Top Chef: Masters (2009) s03e01 Episode Script

Restaurant Wars

I'm Curtis Stone and this is Top Chef Masters.
.
- That's disgusting.
- Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
12 of the most acclaimed chefs in America are putting their reputations on the line in one culinary clash of the titans.
I'm hell-driven.
I came out here to win this thing to prove a point.
I was always the only woman in a lot of the kitchens I worked in in France, and I had a reputation of actually being mean.
Being a chef in New York City is very competitive.
So I am constantly pushing myself.
With a total of $1/4 million in prize money for their charities, they'll take on the toughest challenge of their careers.
- I'm not gonna make it.
- Damn it! Somebody's goin' home.
This is Top Chef Masters.
The critics panel includes editor-in-chief of Saveur magazine, James Oseland, and acclaimed food critic and best-selling author Ruth Reichl.
I wish he'd up the spice quotient.
And in a new twist this season, every week, one chef will pack their knives.
He's too good to be standing in that room.
When all challenges have been completed and every dish has been served, one chef will emerge victorious with the $100,000 grand prize for their charity, furnished by Kitchenaid and be crowned as the winner of Top Chef Masters.
Top Chef Masters 3x01 Restaurant Wars - Hey! - How are you? I'm good.
How are you? Walk into the kitchen to compete with 11 other incredibly talented chefs at the top of their game.
Sent the adrenaline through the roof.
It's gonna take the best that I've got to pull this sucker off.
I wonder why I decided to compete on Top Chef Masters.
One part of me thinks I may have been bitten by a rabid dog.
But my strengths are gonna be my good looks and my eloquence.
How are you? Kidding.
Walking into the kitchen, it was a real delight being invited to participate in this.
Tells the world that you've achieved unique vision with food.
It says a lot.
I think I'll win Top Chef Masters 'cause I've willed it and I've, uh, prayed and meditated over it.
Hey.
How are you? Traci Des Jardins comes in.
She's a dear friend, and I know that she is one of the best chefs around.
Hi, everybody.
There are a bunch of chefs that are really formidable.
Alex, George, and I worked in the South of France for some of the same people.
Mary Sue's done a lot in her time.
We have become close friends in the last 15 years.
We've done a few of these women chef trips to Mongolia and Egypt.
So I consider them to be my biggest competition.
Hey, Celina.
I'm Naomi.
As somebody that's been a boss for 12 years, I'm a total caretaker, and then on the other hand I'm like very demanding, and I get what I want.
- I'm Mary Sue.
- Hi, Mary Sue, how are you? I decided to compete to raise money for my charity.
- How are you, man? - Good.
Good to see you.
I am relatively likeable.
I'm the white swan, not the black swan.
Good morning.
Morning.
I'm Curtis Stone, and I'll be your host for the next ten weeks.
I know Curtis is a great chef, and I'm excited, because having a chef be the host of the show, they're gonna be able to see things from our perspective.
You've had a chance to check out the Top Chef Masters Kitchen that's equipped with the latest Kitchenaid appliances.
So are you ready for your first quickfire? As ready as I'll ever be.
Today you'll be competing head-to-head.
You'll be going against the chef standing next to you.
Some of you wishing you were standing somewhere else right now? Floyd is one of the people I was really hoping not to challenge right off the bat.
He cooks Indian food, but he was a chef at Lespinasse, so he's got the chops for the classic French cuisine.
He's a very talented guy.
On this stand there are 15 mystery boxes each containing one ingredient.
Everyone will choose one box at random.
The challenge is to create one dish that incorporates the ingredient that's in your box and the ingredient that's in your competitor's box.
There'll be a winner from each pairing of shifts, and the shift that has the best dish overall wins $5,000 for their charity and immunity from the elimination challenge.
Chefs, you have just 20 minutes to plan and execute your dishes.
Wow.
And your time starts right now.
Good luck.
Oh! I open my box, and then I look over at Suvir's box.
And my biggest fear.
We got canned corn beef and marshmallows.
- We both got crap.
- What is this-- They have like real food.
The Suvir inside me that's the true master, he's insulted.
But sometime even a master has to come down from the pedestal and hopefully create something that's not as bad as it ought to be.
So wrong.
Chicken liver and popcorn.
- Sardines.
- Dragon fruit.
Sardines and dragon fruit.
I don't know if sardines and dragon fruit hang out much.
They're not really from the same sector of the earth.
So, you know, mixing these flavors is not a natural thing.
