Top Chef: Masters (2009) s03e07 Episode Script

Date Night

Previously, on Top Chef Masters God help me.
Seven of the most acclaimed chefs in America put their reputations on the line in one culinary clash of the titans.
Hello, chefs.
Maroon 5 asked the chefs to rock out a family-style meal on a tour bus.
Why are you going to the spice thing, too? I'm going to the spice thing.
Ugh! Traci scored her second win of the day with her Japanese-inspired steak.
Traci's steak was really well executed.
But Alex overextended himself, taking on too many dishes.
The enchilada just had a bizarre texture.
Please return to the tour bus and pack your knives.
Six 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 3x07 Date Night Hello, everyone.
Hi.
- Oh, what are we doing? - Yeah.
Oh, gosh.
A nose thing? We walk into the Top Chef Masters kitchen, and there's a bunch of stuff on our stations-- headphones, nose plugs, and Lovely, a blindfold.
As chefs, we use our senses all the time.
Well, today we're gonna see just how well tuned your senses are.
Here we go.
On the station in front of you, is a nose plug, blindfold, and headphones.
You'll use these to identify five ingredients by using just one sense.
The chef that identifies the least amount of ingredients in each round is out of the game.
The last chef standing will receive $5,000 for their charity.
But unfortunately, chefs, immunity is no longer on the table.
I think we're all terrified.
There's no more immunity.
It's more competitive.
People are gonna fall off, and we're gonna get to be a very small group.
It's getting down to the wire.
The first round is taste-- a test of your palate.
Please put on your nose plug and blindfold, and get ready to put on your headphones.
I feel so sexy right now.
I am claustrophobic.
I have a balance issue.
And with my ears closed, my nose closed, and my eyes closed, I am not gonna be able to do this.
Time will start when the waiters put your trays down.
You'll have one minute to taste each of the five ingredients in front of you.
You can now put your headphones on.
My concern is that I'm gonna put something in my mouth that's just gonna provoke a gag reflex, 'cause I'm not looking at it.
I'm not really tasting these things, I'm trying to make a guess from how they feel, because the taste, without my sense of smell, is just not happening.
Time's up, chefs.
Ugh! I'm wearing it.
My ears kept jamming up every time I chewed.
Please write down what you think you just tasted-- five ingredients.
Not only having to identify these in a very disoriented state, but to have to remember them and write them down, that's the part I'm stumbling over.
Are you ready to find out what you just tasted? - Yes.
- Ugh! So first up, we had water chestnuts.
Who got that right? Floyd, you missed it.
What did you think it was? - I thought it was jicama.
- Very similar texture.
Worcestershire sauce.
Traci, you took a bath in it, obviously.
I did, unhappily.
Cashews.
- Cashews, not walnuts.
- Papaya.
I wrote down papaya, and I changed it to tomato.
I don't know why.
Our last ingredient, mustard green.
Oh, no! Nobody.
What did you all think it was? - Basil.
- Parsley.
I get one out of five.
And I'm really disappointed.
Who got none? Floyd! Unfortunately, you're out of this competition.
You'll have to come over and sit this out in the wine room.
I'm so embarrassed.
I think that it was the disorientation that really threw me for a loop.
Next, we're gonna be testing your sense of smell.
I'm gonna give you five ingredients, and you're gonna have 60 seconds to smell those ingredients.
Put on your headphones, and your time starts now.
I can tell a lot using just my sense of smell.
I can tell when the wine and the alcohol is burned off of a reduction, I just use it more than any other of my other senses.
Time's up, chefs.
- Done.
- Okay.
This is what you just smelled.
The first ingredient was epoisses cheese.
Did anybody get that correct? Hot sauce.
Ooh, I put capsicum.
- Root beer.
- Ugh! Root beer? Rice vinegar.
Hugh? I just smelled things I want.
I wrote coffee.
- Mayonnaise.
- Oh.
I didn't get it.
I have had many articles written about my love for mayonnaise.
So I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't recognize the smell.
- I got nothing right.
- Really? Traci, unfortunately, you're the only one that didn't get one right, so I'm gonna have to ask you to join Floyd in the wine room.
- Floyd.
- Welcome to my world.
Our next round, we're gonna test your sense of touch.
And we will eliminate two chefs that get the least amount of ingredients right.
Put your headphones on now.
As a proud father of a six- and an eight-year-old, I know the features of your standard gummy bear.
