'Top Chef Masters,' Episode 4: Just The Tasty Bits


Another week, another episode of Top Chef Masters! This week 's competitors were Debbie Gold, Jody Adams, Maria Hines, Susur Lee, and Rick Tramonto. The cast of ABC's hit show Modern Family also showed up to help out with the elimination challenge.

And so, without further ado, let's get into the eight most interesting moments from the show!


1. A Ghost from 'Top Chef' Past

If Rick Tramonto looked familiar to you, it's probably because he was "the guy who had frozen scallops in his restaurant's freezer" on Season 4 of Top Chef. Spike Mendelsohn famously used the scallops (gasp!), and was later eliminated because of it. So what have we all learned from this?

2. Walnuts vs. Pecans

For this week's quickfire challenge, the chefs were asked to create a "perfectly styled fruit plate" for judge Gail Simmons and food photographer Stephen Hamilton. While critiquing Debbie Gold's dish, Stephen commented on how beautiful the "walnuts" were, when they were in fact pecans on the plate. Poor Stephen. He also confused a knife for a fork, and later mistook Kelly Choi for a mannequin. Hey, it happens.

After all the plates had been tasted and all the nuts had been confused, chef Jody Adams won the quickfire challenge with her fig and walnut tart with pomegranate syrup. Because this was a high stakes quickfire, the win also earned her a guaranteed spot in the upcoming champion's round.

3. Susur's a Hot Mess

After losing the quickfire, chef Susur spent several minutes storming around the kitchen, throwing his hands up in the air and screaming about how "pissed off" he was. He got the lowest score, and he didn't take it very well. It's one thing to be competitive, but I didn't realize "Susur" was Chinese for "sore loser".

4. 'Top Chef' Is Like...Bad Sex?

Chef Jody, lovely woman that she is, tried to help us all understand what being a competitor on Top Chef feels like. "Being on Top Chef is like interrupted sex," she said. "You cook for an hour and a half, then have to stop. In that time, how can you climax?"

Kelly Choi, would you care to comment?

Hello, Kelly, are you alive? Fine. I'll comment. Jody, I'm no Dr. Ruth, but if nothing's working after an hour and a half, I'm thinking there's a good chance you're doing it wrong. But hey, that's an entirely different blog post!

5. Cooking for a Modern Family

For the elimination challenge, the chefs had to modernize a classic family dish for the cast and crew of ABC's show Modern Family (for fans of the show, yes, Gloria's accent is real!). Everyone seemed to really like the food, even though Julie Bowen had a hard time distinguishing between the chicken and the mushrooms in chef Jody's dish. Luckily, Eric Stonestreet stepped in with some very helpful advice: "Chickens have legs, mushrooms don't."

I guess Eric's never seen THIS then:

6. Way to Ruin Everything, Bravo

With 20 minutes left in the show and a winner yet to be announced, Bravo ran a promo spot for next week's show. And wouldn't you know it? The promo SHOWED WHO THE WINNER OF THIS EPISODE WAS! Why, God, why! You always do this to me, Bravo, and it's so annoying!

Kelly, I think you owe us all an explanation and an apology. What do you have to say about this?

7. The No-Longer-Dramatic Results

At the critics' table, the judges said Susur's dish was too spicy, Debbie's was too sweet, and Jody's was too salty. But in the end, the spice reigned supreme and Susur's roast chicken and farce curry with polenta, grits, and tomato jam earned him a spot in the upcoming champion's round. NOT LIKE WE DIDN'T KNOW THAT. Thanks, Bravo.

8. Vote On It

Did you guys happen to catch this week's poll? I thought it was very enlightening:


And that brought this week's episode to an end! Are you enjoying this season of Top Chef Masters? Who are your early favorites for the upcoming champions round?