I think Hugh is really masterful.
He has like four restaurants.
But I've made sardines quite often.
I'm gonna do a shaved dragon fruit salad with sardines on top.
I have cockles.
They're like little clams.
And Floyd's got marmite, which is basically a vegetable extract.
The only thing I can think of that's vegetable extract is in Australia they spread it on bread for breakfast.
That's what I'm gonna do then.
The two ingredients that I'm working with are black licorice and peanut butter? First of all, I despise black licorice.
My brain is really kinda twisted around how these two things are gonna get together.
So I'm doing two separate salads.
- What do you got? - Frog legs--what you got? - Cottage cheese.
- I hate cottage cheese.
And all of a sudden, there it is on the first challenge.
This is gonna be interesting.
I'm making a little cottage cheese cake with frog legs on top.
But I'm a little worried because John Currence comes from the South.
Frog legs are right in his comfort zone.
Perfect amount of time.
For what, exactly? I'm chaotic and I'm super-intense, and Mary Sue is almost like watching ballet.
And then all of a sudden, there's this food.
Like where's it come from? Chefs, you have five minutes remaining.
Turn up that heat.
I start putting my crispy hash brown on the plate.
And then I see a big thumbprint, so I clean the plates.
It's gonna be tight.
Oh, dear.
Oh, boy, you said it.
I'm definitely stressed because as time's running out, there's a lot to do still.
Chefs, time is up.
I have nothing.
I didn't finish.
It's just embarrassing.
I've watched Top Chef Masters, but I absolutely didn't expect it to be this hard.
I didn't finish.
OhI didn't finish.
I still just needed to put the sauce on the plate.
Time is up, but I can't touch it anymore.
Oh, it looks like dog food on a plate.
I'm not gonna present a half dish.
Oh, ! I forgot to put the cottage cheese The corner of my eye catches the bowl full of the cottage cheese ranch, and I realize it's not on the plate.
Damn it! YouIdiot.
It's a big wake-up call.
- You guys are line cooking.
- I'll line cook.
There's three over here.
Put three more right there.
There's no leader right here in this situation.
- James, welcome back.
- It's great to be back.
Ruth, welcome to Top Chef Masters.
I'm so happy to be here.
- Uh-oh.
- Uh-oh! - Oh, my God! - It's Ruth! On top of the stress of being judged in front of my peers, James Oseland and Ruth Reichl are our critics.
Wow.
We're dealing with people with, say, a good 50 years' combined experience.
The best critic I ever got was from Ruth Reichl of the New York Times.
She gave me three stars.
She knows her food very well, and I'm thinking to myself, "this is gonna be a hard one.
" So the chefs got some pretty interesting combinations.
The first one was frogs' legs and cottage cheese.
So this is actually a chili cottage cheese dish.
- I kinda like this.
- Who woulda thought fried cottage cheese? But it's actually very good.
- I fried it in a Patty.
- Oh, good.
Let's see how it compares to the buffalo frogs' legs with the cottage cheese ranch.
Frogs' legs are great fried, so I'm interested to see this.
I just want more of that buffalo oomph.
I want some real heat.
The cottage cheese has sort of vanished.
I don't think it made it onto the plate.
Next time, James.
Next time.
So which ones do you like better, guys? I give them real credit for this cottage cheese.
I think it's really original.
So the winner is the chili cottage cheese cake.
So next we have marshmallows and corned beef.
Ugh! - We had the worst.
- We had the worst! - Oh, pity the poor fellows.
- I like the flavor.
It's the texture that's so really difficult.
- I agree! - The texture is just loathsome.
One shift didn't get any ingredients on the plate.
I can't.
I can't.
I didn't even finish it.
Well, the winner here's obvious.
And an "A" for effort.
Here we have sardines and dragon fruit.
Let's start with the pan-seared sardines with a dragon fruit salad.
The texture from the raw celery and the sardines Spot on.
Yeah, it's really nice.
The chef over here has decided not to serve anything, 'cause they didn't get finished, so I think we've got a pretty clear winner.
Makes me sad.
It's like a big zero.
I know.
I wanted to see what they were doing.
Ruth's eaten in my restaurant before, and I really respect her.
So I'm mortified that I don't have a dish for her.
My dish was gonna be really delicious.
So the winner is the dragon fruit salad.
Nice job.
Over here we have cockles and leek soup and marmite.
I'm one of those weird people who loves marmite, but I just don't taste enough of it here.