Time's up, chefs! Please write down what you think you just felt.
Let's take a look.
- Oh, .
- Our first ingredient, is chayote.
Also known as mirliton, right? That's right, so we'll accept that.
Arborio rice.
- All right.
- Blackberries-- all four of you.
Gummy bears.
Do you eat those down under? Okra.
Who got them all right? Okay, Celina and Naomi, you've tied for the least correct answers.
So I'm sorry, but you're both eliminated.
Come hither.
Hugh, Mary Sue, congratulations.
You're in the final round.
And one of you will win $5,000 for your charity.
And it all comes down to your final sense Sound.
I grew up in a household where my mom was very hard of hearing.
I just never developed a really keen sense of hearing because of loud people talking so that my mom could hear.
So what do you think your sense of sound's like? I hear compliments, I don't hear complaints.
The first person to identify three ingredients correctly wins.
You can just go ahead and shout out the answer.
If you get that correct, then that's one point to you.
If you get it incorrect, then the other person gets a free guess.
We clear? Yep.
Ingredient number one.
Any guesses? Vinegar and soda? Okay, Hugh, you now get a free guess.
Tapioca? I'm shocked that they didn't get it.
I felt like if I would've been listening, rice krispies would've been a quick and easy one.
Neither of you got it correct, unfortunately.
It's rice krispies and milk.
Ah.
Ingredient number two.
Are you ready? - Celery.
- Celery! Hugh, I think you got in there just a hair in front of Mary Sue.
I wanted to see the photo finish on that one.
- Celery.
- Celery.
That's one point to Hugh.
Are you ready for your next ingredient? Yes.
- Carrot.
- Mary Sue? - Celery.
- You're both incorrect.
That was the crunch of a potato chip.
- Really? - It was a big crunch.
Evidently, large Australian males eat potato chips in a different way than Americans do.
Ice.
We haven't started yet.
Oh! Sorry.
Okay, the question is, here what am I doing? Shucking an oyster.
- Oh.
- Good work, Hugh.
Nice.
So that's two points to Hugh, which means if you get the next one right, you win the challenge and the $5,000 for your charity.
So the question is, what am I doing? Buttering toast.
Hugh, congratulations.
Well done.
Very good.
A quickfire like this is definitely challenging.
And it's fun to really look at how interconnected all of our senses really are-- mostly when it comes to food.
Well done, Hugh, that's $5,000 for your charity, Wholesome Wave, furnished by Lexus.
That's awesome.
I feel beaten senseless.
It was love at first sight.
This is poignant and makes me throw up in my mouth.
For your next elimination challenge, we're gonna examine the relationship between food and another one of life's essentials-- love.
Many milestones in relationships revolve around food, from the first date to the wedding night.
To help us get romantic, Top Chef Masters is gonna have a date night.
And to find out more, please welcome Chris.
How's it going, Chris? Good, how are you? Good to see you, buddy.
- Hi, Chris.
- Hi, Chris.
Chris, welcome to Top Chef Masters.
Tell us all about your loved one.
I've been dating my girlfriend, Victoria, for almost four years now.
And I can truly say it's been the best four years of my life.
She doesn't see this coming.
She doesn't think I'm ever going to do this, but I am going to propose to my girlfriend.
Congratulations.
That's awesome.
You'll all be creating a six-course meal, each of you responsible for one course.
Your dish will be inspired by a seminal moment in Chris and Victoria's history.
The meal will be served tomorrow at date night for 21 couples, including the critics.
But Victoria has no idea that the biggest surprise of her life is coming at the end of the meal.
It's really sweet to see he's obviously so in love.
And it certainly is a huge public declaration.
Sweet.
I don't know what I would do if someone was paying that kind of attention to me.
To help you menu-plan, Chris is here to tell you more about his relationship with Victoria.
Take a seat in the wine room, and I'll see you for dinner tomorrow night with the critics-- good luck.
- Hey, Chris.
- How are you? - How are you? - Good.
Very well.
Well, thank you all so much, first of all.
This means a lot to me, and it's gonna mean a lot to Victoria.
Just to give you kind of, like, a visual idea of Victoria and I, I'm gonna pass around these photos.
This is a big P.
D.
A.
moment.
I'm not really big on P.
D.
A.
But that's okay.
I'm happy to cook.
We were friends until finally there was that moment of the first kiss.
Time stopped.
We knew at that moment, like, this is gonna develop into something much bigger.
