Top Chef: Masters (2009) s03e06 Episode Script

I'm With The Band

Is that for here or to go? Come on, George, you're [bleep] us up.
Eight of the most acclaimed chefs in America put their reputations on the line in one culinary clash of the titans.
Here's our restaurant, guys.
The chefs were challenged to a fast food battle.
- Do you need the sides? - Yes.
It's chaos right off the bat.
Hey, did you use the dirty part? Was using a little corner of it.
Nerves were fried, as the chefs struggled to keep up with the demand.
Can you hear me? [horn honking] The food's not really coming out of the kitchen.
We're never gonna get our food.
Give it to me, please.
Mary Sue's steak quesadilla and quinoa fritters were the perfect takeaway dish.
Those fritters were dynamite.
Oh, my! But George's inability to modify his pork and clams You didn't really adapt to fast food.
Sent him home.
Return to the kitchen and pack your knives.
Seven chefs remain But only one can emerge victorious.
And win the grand prize of $100,000 for their charity, furnished by Kitchenaid.
And be crowned as the winner of Top Chef Masters.
Top Chef Masters 3x06 I'm With The Band We walk into the kitchen, And we see this beautiful display of special ingredients.
For a change, it's good to get really good things to be cooking with in a quickfire.
Because normally, you're dealing with things that are really strange.
For this quickfire challenge, I want you to take the diners to heaven.
This table is full of heavenly ingredients that all top chefs love to use in their cooking.
Foie gras, caviar, scallops.
You can make any dish you want.
But here's the twist.
The fastest quickfire challenge in Top Chef history was done in eight minutes and 37 seconds.
I've seen a Top Chef episode where Tom establishes the time perimeter.
Time's up.
- 8:37.
- Oh! Are you freaking kidding me? This makes me nervous about the cook time.
We think you can do this In just seven.
- Whoa.
- [scoffs] Really? [laughing] I can cook an egg in seven minutes.
[laughing] You have to make two plates.
And the chef with the winning dish Scores $5,000 for their charity and immunity from the elimination challenge.
Your seven minutes in heaven starts now.
I got the wasabi.
My goal is to get to the diver scallop, because I'm gonna make scallop crudo.
Seven minutes is not a lot of time.
Heating up a pan takes a solid two.
Since I'm carrying the big old goose egg right now for my charity, I really wanna win this.
Behind, behind, behind, blind side.
Do you have any caviar? I do have the caviar.
Yes, you can have some.
Here, right here.
For this challenge, it's just about getting the ingredients on the plate and highlighting them quickly and effectively.
I'm making a seared foie gras with fried lady apples.
[sizzling noise] I think I am taking some chances with this dish.
It really does take five minutes to sear foie gras.
- I'm chopping fish.
- Chop fish! Naomi is working on some sort of a seared foie gras dish.
Why can't I beat that image? Three minutes.
I'm gonna do a beef carpaccio, With truffle vinaigrette and mushrooms.
It's so fast in the quickfire, I'm having a little adrenaline issue.
Which is not really a good thing When you're handling a knife 'cause it makes you shake.
So I'm struggling with it a bit.
Chefs, you have just two minutes left.
Making a run for the fryer right now.
[Sizzling noises] [Bleep] It's like a quickfire on steroids at this point.
I'm making tuna two ways.
With a little caviar on the tartare, and a little poached tuna belly at the other end.
Unfortunately, poached tuna, it's supposed to be poached for about 15 minutes.
I may be making the most elaborate cat food of all time.
15 seconds.
Time's up, chefs.
Utensils down.
Nice.
Nice.
You kicked ass.
Look at you guys.
I look over at Naomi's station and she's got cooked foie gras on her plate.
[Scoff] I don't think I really pushed myself enough in this challenge.
[Laughing] Chefs to my left, can you please pick up your two plates and cross over to the other side of the kitchen? Thank you.
Something's up.
Usually we'll go over into the wine room after the quickfire.
I'm thinking, "oh, dear, what could that mean?" Well, our chefs are always curious to see who's reviewing our dishes.
So today, you're gonna be judging Each other.
[Sighs] I'm not relishing this.
I think it has the potential to cause some animosity in the kitchen.
You'll taste each chef's dish, and then rank them from one to seven.
One will be the best, and seven will be the worst.
The dish with the lowest score wins.
Everyone, come gather around.
Let's taste Hugh's dish.
We have tuna two ways.
It's a simple chopped tuna with caviar and soy, and then we've got a really quick ventresca of poached belly with chopped celery.
There's some bitterness in this.
- It's caviar.
- The caviar, yeah.
- Oh, is it? - Does anyone have any other questions for Hugh? I'm a scorpio, I like quiet walks on the beach - [Giggles] - Okay.
Traci, you're next, tell us about your dish.
Carpaccio beef tenderloin, with a little bit of truffle shavings, balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and some sauteed maitaki.
