On tonight’s episode of Top Chef Masters 2012, the chefs will be creating a meal for a reception event. Historically, the cake has been the downfall of many a polished chef, and I’ve no doubt the same will hold true on Top Chef Masters 2012.
WARNING! TOP CHEF MASTERS 2012 SPOILER ALERT!
This post contains spoilers from tonight’s episode of Top Chef Masters 2012. Stop reading if you don’t want to know what happened!
On the season premiere of Top Chef Masters 2012, which aired last just last week, we already got to see the groundwork laid for some serious drama. The preview of Top Chef Masters season 4 that they aired at the end of the show was enough to leave my mouth watering. What can I say? I love to love drama on reality TV. Who doesn’t, if they’re being honest with themselves?
Just because Top Chef Masters 2012 is a cooking competition show, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be drama-filled and entertaining! My guess is that some of that drama is going to come from cheftestant Art Smith, whose fabulous yet slow-moving nature is already proving to be a bane for some. Couple Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier will likely be the source of squabbling on Top Chef Masters 2012, especially if they end up in a position to play favorites.
It was plain to see on the first episode of Top Chef Masters 2012 that the aprons and flour are going to fly this season, and I’ll be right here, recapping it live as the show airs. Tonight, we’re no doubt in for some fun snafus as the chefs work together to create a wondrous wedding feast.
No quickfire on tonight’s episode, as announced by the strikingly handsome host Curtis Stone. The couple to be wed revealed that her maid of honor (the groom’s sister) passed away during her wedding planning, delaying the ceremony. When they did start planning again, they were swindled out of their deposit on the venue. Oy! The chefs really need to make this perfect for them. The kicker? They’re getting married the very next day. 24 hours to do every single element of the wedding for the bridal party and 200 guests. That added pressure will probably deflate some of the chefs.
During the interview, the couple asked for an Asian flare to their cuisine. Art Smith said that he wanted to take on the cake, of course. During the car ride, we got to see a little friendship developing between Art Smith and fellow chef Lorena Garcia. Art is adorably sweet right now, but I think we’re going to see a little bit of a sour side come out at some point on Top Chef Masters 2012.
During shopping, the chefs were running around hectically, trying to keep in contact via cell phone, which led to some amusing little scenes. The funniest part of the shopping trip were when two huge slabs of pork belly was literally thrown across the store, to make it onto the belt at the very last minute. Not quite as fun to watch was the anger and disappointment when chef Kerry Heffernan realized that the cart containing the crab for his dish was left out of the checkout process. Ouch. Tough luck, man.
Ah, and there is some of that sourness from Art Smith, as he and Chris Cosentino butt heads over use of an oven. Art is being quite a bit arrogant as well, as he mentions for the second time that he made Lady Gaga’s 25th birthday cake. Okay, man. We get it. You’re good. Now hush and get to baking.
The couple took a walk around the kitchen to learn what dishes would be on the table. They looked a little freaked out by some of the dish descriptions, but that food sounds fantastic to me. This show always gets my mouth watering. It gets my heartstrings a little tugged as well, since we get to hear about the wonderful charities that each chef is working for during the Top Chef Masters 2012 challenges.
Art Smith made it all about him once again. He wore his wedding shoes, which led into the story of his wedding at the Lincoln Memorial to partner Jesus. Dude, he made his entire wedding party run from his restaurant, Art & Soul, to the Memorial. Really?! I don’t think I’d RSVP to a wedding in which I’d have to run a marathon. This guy is really starting to get on my nerves now.
The brief footage of the actual wedding was lovely, and the bride was stunning.
Tierry Rautureau‘s pork blood soup was – surprisingly, for this watcher – one of the highlights of the cocktail hour, as was Patricia Yeo‘s pickled mackeral and Takashi Yagahashi’s braised pork belly. As the bride and groom enjoyed their first dance together as a married couple (tearjerker moment!), the chefs toiled away in the kitchen.
Debbie Gold‘s charred lettuce salad got mixed reviews. Mark’s sesame-coated Atlantic salmon went out quite raw for some of the guests. Luckily, the bride’s portion was perfectly cooked and delicious. Chris’s strange banana leaf-braised pork belly was a hit.
Another tearjerker moment as the bride pointed out the memorial table for her maid of honor. She teared up as she spoke about how important it was for her to have her there in that way, since she could not be there in person. It was quite touching and sad.
After Art Smith talking such a big game, he was responsible for the biggest disaster of the evening, on the most important aspect of the meal: the wedding cake. It fell and slid around and did other things you never want your cake to do. It came out leaning over and looking like some of kind of nasty pile of lard. Not impressed, Art. Not only was it hideous, it was also mediocre. I was kind of expecting, given Art’s background, for it to at least be saved by phenomenal flavor, but judges James Oseland and Ruth Reichl were not overly enamored with his cake.
A cute scene tonight during the requisite 30 second short between commercial breaks. Why do you do this, Bravo? I don’t get it. In any case, the chefs were all laughing about the variety of accents in the room. I love a good accent, myself, which is one of the reasons why I am so fond of Thierry.
Takashi, Patricia, and Chris were the first chefs to be called to the judge’s table, with the favorite dishes of the night. I have to say, judge Rachel Reichl’s true passion for food really comes out when she talks about a particularly yummy bite. Patricia Yeo took the top dish, winning $10,000 for her charity, Heifer International.
The bottom three tonight were Mark, Debbie, and Art (no surprise there). They dug into Art right away, but he made no excuses. Mark seemed rather angry with himself about his raw salmon. Debbie Gold made excuses for her strange grilled salad. Standing by a crappy dish could quite possibly get her sent home tonight, though Curtis Stone backed her up. I think he was one of only a handful of people who actually enjoyed her dish.
Ah, I knew it. Debbie Gold became the second chef to get axed from Top Chef Masters 2012. Children’s TLC will receive a donation in her name, so at least she can say that she helped her cause. I really think that if she had handled her reaction to the judges a little differently, she may have been able to save herself. Ah, well.
In the preview for next week, it looks as though the chefs will be using a hibachi grill. Awesome! Great potential for funny moments, and we’ll be here, recapping live, so join us next Wednesday for up-to-the-minute coverage.