And here we have a marmite soup.
This one's--this one's quite a lot nicer.
- It's just more interesting.
- Unanimous.
- What'd you get? - Vegemite.
So here we have a duo of salads, peanut butter vinaigrette and celery and back here we have a licorice and orange salad.
I didn't know what I was making.
- It's good.
- It's got a little bit of a Thai inspiration because of the peanuts.
They complement each other and they're delicious together.
Let's go to the end here.
We've got hors d'oeuvres with bacon, licorice, and peanut butter.
The intensity of that licorice is really overwhelming.
"A" for effort, though.
I would eat this if I were completely wasted and it were 3:00 in the morning.
So the winner here is the two salads.
Easily.
Chefs, I'm just curious.
A couple of people didn't plate the food, so who was that? - Aw - What happened, Naomi? What happened was the clock just ran out.
Would it have won the head-to-head challenge? I think so.
James, out of the winning dishes, which were your favorites? Our first favorite was the chili cottage cheese cake with the frogs' legs.
That was me.
The use of the cottage cheese was just so smart.
Whew! We also really loved the two salads with the peanut butter vinaigrette and the licorice.
- That was me.
- I'm not surprised at the level of food.
We could have just kept eating that and eating that.
There was nothing left on the plate.
Thank you.
There can only be one winning dish, and the chef that made it wins $5,000 for their charity, furnished by Lexus, and immunity for the elimination challenge.
We had a very hard time with it, but in the end we gave it to The two salads.
Traci's.
Thank you very much.
It feels really good to win the first quickfire, and I feel this tremendous sense of relief with immunity.
Congratulations, Traci.
That's $5,000 for your charity, furnished by Lexus.
This charity is incredibly inspiring.
It is a food service Incubator supporting low-income and primarily immigrant women.
We've had some incredible participants that are really making their dreams come true.
This is the challenge that top chefs anticipate and dread in equal measures.
And this is the very first time that we've ever done this on Top Chef Masters.
Your elimination challenge is Restaurant Wars.
- Yes! - Okay.
We have all opened several restaurants, but to have all those same personalities make it happen together-- totally different scenario.
The winning chefs from the quickfire challenge will be team red, and the other chefs will be team blue.
I'm worried because we're put on the losers' team, and we're competitors.
None of us wants to get beaten up again.
Each chef must be responsible for one dish, and the diners will select the winning team.
The nature of diners today is that they know a lot, and they can be very finicky.
So we have to be on our toes to win.
James, Ruth, and I will see you tomorrow night.
Good luck.
Okay, I am not a line cook.
We walk up to the restaurant space, and I've seen restaurant wars, and I know that there ends up being sort of a team leader.
I'm a single mom, and I'm the chef and owner at Beast Restaurant, so I'm used to running things.
We're kind of planning on bringing everyone in either at 6:00 or 6:15.
Any particular reason? Yes, because it's impossible to get them out and that's what it seems like to us.
At my restaurant in Portland, everybody comes at exactly the same time, and so there's this communal spirit happening.
I would say even if you staggered in 15 minutes.
That's the style of service that I'm used to working with, so I just decide to do it.
We can try to get the four tops out first, obviously.
I'm a team player, but to serve 34 people at the same time--that sucks.
I mean, our plates should look good, but I think it should be proposed as being the new American restaurant, which the new American restaurant represents all these different types of people around us.
My small group looks like a joke somebody's grandfather would tell.
Two Indians, two Americans, a Canadian, and a Portuguese guy walk into a bar.
The key term in that is gonna be mosaic, the idea that we're contributing these things.
- Let's call it Mosaic.
- Yeah, call it Mosaic.
Call it Mosaic.
I'm less stressed about this than anybody else is because I've got immunity.
We need two people in charge.
We need a chef in the kitchen.
I'll be out here.
So I'm gonna watch the front of the house even though that is not my comfort zone.
And then we've designated Floyd to be the point person in the kitchen.
Let's start moving the tables while we talk so at least we can start going.
Are these four tops? Are these actually fours? It's six deuces, correct? There's three already here.
Put three more right there.
That's it.
The moment where I look around and everybody's grabbing tables and setting up chairs and time is ticking and I'm like, "all right, wait a second.
There's no There's no leader right here in this situation.
" We're acting a little scattered right now.
Traci, you're front of the house.
Take charge of the tables right now.
You tell us what you want.
George is pretty stressed out.