It's well seasoned, it's good.
- Yeah, it's delicioso.
- Mm.
Traci's dish was really simple and really delicious.
I have some competition here.
So next we've got Naomi.
I chose foie gras, there's a little sliced chanterelle mushrooms with some fried lady apple and parsley.
Where'd you get the extra five minutes? [Laughing] Naomi seems to be really flourishing in the competition.
It's a little surprising to me, honestly.
Because she's one of the least experienced in the group.
Badass, dude.
I got one piece which was a little salty.
So Celina, tell us about your dish.
It was a simple diver scallop crudo with a cumquat, lemon, lemon agrumato, and blood orange.
I think I probably could've used just a little bit more maldon.
That sucks.
Mary Sue, introduce us to your culinary delight.
I did a very simple scallop dish.
It has pink salt, and lime, and cilantro.
It's really seasoned perfectly.
Maybe it's good I didn't have more time.
[Giggles] It's perfect.
Alex.
It's a Santa Barbara prawn ceviche, with cumquats, hot chilis, and celery, and I have a little blood-orange vinaigrette.
- Fantastic.
- Delicious.
- Yeah.
- Very good.
- Thank you.
- It's great.
Last, but certainly not least.
Floyd, tell us about your dish.
It's a roast spot prawn.
In the sauce, I have a blood orange, serrano chili, wasabi, and pepper.
- Mm.
- And I fried the head.
[Crunches] I love that you used the head, too.
Because wasting it would just be not right.
Please go back to your dishes, and then we can start ranking everybody else's food.
One for the best, and seven for the worst.
I feel like we've become a little family of chefs.
This challenge is sort of forcing us to choose one over another.
It's awkward.
Okay, chefs, show me your ranking for Hugh's dish.
- [Laughing] - Well, Hugh, you weren't the only one that ranked your dish last.
Traci? I felt it lacked seasoning.
And that the caviar was really bitter.
- Floyd? - I just didn't like the cooked tuna on the plate.
Hugh wants to win this more than anyone does in the competition.
He knows a lot about ingredients, so I'm surprised that his dish looked like cat food.
And I'm like, ugh! Show me your ranking for Traci's dish.
Some pretty solid scores there, Traci.
Naomi, you put her right on the very top.
I thought it was perfectly seasoned.
And I enjoyed the combination of flavors and the simplicity of it.
Mary Sue, you rated Traci's dish number one.
It was one of the one's I'd like to have more bites of.
It was delicious.
Oh.
So our next chef was Naomi.
Hugh, best dish on the table? It was a pretty complex dish.
It looked really beautiful, and really natural, and it tasted great to me.
But Floyd, you thought it was the second worst dish on the table.
I had a salty piece.
Floyd's been called out for too much salt several times on the show.
So it's kind of funny that he's the one that ends up calling me out for too much salt.
Celina's dish.
Mary Sue, you thought it was the worst dish on the table? I mean, I have a really salty, sour pallet, so the sweetness threw me.
And it needed a little salt perhaps.
I don't like to judge.
I feel terrible.
It was a hard choice.
The food was all so delicious.
Ugh, God.
Everybody's.
It's a hard job, isn't it? When you start off with seven good dishes, to try and figure out, "well, okay what was the bottom?" Okay, show me your ranking for Mary Sue's dish.
Big variety of scores.
Alex, you thought it was the best dish on the table.
The simplicity was what shone for me.
Hugh, you thought it was right down the bottom? I thought it was better than mine by two.
Mary Sue's was pretty straightforward.
Her food is not as refined as a number of other chefs.
It's been surprising to see that she's been able to use that skill set and be really strong in this competition.
But you didn't think it was the worst dish? No, I thought mine was.
We've been through this.
[Laughing] Okay, chefs, show me your ranking for Alex's dish.
Wow, Alex, some people have rated yours the best dish on the table, but you've given yourself a six.
I think I should've chopped the ingredients into the dish.
Compared to what I think that dish was, I'd give myself a six.
Let's move onto our last dish.
Please rank Floyd's dish.
Naomi, you scored her a six.
Going to get Floyd back.
No.
Floyd scored your dish really poorly as well.
Do you guys not like each other's style of cooking? The blood orange was too powerful for me for the prawn.
Floyd, you disagreed with some of these guys.
You gave yourself a three.
I like bold flavors.
And I loved the head.
The head went really well with the sauce.
This was really, really tough.
It felt like a world heavyweight boxing match.
Your scores have been totaled, and here is your ranking.
Starting at the bottom Unfortunately, I'm sorry, Celina, that was you, number seven.
It's no fun being on the bottom.
And knowing that your peers are deciding whether or not you're good enough that kinda hurts, too.
Sixth was Hugh.
Fifth, Floyd.
Fourth was Mary Sue.
Third was Alex.