My first kiss with my wife was amazing.
We had been friends for close to eight or ten years, but never dated.
We had gone on a trip with some friends, and we happened to be alone, and that's how the kiss happened.
That's when I realized I wanted to marry her.
As far as a favorite moment goes, one day we were walking down the street and saw a marquee that said, "Paris, je t'aime.
" She said "je t'aime" means "I love you.
" My first gift I ever got for her was a bracelet that said, "je t'aime.
" This is poignant And makes me throw up in my mouth.
We go to sporting events every now and then, and there's kind of, like, tradition that we have to get a beer and pretzel.
It's small, but it's something that we really look forward to.
And she really tries to get me to be adventurous.
She was the first person to introduce me to Sushi.
And she actually made salmon, and she told me it was chicken.
- Okay.
- Once I realized it was salmon, I was like, "ooh, your trickery.
" I don't know how she could've fooled him into thinking that salmon was chicken.
What about shellfish? We never had it.
Never? Really? And you think you're ready to get married, and you've never had clams or mussels? A lot of times, the ring is presented with dessert.
Do you guys have a favorite? For my birthday, she got me a red velvecake.
I got her an apple pie before, which we really enjoy.
She loves to plan these surprises, which is great, because now I'm about to plan the biggest surprise of her life.
This is fun.
Chefs and restaurants in general are always huge parts of people's lives, and they're milestone occasions.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
Thanks, everybody.
Thank you.
It's an honor to be a part of it.
Okay, we have to do something French.
Can I take chicken? And I'm gonna do something French with it.
Yeah, that's fine.
- I'll take dessert.
- Do "je t'aime" on the plates.
All right.
I'm gonna take watermelon and make it look like tuna.
It's a surprise.
That's kind of cool.
She surprised him that one time.
- Yeah.
- Salmon--that's fun.
The last challenge was really eye-opening for me.
That was the first time I was in the bottom of any challenge, so I knew right then that I needed to go back to my roots.
And I'm gonna make things exciting as hell.
It's got to have a lot of flavor, with all the textures I can bring in.
You could do onion rings that look like bracelets.
And his first gift to her was a bracelet.
That's nice.
Don't say I never did anything for you, buddy.
Yeah, I know.
- All right.
- Time to shop.
I rush inside and go directly up to the meat department and see what they've got.
Give me 11 of those, about that size.
Chris and Victoria are not the most culinary people I've ever heard.
So my dish is gonna appeal to them because they like beef.
They like broccoli.
And then the onion ring is the real keepsake of this.
I think it really brings it back to the bracelet.
Now, the bracelet that he gave her was not edible.
But this one is.
50 chicken thighs.
- All right.
- Okay.
So I'll be back.
Thanks.
All right.
I want to do this dish that's braised chicken thigh.
But what if leaving chicken on the bone is a mistake? What if people are grossed out by that? There's things that can go wrong, and a lot of it has to do with the guests' expectation about what makes up a romantic meal.
Will you shout back at him and see if my thighs are ready yet? 15 minutes! Do you guys have dried porcinis? Some black mussels? As fresh as you've got.
I am doing an apple galette for dessert.
And I'm also gonna do a little red velvet cupcake.
I'm definitely gonna make beer and soft pretzels.
I'm a little nervous.
Dessert's not my forte.
Everybody else has done dessert already, and I don't think it's anyone's great comfort zone.
And I sort of feel like it's-- you know, it's my turn.
Let's just hope that that's not the kiss of death for the chef.
- We're in.
- You got all your stuff? - That's everything.
- Press the magic button.
Look at that.
We get into our Lexus RX and drive to Top Chef Masters kitchen to start cooking.
We have two hours to prep tonight, and I have a lot to get done.
I want to get my mussels and clams scrubbed down.
I have to take the beards off of all the mussels.
You don't want to eat it.
It doesn't taste good.
And for Chris, who's never had mussels, it could ruin his idea of how delicious a mussel could be.
We have romantic dinners all the time.
I've got a list of things that definitely need to get done today.
I primarily need to get stock started.
I'm gonna be braising my chicken thigh.
I just want it to be, like, a powerful chicken flavor.
It's not always the prettiest, but a lot of heart goes into the food that I make.
Did somebody take all the carrots? The dish I'm making is kama sutra black pepper shrimp with watermelon, lime, and mint.
And I call it "kama sutra shrimp," because I have two shrimp hugging each other.