But I have had years of dealing with different types of situations.
I wish that he would chill.
Okay, do we have a game plan? Uh, not really.
We split into teams of three.
We're going to Restaurant Depot, and we're going to Whole Foods.
Suvir, Traci, and I are the Restaurant Depot team.
- We need limes, right? - We need limes.
Mary Sue has been designated to shop for my ingredients.
Whoopsie.
Oh! Because Mary Sue and I are good friends, I feel like we're gonna be able to get on the same page pretty quickly.
Well, do you have whole halibut back there? No? Things are going really well.
Naomi and I are using our Sprint phones, which has this app with the grocery IQ so we can check things off our list as we grab them.
Upstairs? Okay.
I'm getting fish here.
I got fish.
I need five more of those.
You have, you don't have? What I'm planning to do is a seared scallop over a really nice and rich leek with grits.
I opened up the tin, and the scallop was this big.
Like too big.
But I think I'm pretty adept at making things tasty.
I never went to culinary school, you know.
I was taught by reading books and cooking.
Paid the bills a lot more than political philosophy did, so after 2 1/2 years of college, I called it quits on that front.
Yeah, I'm buying all of that.
Two minutes! Run and get wings.
Run as fast as you can! How do you get out of here? Nice.
How you guys doing with everything? Great.
Thank you.
You guys, we need to think of a name.
- Leela.
- What is that? Moment of enlightenment.
- Is that what that means? - Yeah.
- Really? - I like it.
We decided on the name Leela.
It's elevated, and it's calm.
And I'm thinking to myself, this is gonna help Naomi have a sense of calm.
- L-e-e-l-a.
- I like it.
We'll go with that.
I am a bit concerned about what Naomi did with the seating and also the amount of courses that we're serving.
But she's in charge.
I'm just gonna roll with it.
I'm gonna have to finish the soup tomorrow.
There's no way I'm gonna be able to get it done.
I'm making sweet potato peanut soup.
Alex is doing vegetable fricassee.
John is doing rack of lamb.
Sue is cooking up Halibut for her dish.
Naomi's working on the flourless chocolate cake.
Celina's dessert is pistachio cake semifreddo.
Is that hot? Every Indian man needs a woman to take care of him.
'Cept for you.
I need two.
So for the menu today at Mosaic Restaurant, Floyd has short ribs with steel-cut oat.
We have an amazing slow-poached salmon that George is making, Traci's warm bread salad with artichokes, Hugh's grits with sea scallops.
And then for desserts, Suvir has berry and pear cobbler and I have my chocolate cake.
We gotta put you in the front of the house, I think.
You are much more charming than I.
The charity that I'm playing for is Faster Cures.
They're focused on cancers.
My wife was 8 1/2 months pregnant with twins, and I found out I had colon cancer.
The impact it had on my life was huge, and I was fortunate enough to survive.
I can give back what's been given to me.
That's very important.
You all right? Excellent.
Alex is next to me.
He's doing some really detailed knife work.
And I'm just afraid that there's not going to be the time for him to bring everything to the plate.
He's gotta step it up.
- 30 minutes, guys! - Set 'em out.
I am looking at the quickfire winners and I'm thinking, "that's the winning team.
" Almost every one of those chefs has spent time in Europe, and they've broken it down like in a brigade system, and that's not what we've done at all.
All the other lamb, if you could grab it, is right beyond that wall.
Take all your largest ones and cut 'em in half.
I'm thinking, "how the hell is this gonna come together?" - Oh, Naomi.
- Yes? The next course-- when are we going to get it? We need to know if they need food.
I don't know where these last three go.
So are we ready to start now? We're going right to it.
You don't want them trimmed? You're gonna press and trim later? Okay.
Press and trim later.
So today's the day our restaurant's opening.
We have three hours to cook, and then the orders start coming in.
How you doing? Too good, sweetheart.
Three hours to cook for these 50 guests.
That's very difficult.
And I worry that these Masters, they think more is better.
They younger they are or the more fragile their egos, the more garnishes they add.
To true Masters, less is more.
When you become Masters, you make magic from nothing.
Just go as fast as you can, 'cause I might need some help.
Super-hot.
Comin' down, really hot.
My fricassee would generally take me a good couple of hours on a good day.
But now it's like full-throttle.
I'm committed to it.
I'm goin' for it.
I'm definitely not gonna be the first one to go.
You didn't see unsweetened chocolate, did you? I am shocked when I get into the storeroom.