Which means the winning dish was either Naomi's or Traci's.
If I could beat Traci in this challenge, that would be so amazing.
And the chef that ranked first was Hello, chefs, we are Maroon 5.
Time to hit the road.
- Ah.
- Oopsie.
Can we get a warning when you're gonna take a turn like that? Turning again, everybody.
Both: Whoa.
Easy.
Did we just run over someone? Traci and Naomi, you both really excelled at this challenge, however there is only one top spot.
Traci is a force to be reckoned with.
But I wanna beat her.
The chef that ranked first was Traci.
Thank you.
Thank you, guys.
[Applause] Thank you.
It always feels great to win in quickfire.
Immunity gives you some breathing room.
Especially 'cause everyone is formidable in this competition.
I'm disappointed.
But, you know, Traci's been cooking for, like, 20 years longer than I have.
I need to really kinda step up my game.
Congratulations, Traci, that's $5,000 for your charity, La Cocina, furnished by Lexus.
That means that you've won three quickfire challenges.
It means a lot coming from these guys.
Good for you, Traci.
For your next elimination challenge, you need to split into two teams.
Now Traci is the winner of the quickfire challenge, you get to pick your team.
A small team of three might be able to work better, but extra manpower might be good too, so you can choose three or four.
- The day of judgment.
- [Giggles] I'm gonna have to choose from chefs that I really like and respect.
And it doesn't really feel great.
I'll take you.
Traci's probably the only person in this competition that I'd be happy to work as a dishwasher for.
So I'm pretty excited to be on her team.
Naomi, and Mary Sue.
And on the other team, we've got Celina, Alex, and Floyd.
I think having three people is a disadvantage when you have a short period of time.
Because as they say, many hands make light work.
And we don't have any hands.
Now some chefs like to think of themselves as rock stars.
And I get it.
We work hard to entertain thousands of people every night.
Tonight, one of the biggest bands on the planet are returning to their hometown of L.
A.
And guess who's cooking for them.
Over the years of cooking, I've cooked for fabulous bands.
We cooked for the Rolling Stones.
They really are like that.
The pool table, bottle of whiskey Charlie Watts was the only one who ate.
[Giggles] Each team must produce one family-style meal for the band inspired by their request.
And here they are.
Hello, chefs, we are Maroon 5.
[Laughing] I love Maroon 5's music, my kids love their music, and we have their CD's at home, so I am excited.
I personally love Japanese food.
Or perhaps a juicy, amazing steak.
I like to eat vegetarian as much as possible.
My mom used to make spanakopita when I was growing up.
Yeah, I grew up in Nebraska, and we grow lots of corn there.
So hopefully, they'll include that in my meal.
You know, one time we missed Thanksgiving when we were in Australia, I think it scarred me.
I'm vegan.
Also being from L.
A.
, I'm accustomed to really good Mexican food.
There's your challenge.
And good luck, we'll see you tonight.
Your challenge is all about time-management.
You'll be serving the family-style dinner at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
One chef from the winning team will take home $10,000 for their charity.
And one chef from the losing team will go home.
You're gonna have to menu plan on the way to whole foods, and prep on the way to the hotel.
Your transportation is waiting for you outside.
It's time to hit the road.
Good luck.
Wow.
Tour buses? How the heck are we gonna cook on those things? It's not a bad ride.
Oh.
We got some room.
I immediately called a bunch of groupies, cut off the sleeves of all my t-shirts, and got ready to go.
- Oh, nice steps.
- Oh, my God.
It's smaller than I thought it would be.
- Holy [bleep].
- There are three people trying to get something done They can coordinate better than four.
It's just, space is an issue.
And I'm kind of happy that there's three of us.
I wanna sit down and do prep.
- Whoa, wow.
- Okay.
Those aren't induction burners.
How many are we cooking for? There's a three-burner stove with the smallest-looking oven ever.
This is a pretty small space.
We are ready to go to whole foods.
Let's do this thing.
- Does anyone need any spices? - I do.
Yeah, I do, I need one, like, piece of nutmeg.
I was gonna do a vegan Mexican chopped salad with fried avocado.
Do I have authorization to buy three rib eyes? - Yeah, you should buy three.
- Or should I just get two? The menu's looking really good.
Hugh wants to make the corn soup and spanakopita, Naomi wants to make the turkey, and she also wants to throw in a vegan crisp.
- You're getting spices? - Yeah.
Okay, so you're getting my nutmeg? Yeah, yeah.
Why are you going to the spice thing too? I'm going to the spice thing.
Okay.
It's definitely tense in there.
It's a little bit difficult to remove that sort of ego.
And it's a moment of, "ooh, was it a mistake to pick four people? Instead of three?" I have the corn guy, we have the vegan guy And his was gonna be cucumbers? Cucumber salad.
You know, I decided that I'd like to do steak.