It used to be a very popular dish at my restaurant.
And on date night, I think everybody's hoping that's where it's gonna go.
I think I'm a big romantic.
I love candlelight dinners.
When I proposed to my wife, we were out having dinner, and it wasn't even planned.
I think if you don't have romance in your life, what's the point? Our first wedding anniversary, we went to a steak house in New York.
And we paid through our noses for that meal.
And that was a point in our life where we couldn't afford very much.
So every time we eat steak at home, we always remember that one moment.
I got engaged on Valentine's day in a French restaurant.
I met my wife when I was 11.
I don't think cooking for her at that point in time was in the cards.
"Here's a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
" Not tres romantic, unless you use the heart-shaped cutter.
- I didn't get proposed to.
- Neither did I! It was a conversation.
How long were you living together before you got married? Got married on our sixth anniversary of him moving in.
I think we were together about 15 years.
See, at that point, really, is he gonna surprise you by proposing? I mean Yeah, right.
I met my husband when we were designing city restaurant.
I'd heard about him for years, because my business partner, Susan, had been married to him.
Every time I had boyfriend trouble, she would say, "oh, I wish you could meet my ex-husband, Josh.
He'd be so perfect for you.
" And I always thought, "yeah, sure, right.
" When he came out to talk to us about designing our new restaurant, it was love at first sight.
And that was 27 years ago.
- 25 minutes.
- Oy.
We're kind of all a little bit unsure of how adventurous his palate is.
So I think this is a very moderate interpretation of beef and broccoli.
There's definite pressure to make Chris and Victoria happy.
But I think that I need to be cooking food that I'm comfortable with.
You can take a risk and really come out on top, but you can take a risk and fall pretty far.
That one doesn't look very pretzel-like.
Celina's making pretzels.
Pretzel is something you eat on the street of New York.
It's hard to pull into a fine-dining experience.
Ten minutes, everybody! Uh Fyi, everyone This scale is inaccurate.
Traci has trained in French kitchens.
And she's elected to do pastry, which is a risky proposition for any chef that's not a pastry chef.
The scale was off by, like, three ounces.
That's a lot.
And then realizing that the scale is broken and that she has to start again, she could be making a pastry that would get her sent home.
Ugh.
I had trouble with one of the scales.
I'm not having a great cook.
With pastry, it's all about having to measure out all the ingredients.
And I'm having trouble with the equipment.
I've spent a lot of time doing something that I'm probably gonna throw in the garbage can tomorrow.
And so I'm just kind of freaked out.
35 seconds.
I'm not sure I'm gonna be able to pull it off.
- Time's up.
Time's up.
- Okay, let's go.
I had a bad day.
- What are you doing? - I'm going! I just snapped.
There's magic happening right now.
This is gonna be the most awkward moment in television history.
Our elimination challenge is to create a six-course menu-- each of us responsible for one dish-- for one special couple in particular, Chris and Victoria.
And Chris is gonna ask for Victoria's hand in marriage at this special dinner.
Love is in the air for them.
And I'm happy to be a part of it.
We're down to six.
The competition is heating up dramatically.
I think everyone is feeling this sense of pressure.
I've made the watermelon look like tuna.
Served with a black pepper shrimp.
So you get sweet, sour, spicy.
That's kind of the food I like to do.
Chris seems very in love with Victoria, and he's been waiting for this opportunity for a long, long time, and I hope that she says yes.
It's my kama sutra shrimp.
Head to tail, tail to head, where would you see that? You making a pie? - Uh, yeah, galettes.
- Cool.
I need to make 43 apple galettes.
Yesterday the scale wasn't working.
And working with dough is not, you know, one of my strongest suits.
So it's taking me a lot longer than I would have thought.
I'm not doing the velvet cakes.
Okay.
Oh, darn it.
Darn it.
Did you cut yourself? Badly? Just - Oh! - Right off the bat, the first thing I do is cut off the tip of my thumb.
I'm really just irritated.
Mary Sue, are you okay? - I'll be fine.
- I look over, and I see Mary Sue is throwing the top of her thumb into the garbage can.
Wait for a minute, okay? I haven't cut myself like that in decades, so it's really annoying.
I have to stop and tape it up It's gonna hurt.
So that slows me down a little bit.
Thank you.
Chefs I've got something to tell you.
You're gonna love it.
- Great.
- Are you sure? And I immediately say, "uh-oh.