I can't find the unsweetened chocolate.
I'm gonna have to try to figure out how much sugar to reduce in the cake recipe, and that's gonna change the texture of the cake.
But in my experience, if you can't look for that solution then you're gonna just remain a cook.
- Can I tell ya something? - Yeah.
Your potatoes are damn delicious.
Can I tell you something? You have great hair.
I wanna have fun in this competition.
You know, I like being the guy who's not Freaking out.
20 minutes, people.
Who's got garnish? Where's your garnish? Suvir.
Put your berry cobbler in the oven? - No.
- I'm worried a little bit.
Don't worry.
Chefs are least masterful with desserts, so they think, "I have no fear of desserts.
" If I really am a master, I have to take on every challenge as best as I can.
Four minutes, guys! Hi.
I'm Naomi.
- Hi there.
I'm Traci.
- Carlos.
You can cook over there.
Let's move through this as quickly as we can.
The flowers are right over here.
What do you need? - Hi.
- Hi.
How are you guys? Right this way, please.
Hi.
My strategy for the front of the house is to make people feel really welcome.
I make a point of engaging with each guest, making sure that I connect with them.
Here you are.
Right there.
Welcome.
Cool feather.
I'm kinda shocked at what the other team's doing.
They seat the whole dining room at once.
And I'm going, wow So they're gonna do this like banquet style, whereas we're seating incrementally, so that we didn't slam the chefs.
- Coming down.
- I need three right now.
Okay, here.
Here's two.
Let me finish this third.
I need the piece of lamb on that one to finish, please.
I'm worried that Naomi wants to pile all the reservations together, and timing has to be so perfect that if too many people come at one time, we could get in trouble.
I need runners! How many do you need right away? Gimme five more pastas and three more soups, please.
Order two artichoke going with one scallop.
Hello.
Lovely maitre d' will get you seated.
Excited to have you here.
Traci, I want to introduce you to Danyelle Freeman, founder and editor of online food magazine Restaurant Girl.
It's really nice to have this opportunity to meet Danyelle.
She's been instrumental, I think, in promoting chefs and getting us into the forefront of the media.
It's a lot more intimate, not as any people here right now.
Yeah, we staggered things in a little bit on this side.
We took a different tack to our seating.
They're not putting all the food out for the whole dining room at once.
I mean, that's how you do it in a regular restaurant.
Very good.
Enjoy.
Thanks so much.
Ordering for the judges.
Two scallops-- - I'm ready.
- Two and two.
I'm ready.
Let's plate.
In my dish, this scallop is unusually large.
But I'm pretty happy with it overall.
It's not racy and exciting, but it's a solid dish.
This is the salad for the judges.
And I figured I'd better get my hands in it.
Even though you have immunity.
Even though I have immunity.
Midway through service, we are golden.
Traci is running the front of the house very, very well.
Hugh and George and Mary Sue are doing an awesome job putting the food out.
Suvir is calm as always, keeping us entertained.
I'm like Susie homemaker.
So that's my salad.
Artichoke and bread salad.
I went back and plated it.
And the scallop is from Hugh.
Please enjoy.
- Thanks.
- Thank you.
That's the biggest scallop I've ever seen in my life.
It's a monster scallop.
Hugh's scallop is intensely salty.
- My scallop's under - Is your undercooked too? Mine's a little undercooked.
Wanna switch? Wanna switch? Hold on a minute! No! I don't think I do! Hey, can you give me a wipe down on this? - Yes.
- Thank you.
I have to say Traci's salad epitomizes what's great about California, American cooking.
You just put it on the plate and not fuss over it.
Traci's sounds clean, fresh, vibrant.
Got tons of texture.
I think the flavors are really good.
Aw, come on, guys.
Can you carry it nice and straight, nice and slow, please? George Hau created a salmon dish and Floyd has a spiced braised short rib with an oatmeal risotto.
Enjoy.
Wow.
So George has gone all-out with his dish.
He's done the confit salmon with a fennel puree.
There's some kind of smoky potato in there.
George has done a good job of this salmon.
It's nice.
I'm kind of amazed at where that subtly smoky quality in the puree potatoes comes from.
Gimme more-- gimme more lemon here.
I love the look of Floyd's dish.
I think the short ribs that Floyd's done was delicious.
I'm still not completely sold on Floyd's oat risotto.
I have to say I love Floyd's oat risotto.
I wanna know how to make it.