So Alex wants to do the turkey and egg enchilada.
Celina said she's gonna do the spanakopita and a corn soup.
It's a bunch of very disjointed and disconnected dishes that we have to make a meal with.
Go.
I need a cart, I need a cart.
Today's all about time-management.
The faster we shop, the quicker we get to prep.
Alex.
I'll bring your cart to you, go.
I walk past the Tequila, I'm thinking we should definitely make a Margarita.
Rock bands are notorious sort of partiers.
I got a bottle of Tequila in case we can make margaritas.
Sweet.
Oh, come on.
Alex's cart is stuck on the escalator.
So Alex is running up and down.
No.
And that kind of frazzles us a little bit.
We're wasting good time.
Come on.
All right, that'd be great.
Uh, I think we're good.
The other team was already checking out, and they looked like they've got their Stuff together.
So, um We keep getting stuff, and I'm like "no problem.
" Uh-uh.
Go ahead, I'm bringing it.
Go to the van now.
- Okay, go, go, go.
- As we get out of there, we realize that we're on our way before the other team.
That gives us more time to prep and cook.
Anything that can give us an advantage is always good.
Can I have one more of these? Wanna see if they've got a little Mickey of Tequila? Hey, Mark, we're ready to rumble.
Have you ever cooked under these circumstances before? I've actually cooked on a plane before, and I've cooked on boats before, but never in an R.
V.
, and certainly not for Maroon 5.
I've cooked on a ship once before.
You know, I've cooked on a ship, too, butstabilize your captain to the bridge, please.
We just divvy up everything.
We stem all the herbs, we peel all the garlic, we peel the shallots Anything that we can get done, we get it done.
Roughly, how far away are we? Half hour, thank you.
Half hour.
- Good, let's go.
- Good? Yep.
Did two people buy apples? I got Tequila.
Okay, let's roll.
Hit it.
I think this is a lot like reading in a car, I'm not gonna like it.
Yeah, I'm not gonna like it either.
I was really a super carsick child.
I had to be given Dramamine if we were going any place near a curvy road.
So this is not my favorite, riding in a bus.
[Pan crashes] What was that? Ice chest.
You know, this is like my dream with my wife.
Because what we wanna do when we retire is to get a van like this Travel the country? And travel the country.
She'd be driving, and I'd be cooking.
The hope is that we'll have two salsas and guacamole, just a small little trio.
- Whoa.
- Oopsy.
- Oh, God.
- Here, you hold onto that.
It locks, the refrigerator.
- I know.
- Can we get a warning when you're gonna take a turn like that? We had a driver who was 140 years old, and liked to take corners way too fast.
[Clattering] Stopping.
- Jesus.
- Oh, my gosh.
He said Just so you-- Guys, hello? Turning again, everybody.
[Bang noise] Whoa.
- Easy.
- Ugh! Did we just run over someone? It sounded like it.
So the first thing we have to do is light the oven.
- Toilet water? - In honor of Hubert? - Yeah.
- [Giggles] - Cutting boards, guys? - Under here, under here, under here.
I got them out.
Once we get to the Hotel Roosevelt, we really just need to put things together and just cook.
A lot of our mise en place we were able to do on the ride over.
Can you guys take-- take that? Should I put more cheese? I think that's good.
[Sizzling, chopping noises] Floyd, you wanna give those chilis a stir? Guys, can I put something on the floor to cook? Just tell us where it is, I don't mind.
Bathroom.
We need any space that we can get to work on, because there's not enough counter space.
Alex, can you do me a favor? Can you hold the chinois for me? I have a toilet that I can use, so I put my induction burner on there, and that's where I make my stock.
You guys, watch out.
[Clattering noise] Stopping.
Car's stopping.
[Giggles] Does anybody need the-- You gonna start with the spinach? Yeah.
Where's the salt? Throw those over here.
Hugh, is there enough room for me to go in the oven with the crisp? - Uh, yeah.
- We're about ten minutes behind the other team.
When you're working under such severe time constraints, ten minutes can be the difference between getting a dish done and not getting it done.
Is there a burner free? Or can there be? I'm getting ready to do my corn soup, which is flavored with vanilla and coconut milk.
We're having some equipment concerns.
There's not a lot of heat on the stove, there's not a lot of room for big pots.
This standard way of making a soup is not just to combine everything in a pot and cook it to hell.
I need to get my spanakopita's in there.
Yeah, go ahead.
Floyd, you happy with what you're doing, or what? What do you need, man? The mashed potatoes is something I'm worried about.
I'll take care of them.
It seems like I'm taking on a little bit more than I should, really.
But I think at this point, innately, my leadership skills came naturally.
So I tried to help as much as I could.
Can I pop this in there, too? I'm gonna keep it real simple, straightforward, and bang it out.
Pretty much just get it done and hope that it works.
[Clatter noise] Ah, damn it.