" "What is it?" In the interest of all this romance that's going on tonight, what we thought we'd do is bring Chris and Victoria's mums in.
And they're gonna secretly be watching what's going on out at the table in the wine room on the big screen.
- Oh, that's lovely.
- That's pretty cool.
And then after the big moment, we're gonna send them out.
Cool.
- All right? - That's great.
Thanks.
- Good luck.
- There's always a twist.
But I'm pretty comfortable with this one.
- Hi.
- Hello.
Hi.
How are you? - Hello.
- Hi.
Everybody's very excited that they get to kind of have this bird's-eye view into this momentous occasion.
15 minutes left! Isn't this wonderful? Look at this.
Yum.
Oh, it's beautiful.
Thank you.
I'm so hungry.
You know what I find is the most romantic thing in a relationship? Is making each other laugh.
And your husband's got a wicked sense of humor.
It's the only reason I feel comfortable being on a date with you tonight.
Do you ever eat any particular foods to get in a romantic mood? No, I just try not to drink too much so that I'll stay in the romantic mood.
Like this? Just like that? Yeah.
- Okay, all the shrimp is down.
- Beautiful.
I'm excited for the surprise.
We've actually got the mums of both.
They're in the wine room right now watching the table, so Look at how beautiful she is.
We only met Chris.
So we haven't actually met Victoria yet.
Forget everything else.
Forget the world that goes on around us.
Like, let's just you and I enjoy a nice dinner.
I absolutely agree--that's why all first dates always start with something food-related.
Thank you very much.
- Oh, wow.
Already.
- So this is Floyd's dish.
He's called it a kama sutra black pepper shrimp with watermelon, lime, and mint.
Look how the shrimp are entwined.
It's like spooning.
I almost hated to tear them apart.
This has really got some heat to it.
I'm already starting to feel more romantic toward you, Gael.
I'm on guard.
- It's aggressively spicy.
- It is.
I can see a lot of people going for glasses of water and glasses of wine.
Yeah, that's true.
Well, the wine can't hurt.
That's right.
- That's a good thing.
- It's date night.
Loosen everybody up a little bit.
It's so good.
There's magic happening right now.
After my first course goes out, I got to help Celina, because she's next.
I said, "Celina, you tell me what you need, and I'll do it for you," because we don't need too many chiefs.
We need some Indians.
Oh, lunch.
Celina's plate looks interesting.
You know, it may be a little disjointed, but the pretzels look awesome.
I hope she gets it, but doesn't realize it.
The next course we've got is cooked by Celina-- a salad with roasted cauliflower, and she's serving it with a soft pretzel.
I love that Celina made her own pretzels.
That was one of the things that our couple really likes, right? That's right.
I can't stand the anticipation--I'm like Just knowing that he knows.
Oh, my gosh.
A salad and a pretzel? I'm in heaven.
It's, like, my two favorite things in the world.
It seems like there's only one thing missing here, though.
Beer and a hockey game.
I concur.
He's doing a job like a professional.
He ought to be in acting.
Celina's dish is more like junior-high romance.
Floyd's dish was like full-on college romance.
- Mary Sue? - What are you doing? - You better start plating.
- Yeah, we got six minutes.
We got to bust it here.
I'm going! Everybody's rushing me, almost with the tone of voice like--that I didn't know what I was doing.
And I just snapped.
I don't need everybody yelling at me, though.
If your plates aren't ready, they are going out empty.
I don't want it sitting-- that's all.
I just hate all that rushing and stressing.
As long as you don't shout at me again.
I know, I know! I wonder if our special friend is very nervous right now.
Yeah, maybe.
Aw, they're Clinking, toasting.
I'm so nervous for him.
Is he gonna do it now? No, I think he's gonna wait till dessert.
- Oh.
- I think.
Who knows? Oh, it's beautiful.
So this is Mary Sue's seafood stew.
So you think that Mary Sue's dish is a good date-night dish? I do, 'cause there's a bit of fun around it.
They put their fork in And they use it as a spoon.
Oh, my God! I love that! Isn't that cute? Did you have a bite of the crouton? I wonder if that's too crunchy for a romantic dinner.
Hey, guys, I need help now.
- What do you need? - Plating.
You want me to start another line here or no? Yes, please.
Floyd, not in the center.
Whenever Naomi's focused on a dish, nothing else matters.
You got it, towards the back, and then sauce.