I wanna be making it at home.
You think? Okay, let's go to table six.
That's beautiful! I felt like my chocolate cake's okay.
It's not exactly the flavor and texture I want, but it's still gonna be delicious.
Oh, wow.
Mary Sue's done chocolate cake.
It's kinda like a cupcake.
And then Suvir has made berry and pear cobbler.
Please enjoy.
Thank you.
So we have Suvir's cobbler.
I love, love, love, love, love this dish.
What's extraordinary about it is that it's not very sweet and that it has this little touch of spice.
But you really get the fruit.
Mary Sue's-- it's a supermarket cupcake.
It's just a bit too moist, too dense, almost leaden.
I'm excited.
This is really good.
I went straight for the middle.
It's so good.
I thought it was disappointing.
- Really? - I just thought it was dry.
Why don't we go see what the other chefs have in store for us? - Hi.
Welcome.
- Hi.
Be right with you in a second, okay? - Okay.
- Not a great start.
Busy restaurant already.
- Welcome.
- Hi.
- Welcome to Leela.
- Thank you.
Thank you.
So you purposely sat everybody at the one time? I did.
I felt like that's how we needed to do it, and they felt like strong enough line cooks to just make it happen.
- Thank you very much.
- Okay.
Thank you.
As a chef, if my maitre d' sat the entire room at once, that would be their last night at work.
That puts an incredible strain on the kitchen.
Table 8.
Will you please check tables 2 and 12? To when they have two bites left.
We need to know if they need food.
So how are you guys feeling? We just need a little better communication on their part.
I've been really trying to take care of the guests.
- I know, I know.
- The judges are here.
They're sitting.
Here's the problem.
I don't know where these last three go.
We're trying to tell them that nothing goes-- It's okay.
I'll talk to them.
And I'm gonna take the judges right now, okay? Three, five, eight, nine.
Naomi's seating chart-- it's completely insane to me.
I'm blown away, and I start to worry a little bit.
So to two--pasta to one, table four.
Okay? Ooh, yum.
- That's really good.
- It's delicious.
Okay, here we go.
Now we're talking.
Beautiful presentation.
Really beautiful.
The celery root and wild mushroom fricassee with pear and parmesan was made by Alex.
And John Currence made the soup.
He's done a cilantro oil.
The elements that I've tasted have been fantastic.
- Thanks a lot, Naomi.
- Thanks.
You know, some of the least beautiful things are the most delicious.
Alex's fricassee-- it's amazing.
- Wow.
- It has so much going on-- the texture and the earthiness of the mushroom.
It's very good.
Would it be wrong if I just lifted this up and licked it? John's soup-- the heat in it, it's not fair to everything that comes after it.
This would be the end of tasting for many people.
Oh, yeah, we got a big fire, big fire.
Turn it off, turn it off.
And I think the entree's over there.
I'm beginning to wonder where our food is.
It's missing in action.
One of us could go in the kitchen and get it.
When I call lamb, when I call fish, how long is it gonna take for orders to come up? I'll take one, I'll take two.
I'll take whatever I can get.
Well, your entrees are here.
- Oh, Naomi.
- Yes? - The next course - Yes? - When are we going to get it? - Very soon.
And they're just perfecting it and making sure everything is exactly as needed.
Two, three, four Yeah, they are taking quite a while, though.
I'll be right back.
I'm gonna check on your entrees.
Where is our chili-rubbed rack of lamb? Stop.
Turn around.
The judges want their entrees.
Aah! Right now.
The judges want their entrees.
I need two and two on the fly.
Two and two right away for the judges.
The critics' tickets come in right at the busiest time of the whole evening.
My teammates are very flustered.
The orders are piling up now I feel a little pressure.
So I'd love to describe these dishes for you.
The halibut was made by Sue Zemanick.
And it is an Alaskan Halibut that's pan seared.
There's a sea scallop, and then there's a pesto beurre blanc.
The lamb dish is served with a three apple and jicama salad, and that was made by John.
Enjoy your food.
Sue's halibut is a very, very pretty plate of food.
I have to say that Sue's pesto beurre blanc was quite delicious.
But overall, something about this shouts hotel food.
Sue, I love this plate, babe.
Thank you.
John's lamb is raw.
Oh, my God, it's like that scene in Rosemary's Baby where she eats the raw liver I said it was so rare! It's really, really raw.
Uh-oh.
- Oh, my God.
- What is it? Oh, it's the label.