Here you go, Mick.
Jesse, look what you did, you put spanakopita in the soup bowl.
- Very superficial flavor.
- It was [bleep] amazing.
Taste is subjective.
I will stab you with this fork.
Touche.
I'm gonna give these a try.
If I can, then I'll just do them and get outta the way.
Elimination challenge today is cooking for Maroon 5 on a tour bus, which is really tricky and super, super tight.
I'll just do my steak incrementally.
Everybody has a lot left to do.
We're out of space completely.
It doesn't feel right to set a bowl on the floor and toss your salad, but I'm tempted.
Nice, Flynn.
Oh! Aw.
- Damn it! - wah, wah, wah - One, two - The counter's stuck.
- Nice! - Yes.
Starving.
Both: Let's do it.
- Watch your pasta.
- Can you turn it off please? [Fire alarm ringing] [Bleep].
It's chaos at this point.
The cooking environment is ridiculous.
Floyd is in the bathroom with an induction burner, searing off beef.
You ever tried searing a steak? - Gravy's done.
- [Bleep].
I understand spices, but my steak tastes lame and bland and blah.
Well, you seem to have gotten a decent color on it.
We don't always know what the critics are gonna like.
So I'm hoping I can bring flavors to things that don't exist.
No? The pasta has to be one of the last things that we cook.
And I guess Alex started off too early, so by the time we serve the pasta, it's overcooked.
That's gotta taste better than it looks, 'cause it looks like poop.
It's like a comedy of errors.
And I can't do anything about it.
[Sighs] Boy.
Here they are.
- Lovely.
- What's going on? - Great to meet you.
- Good to see you.
Have a seat.
- Excuse you.
- Sorry, guys.
- Oh.
- Oh.
Oh, wow, they are not wasting any time.
Love you guys.
My kids are gonna be so happy.
I'm all excited about meeting Maroon 5.
I'm gonna be cool with my kids because they love Maroon 5.
And my wife, she's gonna be so excited.
All right, chefs, let me re-introduce you to our critics.
Danyelle Freeman, editor of online food magazine, Restaurant Girl.
James Oseland, the editor in chief of Saveur Magazine.
And this is Gail Simmons from Top Chef, Just Desserts.
And this, of course, is Maroon 5.
Chefs, tell us about your dishes.
I did a winter salad, because I know you like your veggies.
Then I made steak with a soy and rice wine vinegar marinade.
I did a silky corn soup that's vegan, but I don't think you would know it.
And I did a couscous salad with spanakopita.
- Alex? - For the vegetarian and vegan, I did some pasta, simple with tomato, garlic, and broccolini, some enchiladas filled with onions and seitan, then I have a coconut and almond tapioca with grapes, and then I did some turkey cutlets.
Chefs, thank you very much.
Thank you guys.
I think that the band will like it.
Especially the vegan and the vegetarians.
I know that the flavors are very bold and tasty.
It's the critics that I'm more worried about.
I want some of that over there.
There you go, Mick.
We have to have good manners, don't we? 'Cause Jesse, look what you did.
You put spanakopita in the soup bowl.
Are you a caveman? I'm sorry, everybody.
I'm sorry.
Did anybody try the corn soup yet? Oh, man.
I'm not a religious man But? - I am now.
- Growing up in Nebraska, we had the privilege of getting corn straight off the farm.
And that soup tasted like it was made from corn that was straight off the farm.
[Chuckles] Well, I'm beat.
Adam, what's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you onstage? I forgot the lyrics to the song once, and I had to stop playing.
A song you wrote? Oh, yeah, one of our biggest hits.
It was great.
Excellent.
- [Laughing] - Will somebody spanakopita me? I was just recently in Greece, and Celina's spinach pie just doesn't stack up.
It brought to mind something you would get out of like a package.
Like a microwave spanakopita.
You guys think my dishes went well? I hope you guys tasted it and told me the truth.
Just kidding.
Do you guys ever fight over food? We fight over everything.
[Giggles] - Tasting the green thing.
- Alex's enchilada.
I would say that it looks like a chud.
Sometimes chud is yummy.
Nothing stood out to me that original, until you consider that it's vegan.
I've gotta tell you, I would not, as a chef, know where to start in making an enchilada without cheese.
So to do a vegan alternative, I think he's done a brilliant job.
- Totally.
- You guys agree that those enchiladas looked pretty scary? They taste damn good, though.
- Alex made the pasta? - When we have on the rider that we need a vegan meal, they'll always come with pasta cooked exactly like this.
You know, I would expect a little more imagination.
Mm-hmm.
Pasta's overcooked.
The broccolini's overcooked.
Alex is a brilliant chef.
He's made us cafeteria food tonight.
That's cooking the hard way.
At this point in the trailer, there's definitely a feeling of gloom.
I don't think any of us are particularly jazzed about our dishes.