Traci, can you help Floyd? I'm a little nervous about how rustic my plate is, compared to Hugh's plate, that comes next.
Hugh is, like, master at making beautiful, elegant food when it comes to, like, a romantic evening.
But it's just not my style, so I can't worry too much about it.
Do you think Christopher's anticipating now? Naomi is next with porcini-braised chicken thigh.
See how it tastes.
I don't find Naomi's dish very romantic.
I think that my romantic feelings will survive Naomi's dish 'Cause I love the chicken so much.
It's a huge portion.
And it's a rich portion.
I think Naomi's really tried to just steal the show.
I thought this was really, really good.
What did you think? I think chef Naomi did an incredible job.
Yeah.
You guys must be so nervous.
Oh, I can hardly wait.
- Six minutes.
- Oh, we're gonna be good.
Can I give you these? The next one's Hugh's.
He has a very complicated plate, so it requires all hands on deck to get that up.
Hugh, you're missing sauce here, sauce here There's definite pressure.
This is such a seminal moment in their lives.
I want to make sure they're really ecstatic with my dish.
Can you grab those? I will trip you on purpose.
There you are.
Stretch back.
Got to stretch the stomach out.
Oh, that's a good size.
Thank you.
Considering Hugh was giving us the biggest course of the night, you know, the steak and potatoes course, it feels really succinct and focused as a dish.
- Yeah.
- It is good.
I'm so full, though.
Ugh, I can't do it.
Suck it up, princess.
- Oh.
- How many of these couples do you think are getting some action tonight? I don't know.
I would like to know, though.
What about James? Do you think he's gonna get some action? I'm kind of feeling the chemistry over there.
James, you've been chewing on that same piece of meat for a minute and a half.
Look at how you're chewing.
This is not attractive.
This is not seductive.
Now, I have heard for many years about your Elvis affair.
I didn't have an affair with Elvis.
I had an hour with Elvis.
I was the only woman in the hotel room when he came back from doing a show.
So he took my hand and led me into the bedroom.
Wow.
As I was leaving, he said "Oh, ma'am, would you call room service and order me a fried-egg sandwich?" That's why I'm a food writer.
My apple tarts have just come out of the oven, and they're looking fabulous.
Hugh and Celina have helped me with writing the je t'aime on the plates for the big moment.
Good job, people.
Give me your good hands.
Give me your good hands.
Nice, the good hand.
Maybe they'll just keep us all.
Do you see what it says? What? And she still doesn't get it.
She still doesn't get I'm, like, nervous for him.
I know.
I know.
I got butterflies.
I love that.
If she doesn't get it, I don't know.
That's awesome.
Oh, it's beautiful.
What is it? - Je t'aime-- "I love you.
" - Je t'aime.
Je t'aime, gael Greene.
Je t'aime.
You couldn't make up your own line? You had to use hers? - My problem isIt's dry.
- Mm-hmm.
The dessert holds so much significance in a meal like this one.
You want that last hurrah to really sweep you away.
Right.
They do say that the key to a man's heart is through his stomach.
What do they say is the key to the woman's heart? Diamonds.
Oh.
- You think she knows? - I can't stand it.
I think it's time for me to get up and make a little announcement.
- Okay.
- This is gonna be fun.
We should probably grab a tissue.
I think we're gonna need it.
Or, you know, I have the-- we have a towel.
- Here you go.
- I was like Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for attending date night.
Our chefs.
Now, every couple's relationship's very special.
But there's one couple that's here for a very special reason.
I can't breathe.
Chris.
Victoria, I love you with all of my heart.
I want to spend the rest of my life with you.
I want you to want to spend the rest of your life with me.
Will you marry me? If she says no, this is gonna be the most awkward moment in television history.
Yes, of course.
Are you kidding me? This is--feels like a dream.
I don't feel like this is actually happening.
Chris, Victoria, congratulations.
Chris said the first thing that you'd want to do is speak to your mum.
Yes.
The mom is here! Ah! I have a partner in James Oseland, 'cause he's definitely choked up, too.
As tough as I come off in the kitchen, and probably in my regular life, too, I'm a softy on the inside.
Oh, my gosh.
I had no idea.
So to help celebrate your engagement, please accept this three-liter bottle of Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon and a three-day, two-night trip to the Terlato family vineyard.
Thank you.
To Chris and Victoria, may all your dreams come true.
Thank you.
It's obviously a great joy for me to be a part of cooking a meal that I know that she'll remember forever.