Oh, that's not good.
Oh, no! I have the label too.
Oh, my God! I just hope the apple was washed.
I'm totally opposite.
You can have my lamb.
- Do you need help on dessert? - Table two and table three.
And then this is going to the judges? - No.
- Really? I have high hopes for dessert.
I did the chocolate torte.
There's a vanilla meringue on the top that we brulee and a little 23-karat gold leaf.
Celina made the honey semifreddo and pistachio cake.
I tasted her pistachio cake.
It's outrageously delicious.
Thanks.
Oh, my God.
Naomi's torte is stunning.
It's so dense and rich and beautiful.
I love it.
Whoa! Naomi's torte is special.
Desserts looked beautiful.
Thank you for making my dessert look so good.
So what does everybody think about Celina's take on baklava? It's very difficult to eat all those elements in one go.
I find the plating problematic.
Hands down, these guys blew their desserts out of the water.
- Well, dessert-- - 100%.
- Thank you.
- Cool.
You're welcome.
Thanks.
I'm feeling really good.
There was a little delay for the courses to start coming out for the critics, but thank goodness the diners are voting, because I think people here are having a really great time.
Feedback-wise, people loved that, and they loved them both.
They're really happy.
Thank you.
The interesting thing is it's not up to us who is the winning restaurant.
Diners are gonna make the decision as to which restaurant they thought was the best.
So if the diners had a better experience in Leela or in Mosaic, they'll choose it, and then one of the chefs on the losing team will be going home tonight.
They're happy people.
Everybody was happy out there.
As the time wrapped up and I reflect back on our service, the other team, they were running their restaurant as a banquet facility.
I mean, I'm out there like almost tearing up.
My team was like a Michelin star restaurant with well-executed food.
We have nothing to fear.
It felt too safe.
Did you taste the dishes? It was exciting that restaurant wars was the first challenge.
A little exhausting, I might add, but - Yeah.
- I was breaking a sweat today.
I was shocked that it was so hard.
I thought we'd get something easy just to wet our feet.
We are titan heads.
We are inspiration.
We are the muse.
We don't work.
We don't sweat.
Some of us may.
I don't.
I'm honest.
We say things, and magic happens.
So this is wonderful.
It's the first time we've come back to planet earth, and we'll be living like normal people.
Does anyone have an idea who the winner might be? Who has an idea? I think it's I think this is one of those instances that you guys could go in there feeling pretty confident and be like uhreally? I feel right now that our restaurant is gonna win on food.
Our food is better than theirs.
We like to win.
We feel like we're winners and we just want to win.
Chefs, how's it going? Hi.
Can I please have all the chefs from team blue? Come with me.
Thanks.
- Good luck, you guys.
- Thank you.
Good luck, guys.
Do you know what it means? - Uh, they mix it up.
- They might have changed.
Who knows? We sit and we wait.
Well, chefs, the critics actually preferred Mosaic as a restaurant.
However, the diners have the final say, and the diners Preferred Leela.
So congratulations.
- Yes! - Sweet! Oh That was a pregnant pause.
Well done, guys.
Congratulations.
Within this winning team, we've got to choose our favorite dish.
Critics, what were the highlights? Naomi, I think we're all in agreement that your chocolate torte was outrageously delicious.
I mean, I love, love, loved it.
Thank you.
I do have one complaint about it.
I would have liked a vat of that caramel sauce, please.
Thank you.
Thanks.
Alex, your fricassee was bright and fresh and light.
I loved it.
I thought it was pretty perfect.
- It was exquisite.
- Thanks.
And the winning dish is Alex, with your fricassee.
Nice! Congratulations.
Your charity, Faster Cures, will received $10,000, furnished by Lexus.
Congratulations.
This is huge.
I am a survivor cancer, and it makes a great deal of difference to me if there's funds out there for those people who can't afford the kind of care that I had.
I'm gonna have to ask you to return to the wine room and have some of your colleagues join us.
- Thanks.
- Thank you.
I have no idea what's gonna happen.
I don't have a clue either.
Hey.
How are ya? Well, we won, which was really nice.
Alex won.
Alex! And the critics would like to see Mary Sue and Hugh.
My heart kind of sinks.
I'm worried about my friend.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Hello.
I think it's tough to have you standing before us right now.
Unfortunately, the critics felt that your two dishes were the weakest.
Did you taste the dishes, any of the ones-- Yeah, I tasted a number of them.