I wonder how the other bus is doing.
[Chuckles] Mary Sue, I'm concerned about how much sauteing we're gonna be doing.
I need to do steak, we need to do turkey, and we need to do avocados.
So what's our plan? There's some freaking out going on that we're not gonna be able to get all this stuff on the plate in time.
The avocados are not very nice.
- Fine, forget it.
- Just trying to explain that they're-- - I've heard you.
The fourth time you said it.
Adam, which one of these dishes was your craving? The steak is real good.
I thought Floyd's steak was okay.
It wasn't actually that memorable.
I wanted there to be a lot more flavor to it than there was.
I tasted the Asian slaw on the side, and it blew my mind.
Floyd's salad completely disappointed me.
I mean, what? Did this take, like, two-and-a-half minutes to make? Honestly, that's the one thing that I feel like maybe I could've possibly made.
Be like hooh, hooh, hooh, and it's done.
It's rough.
Who requested the Thanksgiving? - That's me.
- It was you, wasn't it? I would prefer just to have a nice, juicy bird.
But I love the gravy more than anything.
I could've eaten the bowl of gravy on it's own.
- Wow.
- I guess that's why gravy is there, to cover up average meat.
Damn! Here we go with the coconut.
Alex has done four dishes today.
So I think that the tapioca represents a chef cooking under a bit of duress.
I think it's actually really good.
I mean, it is odd with the little grape contacts in there, but everything else You know.
It looks a little bit like potluck.
This is what I brought! But it tastes really good.
Alex's tapioca was very undercooked.
That was my favorite thing on this table.
[Bleep] amazing.
Taste is subjective.
I will stab you with this fork.
[Laughing] I've got to ask, though.
If Alex made the pasta, the enchiladas, and then half this dish, and Alex also made the tapioca, what was the rest of his team doing? Yeah.
It's actually kind of unbelievable.
- I'm going home today.
- Don't say that.
You and me are going home together.
Steak is done.
Turkey is done.
Corn soup is done.
Chop salad? - Done.
- Everybody happy? Plating on the bus is definitely not an easy feat.
Mary Sue has covered the bed with tostadas, which is not any fetish I have ever heard of.
I got the margaritas in my pocket.
She pretty much always has the margaritas in her pocket.
I think everybody loves margaritas.
And it's, you know, just a little exciting, extra taste.
And I think that we hit all the marks that the band talked about.
And I feel really good about it.
You got tongs? Yep, it's in the back pocket.
Anything can happen.
And it's really anybody's game because we haven't seen any of the food that the other team's done.
We have no idea what's come off their bus.
It's really hard to walk with this ice in my pocket.
- Margaritas.
- We have margaritas? - Damn.
- Now it's a party.
I like that.
Okay, chefs.
Let's talk about the salsa and the guacamole first.
Mary Sue? It's a salsa diablo.
Which is spicy.
And guacamole and chips.
And then the tostadas, those are vegan.
And then we've got a soup.
Which is a simple corn soup, flavored with a little bit of vanilla.
And then we've got spanakopita with fennel, and parmesan, and spinach inside.
So cool.
And then I have a Japanese-style steak.
And then beside it there, I have some miso braised daikon.
I did turkey, and it's breaded and fried kind of in the style of the stuffing.
And then apple crisp.
And it is vegan also.
- Guys, thanks so much.
- Thank you.
Look, I love the fact that they gave us a Margarita.
I thought that was a nice start to the night.
Chips and guacamole, great idea.
Especially when it's paired with the margaritas.
A brilliant touch.
[Laughing] [Chatter] What up, peoples? - Join our humble abode.
- Ow! Nice.
Rock 'n' roll.
The other thing Mary Sue did was the tostada.
The first thing that came into my demented mind-- this looks a little bit like a piece of poop that was rolled around in birdseed.
[Laughing] I'm right there with Adam.
It was really bizarre looking.
But it tasted really good.
It's great.
It's good.
It's weird-looking.
[Laughing] Hugh's corn soup to me was a very superficial flavor of vanilla.
You know, I really preferred the other team's corn soup.
You could really taste the natural flavors of the corn.
It tasted like a bad candle smells.
- [Laughing] - It's funny planning a menu when one person requests a holiday meal - Yeah, right.
- As one of the courses.
Uh, okay, great.
Hugh did the massive spanakopita.
It's not a spanakopita, it's a spanakopita! God, I like it when you say that.
[Laughing] This was my dish, I recommend it.
It reminds me of the spanakopita that my mom used to make when I was growing up.
I thought Traci's steak was really well-executed.
I love the char on the outside.
I loved it.
'Cause it is both Japanese and steak.
Both of the things I wanted, in one.
Which is genius.
And I remember when we were in Japan, we went to a restaurant where they grill up the food right in front of you.
And there was a woman sitting there weeping after every bite.