It was sweet.
It's never a good idea to cook down to your guests.
I think you missed a chance to do something to raise it to another level.
It is funny that now that we're only six, it's just so much easier to help each other, except for Mary Sue's alter ego.
I'm going! Margaret did get out today.
And you would just get in there.
My bad self-- that's Tiffany.
Come on, George, you're us up.
Mine has been dubbed Hank.
I was really only Hank for one day.
Are you directing, or am I tending them? Maybe you don't do that right in front of where I'm doing red meat.
And then Floyd, I think is just Floyd.
I'm the only chef who doesn't have an alter-ego in the kitchen, because I can't cook when I'm not happy.
Well, that was sweet.
- That was sweet.
- Very sweet.
- Yeah.
- And he thought of everything.
But more importantly, I think our food was very solid.
I think so, too.
Cheers, guys.
Cheers.
Chefs, you did it.
She said yes.
The critics would like to see Naomi Mary Sue, and Floyd.
Thank you.
Good luck.
You think we're in the bottom? No, I actually don't think so.
The good reason I think that we're in the top group is that if we're interpreting the challenge You guys both hit that on the head.
Right.
Floyd, Mary Sue, and Naomi Tasting tonight were our critics, Gail Simmons, host of Top Chef: Just Desserts, James Oseland, editor in chief of Saveur magazine.
And please welcome back to our critics' table, Gael Greene, who's legendary restaurant reviews can now be read online at insatiable-critic.
com.
Your challenge was to create a six-course meal inspired by Chris and Victoria's relationship.
Well, the critics obviously had some favorites and some least favorites, and they decided that tonight your dishes were their favorite dishes.
Congratulations.
Wow.
You know, it could've gone either way.
- Thank you.
- Yes, thank you.
Floyd, when I first saw your shrimp, I thought to myself, "oh, no, he's put too much pepper.
" It was really aggressively seasoned.
And I commend you for it.
You took a chance with it, and it really paid off.
Thank you.
Floyd, I especially liked the fact that the shrimp were hugging each other.
I thought they were doing something worse.
Floyd, I thought your dish was a really startling combination-- fruity and very spicy and very wonderful.
Thanks.
Mary Sue, I was amazed that you could get such perfection of cooking, in the mussels, especially.
And also, the spiciness of the sausage mixed with the vegetables was wonderful.
Thank you.
Naomi, the crispy chicken skin had a lot of kind of rustic savoriness to it.
You know, I'm assuming you braised that dish, and then crisped up the skin afterwards-- a detail that I think so many people don't do, and it made such a difference.
- Thank you.
- Now, all that said The critics only had one favorite.
And the chef who made that winning dish will receive $10,000 for their charity, furnished by Lexus.
And the winning chef is Naomi.
Congratulations.
- Congratulations.
- Wow.
Awesome.
Thanks, guys.
Good for you.
It's a huge honor.
I guess the love got felt.
As a chef, there's really no higher compliment.
Congratulations, Naomi.
That's $10,000 to your charity, Seed Savers Exchange, which brings your total to $25,000.
Yeah.
Thank you.
I get the second-best dish or the third-best dish But I don't get the best dish.
And, you know, I'm tired of coming in second.
Will you now please return to the wine room and ask your colleagues to join us? - Thanks, guys.
- Thanks, guys.
Well Well, what? - You won.
- Thank you.
Thanks.
Congratulations.
Well, one of us is going home.
I assume they want to see all of us.
- They do.
- They do.
- Good luck, you guys.
- Thanks.
Three times, and I haven't won.
Sorry.
Am I a bad-luck charm? No.
Celina, Traci, Hugh Tonight you had the critics' least favorite dishes.
Celina, what was the story behind your dish? One of their biggest moments together is going to sporting events.
And their ritual whenever they do so is to have a beer and a pretzel.
I thought your pretzel was pretty great.
I wanted there to be an integration somehow between the salad and the pretzel, 'cause they felt a little bit disjointed.
I kind of create playful food.
That's kind of what my restaurant's all about.
And that's what that was.
Traci, were you happy with your apple galette? I think the pastry was nice.
It was fluffy.
The apples were delicious.
I w very happy with the way it came out.
It was missing something, because there wasn't enough sauce or something that added moisture to it.
To me, they don't need anything but the tart.
The pink lady apples that you used verge on being a drier apple.
Maybe not so moist as something like, say, a gala.
