an Elimination Challenge for all the marbles. They were given the assistance of one chef each who they had selected for the role of sous chef in this final phase of the competition from their own restaurants.

Menu planning took the first 30 minutes. Each pair then had 6 hours to shop and prep. Kerry did his shopping at Whole Foods exclusively. Chris went to Butcher Block and Whole Foods, taking a lot more time than Kerry. The next morning 2 hours was available to cook and 30 minutes to serve.
The challenge was to write 4 letters and provide the food they associated with each letter. Those 34 were love letter, apology, a thank you note, and a letter about themselves. The dishes created and served were:

Kerry Love – Scallop and Spot Prawn "Koren Jjigae”
Chris Love – Beef Heart Tartare, Foie Gras, and Puffed Beef Tendon

Kerry Apology – Flan of Sugar Snap Peas with Prosciutto, Morels, and Chervil
Chris Apology – Scallop, Pancetta Piana and Sea Urchin

Kerry ThankYou – Branzino with Clam Ragout and Mustard Greens
Chris ThankYou – Trippa Napolitana

Kerry Self – Dry Aged "Cote de Boeuf," Short Ribs with Swiss Chard and Fennel Gratin
Chris Self – blood sausage with an egg and oysters poached in rendered pork fat

The critics were the core judges, James Oseland, Ruth Riechl, James Lam and Krista Simmons plus these noted regional food critics:
Jane Goldman
Alan Richman
John Curtas
Alan Sytsma
Karen Brooks
Lesley Bargar Suter

The final decision was left to the core group of judges. They noted that the food of both Kerry and Chris was delicious but very different. Kerry’s was more refined with finesse and soul. Chris’ was bolder and took major risks. Ruth summed up the dilemma of the judges with “Do you want to be comforted or thrilled?” Chris won a total of $141,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research plus the title of Top Chef Master for himself.