And I thought that's a pretty good watermark for what steak is.
And I didn't see anybody crying here, so.
It hasn't made you cry yet.
Traci's dish was amazing.
Okay, let's talk turkey.
Naomi lost me with the breading on the turkey.
The corn is just way too course-ground.
It actually hurt the roof of my mouth.
Potatoes are okay.
Well, I gotta disagree with Adam, and say that those potatoes are incredible.
And I loved the mushroom touch, you know? It's cool if you're into mediocrity.
[Laughing] Just kidding.
It's cool if you're not into gourmet.
- Touche.
- Ooh.
- That guy's gone.
- Band's breaking up.
The mashed potatoes will be your yoko ono.
Naomi's crisp was a little flaccid for me, actually.
Really? Did you just say flaccid? [Laughing] I did.
I love that you said that.
Given the fact that they were on the tour bus, they had limited resources It was great, and they're amazingly talented.
We would love to thank them.
I mean, we're so happy to be here, and so happy to have tried all this food.
It would be hard if you guys all sat and just took apart one of our shows.
And were like, "that wasn't a very good guitar lick.
" Incredible job, everybody.
[Applause] Amazing meal.
We made the same kind of food, exactly.
Interesting, yeah.
It's gonna make it easy for the judges to compare.
We realize that we made almost the exact same choices with our menus, which is not probably ideal.
Because the critics have a direct comparison.
And I don't have any sense of the food that they made at all.
I think ours is right-on.
But I don't know if theirs is even more right-on.
I kiss Maroon 5's ass.
So we're gonna win.
- You did? - Did you? Heck yeah.
I didn't see anything interesting or innovative.
The duress came through the food.
Forgettable.
The dishes did not exhibit any of the greatness that I know you're capable of.
- Cheers, you guys.
- Hey, now! - Yeah, come on, you.
- Where's your beer? - Jesus.
- [Giggles] The women in this competition have been stepping up.
I think they're showing their colors every day, and they're awesome.
What are you doing? I'm sanitizing these sinks.
You know, Hugh, before you do any chores like that, you should pull your pants down so your buttcrack shows.
[Laughing] Oh! It's Mary Sue's personal fantasy, Hugh.
- A plumber.
- JustPlay along.
I'm not really worried about anything at this juncture, because I've got youth and panache and one eyebrow on my side.
Do you think the winners are gonna go first, or the losers are gonna go first? - Yeah.
- Yeah, we don't know.
I'll tell you one thing.
We're all going in front of judges tonight.
Yeah, we are.
[Knocking] Chefs All: Hi.
- Tough service, hey? - Yeah.
Could I please have the black team with me? Good luck, guys.
Your challenge was to create a meal for Maroon 5 to remind them of their home town while they're away on tour.
The critics decided that your dishes Were their favorites.
Congratulations.
- Woo-hoo.
- Thank you.
There was a lot of beautiful little touches.
You really thought through that kind of experience of food that's comforting, yet still impressive and delicious.
You didn't get the fact that you basically cooked that meal inside of an easy-bake oven.
[Laughing] Mary Sue, it was really ingenious of you to fry the avocado and coat it in the seeds.
It made it something very hardy.
Thank you.
Naomi, the way that you've used the chanterelles in the mashed potatoes took what could've just been a very pedestrian dish and made it gorgeous and very, very elegant.
- Thank you.
- Traci, I loved the cucumber salad.
Your use of the umeboshi was just perfectly tart.
Really a strong dish.
And that jus from the steak sort of dripped over the pea shoots, and made them extra tasty.
Thank you.
Hugh, your spanakopita knocked my socks off.
Especially the dill salad on top.
It was crunchy, and fresh, and herbaceous.
Just really, really satisfying.
Thank you.
Well, all of your dishes were a great success.
And the critics decided that one of you did the best job overall.
And that chef will receive $10,000 for their charity, furnished by Lexus.
And the winning chef is Traci.
[Applause] Excellent.
Congratulations, Traci.
$10,000 to your charity, La Cocina.
Thank you very much.
It's a big day.
- That was a big day.
- It was a really big day.
And that brings your total of $25,000.
- Wow.
- That's amazing.
I'm racking up some dollars now for La Cocina.
And it's pretty exciting.
I think I'm well-adapted to this kind of competition.
I've always been a very improvisational chef.
It would be pretty cool to be the first woman to have the title of Top Chef Master.
Well, chefs Please return to the tour bus and ask the other chefs to join us.
Thank you.
Thank you.
- We have a winner.
- Traci! With a mad sweep today.
They wanna see you guys.
- All right.
- Bye.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
- Good luck.
Congratulations.
- Thank you.
Bye, guys.
Floyd Celina Alex The critics chose your meal as their least favorite.
Tell us about being on the tour bus.
It was a big disadvantage working in a trailer.
We just could not get things going.