I do, alas, agree with Gael about the dryness factor.
Traci, this is actually the first time that you've landed yourself in the bottom three.
Are you surprised to be here? I think that everyone had incredibly strong dishes today.
And I think it's--you're splitting hairs at this point.
Hugh, were you happy with the dish? Overall, yeah.
I mean, the meat wasfine.
My particular piece of meat-- it was very chewy, very chewy.
Okay.
I always think you should not serve anything that takes a lot of chewing while you're trying to seduce the guy across the table.
I think the three people who really hit the nail on the head on what the challenge was about, which was hitting the six events in their life that they listed-- I think these are the three that hit those things.
I felt like it was appealing to a relatively pedestrian crowd overall, and I was gonna do that.
So, Hugh, do you cook down to people? You gonna pay the bill? Yeah, I'll cook down to you anytime.
Chefs, please return to the wine room while the critics make their final decision.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Hello.
- So what happened? My dish--they said they didn't get the pretzel with the salad.
I was like, "they love pretzels.
They love salad.
So I tied the two together.
" In mine, they wanted more sauce on the plate.
So Then you guys have such nice responses to them, and then I'm like - Really? - You.
Nice.
Whatever.
At this point, it's always gonna be about the tiny, little details that make all the difference.
Let's talk about Celina's salad for a minute, because she literally heard the fact that they liked a pretzel and beer, and she did a pretzel and a beer and cheese sauce on the same plate as the salad.
She could've done a million things with a pretzel, why did she need to keep it in a traditional pretzel shape? Why not make a lobster pot pie with the topping being pretzel-- Ooh, that would've been great.
- Little pretzel puffs? - We demand that the chefs give us more elevated food every time, and salad with a pretzel on the side is not something that's gonna win our hearts.
I think Hugh's dish also didn't seem to be particularly ambitious.
It was very banal-- a little broccoli and some celery-root puree.
Hugh's great error was in choosing to cook beef like that.
And I worry about Hugh's comment, saying he was kind of cooking down to them, and they're not gastronomes.
Give us your love.
We're in an evening of love.
The issue is how you choose to cook it.
And I actually don't think that Hugh did a perfect job.
Traci's tart wasn't anything that spectacular, that interesting.
At this point, I want to be wowed.
And if she's gonna make a dessert, show us something exciting and new.
It was just a dry tart.
It was missing something.
It could've had applesauce under the apple.
That's true.
At this stage of the competition, I want to know more about your capacity as a chef.
Yes.
Well, it's a tough decision, but it seems like you all agree on your least favorite dish.
We do.
Let's get them out.
Celina, Traci, Hugh Unfortunately, one of you served the critics' least favorite dish and will be eliminated tonight.
Celina, I think you made a lovely salad and pretzel.
I just don't think that the two came together and made a cohesive dish.
Hugh, it's never a good idea to cook down to your guests.
And sadly, I felt that's what you did tonight.
And the dish did not benefit from it.
Traci, I think you missed a chance to do something more with your dish that would've raised it to another level and possibly even given it the moisture that it lacked.
The chef that will be leaving us tonight is Celina.
You've cooked some beautiful food through this competition, and you're a great chef.
Thanks for the opportunity.
We will be making a donation to your charity, Harvesters.
Thanks.
Please return to the kitchen and pack your knives.
Traci and Hugh, you may return to your fellow chefs.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Thanks, you guys, all of you.
- Thank you.
Celina's a fabulous chef.
She's cooked some beautiful dishes, but the pretzel just didn't work tonight with the salad.
Mm-hmm.
Aw! Lady.
You did a beautiful job.
- Aw, I'm gonna miss you.
- You too.
I was there to serve a purpose for that moment in Chris and Victoria's life.
And if that doesn't please the critics, then it doesn't please the critics.
I can't tell you how super bummed I am to leave the competition, but I just wish I could've made more money for harvesters.
Next time on Top Chef Masters You're cooking for our edible science fair.
I think I was skipping class when we learned about that.
Oh, fire.
Explode, explode, explode.
I don't want to come second anymore.
This is amazing! Do this.
Honestly, Hugh, I would say this is barely a mayonnaise.
Oh, you're looking at me like I'm wrong.
Here, you explain that.
Augustine thinks I'm an idiot at this point.
It says it's getting hot.
The induction burner is just not cooking.
For more information on Top Chef Masters, visit bravotv.
com.