What was it that struck you-- Well, my scallop was inedibly salty.
Oh, really? Okay.
And there was so much salt in there, I had a hard time taking a second bite.
The couple that we tried seemed fine.
It was aggressively salty.
I was using maldon, which is low-flake salt, and it can happen that you can get too much on there.
You know, I thought shrimp and grits would be a play on shrimp and grits, not finding this huge scallop on top.
Difficult scallops to work with a little bit.
Is this a dish you serve in your restaurant? No.
No, not like that.
We take chances.
I think it's admirable that you took a chance.
Mary Sue, you did the chocolate dessert.
James, what did you think? The cupcake today, it felttoo safe for you.
I thought, you know, I love that cupcake, and I haven't made it in a while, and I'd like to bring it back for our Mosaic Restaurant and make it 'cause it's such a part of my history When you first started making that, it was really, "oh, my God!" And now so many people do that as well.
It's a bit of a risk to make a pastry dish in the context of a show like this.
I think if I had had the bitter chocolate, the deep muscovado flavor would have come out more.
The cake was okay.
It was a little dry for me.
There was a wind tunnel in there, so it did get a little bit dry.
The critics have got a tough decision, so thank you.
You can join your fellow chefs.
- Not a problem.
- Thank you.
Well, I'll say this.
I mean, there's no reason that Hugh's in there.
I've cooked with Hugh for a long time.
I mean, he's too good to be standing in that room.
We have to go back again for another spanking.
- Why? - As they say in India, "it's time for another scotch.
" We have, uh, Hugh in front of us with his scallop dish and also have Mary Sue in front of us with her chocolate cupcake.
This is heartbreaking because, I mean, these were two people who are really good chefs, who wowed us in the quickfire.
Neither of these dishes were disasters.
No.
But it was Hugh's fault that the scallop was too salty.
He admitted it himself, by using the maldon salt.
He was doing something he's never done before, and I feel like we're just throwing that away.
I don't usually either.
Mary Sue's dish was less adventurous for sure.
I just felt it was too dry.
And for me, that's no question.
She took the easy route.
She just went on autopilot and did what she's used to doing.
Maybe they won't send anyone home.
So you think you've come to a decision.
I have.
I have.
Mary Sue, Hugh You presented the critics' least favorite dishes from Mosaic Restaurant tonight.
James.
Mary Sue, your cooking here needs to be ambitious, inventive And today's cupcake simply wasn't.
Hugh, I was also so disappointed not to see really bright flavors, contrasting texture.
All of that was missing in today's grits and scallop dish.
Mary Sue, Hugh One of you, unfortunately, has to leave us.
The first chef to be eliminated from Top Chef Masters is Hugh.
Please return to the kitchen and pack your knives.
Understood.
And I'm really disappointed I'm not gonna get to eat more of your food.
I'm gonna get a smaller type of salt next time.
We'll be making a donation to your charity, Wholesome Wave.
Thank you.
Thank you.
I think that the competition was a gut-wrenching journey, but if I can learn a couple of new things every day, it's a good day, and I learned a lot in the last two days.
That's really too bad.
I would just love to keep eating his food.
He seems so smart.
Well I'm outta here.
Thank you.
I'm a little defeated, but I think it's a real honor just to raise money for Wholesome Wave.
They're getting people who are poverty stricken to eat the right food on their table, and it's just a great, great charity.
- We'll miss you.
- You did an awesome job.
It's really hard for people to understand just how difficult this competition is.
I just didn't think I'd be leaving this early.
This season, on Top Chef Masters Aah! It could be any one of us, because we're all really talented.
I don't know who to agree with.
I am going to propose to my girlfriend.
Chefs, we are Maroon 5.
Were you expecting delicious? These challenges have been completely insane.
I don't see the other bus.
Tonight's waiters will not be coming.
You give a guest one of these things, and they're gonna freak out.
Everyone is losing a tremendous amount of weight.
What the hell am I doing here? This is so damn ridiculous.
- Everybody needs to chip in.
- It's impossible on proteins.
Things are heating up, and it's very easy to just crack.
- It tastes good, honey.
- I'm gonna try.
But I heard you.
Suddenly you're not your sweet self.
You see the difference? - Everybody's just on edge.
- Stop.
Put it down.
Neither dish was particularly good.
We were laughing.
I said, "who would eat this?" I don't know if I'd pay 50 cents for that.
Wow! For more information on Top Chef Masters, visit bravotv.
com.