When we look at the menu descriptions and who was responsible for them, it doesn't seem like the workload was spread evenly.
I did the pasta, the dessert, the turkey, and the enchiladas.
Was it a mistake to be so ambitious? It wasn't the amount of things or the actual prep, it was the final execution that I think lacked.
Alex, my hat goes off to you.
You reached heroic levels of juggling so many dishes in such an intensely impractical kitchen.
However, the enchilada for me, it just had a really bizarre, not-very-appetizing texture.
Floyd, the winter greens salad that you gave us kind of came to the table, and looked like you had just taken it out of a bag.
And I didn't see anything interesting or innovative I sensed less of your personality.
Of your great spices, flavors, seasoning in the dishes that came out.
Yeah, I wanted it to work with everything there was on the table, so that's the reason I didn't go overboard with the spices.
Who cares if it goes with the other things? We're not judging on how things go together, right? We're judging on the dishes that you make and blowing us away.
Okay.
Celina, I really wasn't sure why you paired your spinach pie with the couscous.
Since they were craving home in L.
A.
, I really wanted to keep it traditional in that sense.
Your spanakopita was so indistinctive and forgettable.
Throughout the course of the competition, you've all cooked us fantastic meals.
And today you were put under such stress and such duress.
The duress came through the food.
Chefs, please return to the tour bus while the critics make their final decision.
Thank you.
This has to be one of the most difficult decisions that you've had to make, because these chefs have been given a really difficult challenge.
We've had so many dishes over so many competitions, this was probably the least thoughtful presentation and the least attractive food we've eaten.
- It was.
- What they needed is some more allocation of jobs, but they didn't do that.
With Alex making enchiladas, a pasta dish, a dessert He also worked on the turkey.
But oh, God, that pasta was actually bad.
Don't serve the pasta if you aren't confident in it.
Because there was more than enough on that table.
And in fact, the table would've seemed stronger because of it.
I don't think it's fair to leave Alex out to sea, because these other chefs should've really stepped up and tried to take on some more leadership.
Floyd's done a steak dish and he's made a salad.
It's marinating a steak and grilling it is a very simple thing to do.
He didn't come through as a chef.
I don't want a generic salad that I could've made.
That Adam Levine could've made.
Celina's dishes were totally forgettable.
Couscous is the easiest thing in the world to make.
She served that with the spanakopita.
There was nothing about her spinach pie or her couscous that said to me that this was a chef of Celina's caliber.
And the thing that bothered me the most about those dishes is, like, what were you thinking in preparing these two dishes together? How is one gonna accentuate the other? There was just--it was like, Celina, what are you doing here? He should taste.
Do you all agree who had the least successful dish tonight? - Unfortunately.
- Yeah.
I think so.
[Suspenseful music] Floyd, Celina, Alex I feel like you were given almost an impossible challenge today-- to cook a family-style meal on a tour bus.
But unfortunately, the critics felt your team had the weakest dishes.
Gail? Alex, I think you took a lot of risks.
The pasta, for me, it wasn't just that it was overcooked, but you could've done something else with it in terms of the sauce, in terms of the flavor.
I could see the stress, and I could taste it in food.
Floyd, that was just such an unremarkable salad that I really thought anybody could make.
And it was sort of shocking coming from you.
Celina, I really wasn't sure why you paired your spinach pie with the couscous.
It didn't make sense to me.
And in fact, the two dishes ultimately cancelled each other out.
One of you will be going home.
And that chef is Alex.
I felt that it was a fair assessment.
That challenge was just too much for me.
Alex, you have managed to win $10,000 for your charity.
But unfortunately, tonight wasn't your night.
So please return to the tour bus and pack your knives.
Okay.
Very well.
Top Chef Masters has given me the opportunity to give back to Fastercures.
And it feels really good to do something good for somebody.
Alex is a real inspiration to the entire industry.
Unfortunately, tonight wasn't his night and taking on too much brought him unstuck.
Hi, guys.
Give us the jam.
- Aw! - That's all right.
- Yeah, man.
- It's okay.
I'm a bit sad to leave.
I mean the best to you.
But it's nice for me to feel that even after 30 years of doing this, I still have the fire.
That in itself is worth the trip.
- Bye.
- Bye.
[Applause] Next time on Top Chef Masters Oh, my God.
The taste without my sense of smell is just not happening.
- I got stuff all over me.
- [Laughing] - What are you doing? - You better start plating.
- Oh, darn it.
- I look over, and I see Mary Sue is throwing the top of her thumb into the garbage can.
Oh.
We gotta bust it here.
- I'm going! - Not in the center.
Traci, can you help Floyd? Ah! [Bleep] Look at how you're chewing, this is not seductive.
How many of these couples do you think are gonna be getting some action tonight? I don't know.
I'm kinda feeling the chemistry over there.
This is the most awkward moment in television history.
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