'Top Chef Masters,' Episode 5: Just The Tasty Bits


Blindfolds! Bandages! Bosoms! This week's episode of Top Chef Masters had it all—and then some!

Finalists Jody Adams, Susur Lee, Carmen Gonzalez, Marcus Samuelsson, Tony Mantuano, Susan Feniger, Rick Moonen, and Jonathan Waxman were all back this week to compete in the difficult tag-team cookoff and wedding wars challenges.

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


1. Bring On the Quickfire!

The champion's round kicked off with the difficult tag-team cook off. The eight finalists were separated into two teams of four. Each team had to cook one dish, with each team member cooking for ten minutes. No one could talk during the challenge. And oh yeah, they had to be blindfolded while waiting for their turn.

As you might expect, upon learning about the details of the challenge, the mood in the room went from this...

...to this.

Quick rule of thumb: if Susan Feniger isn't smiling, you know it's bad.

2. Wah-Wah-Waxman

Moments into the challenge, the normally complacent Jonathan Waxman started whining about having to be blindfolded. "It makes me sensitive to the heat of the kitchen ... the motion ... I don't like [it]. I have claustrophobia," he said. Come on, Obi Wan Kenobi; is it really that torturous? It's Top Chef Masters, not "7 Minutes In Heaven" with Jabba the Hutt!

3. Uh-Oh, Susur's Pissed Off Again

The blue team, comprised of Susan, Jody, Rick, and Jonathan, narrowly won the tag team cook off challenge with their pan-seared sea bass with truffle spiced shellfish broth. This upset the great and mighty Susur, who was even angrier than he was a few weeks ago after earning the lowest score during the quickfire challenge.

4. Wedding Wars!

This week's elimination challenge was the dreaded Wedding Wars. Kelly Choi told the teams they'd have 12 hours to pull together a wedding feast for 150 guests, and prepare a wedding cake, to boot.

To complicate matters for the chefs, the bride and groom pretty much had the most boring, simplistic taste buds known to man. "I want meat and potatoes," the groom muttered. He then went outside to adjust his loincloth and scribble a stick figure of a bird on a cave wall.

5. Carmen Should Never Be Allowed Near Sharp Objects. Ever.


During week two of Top Chef Masters, Carmen Gonzalez cut her her finger and blamed it on the "new knife" she was using. This week, she almost sliced her finger off while preparing potatoes. You could actually see the blood pooling on the slicer. Gross!

6. Wait, Was That Bride Wearing A Nightie?

The chefs busted their butts, and of course, prepared several delicious dishes for the wedding guests. For the most part, everyone loved the food and people really seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Having said that, no review of this episode would possibly be complete without addressing the gigantic elephant(s) in the room... namely, the bride's breasticles. Was I the only one who was terrified a boob was going to pop out of that "dress" at any given moment? No? Okay then. Let's proceed.

7. Ladies And Gentlemen, The Ugliest Wedding Cake Of All Time

Rick Moonen referred to Susan Feniger's cake as the "Charlie Brown Christmas tree of wedding cakes," and boy, was he right. The thing was cringe worthy!

Susan baked the cake, but Jonathan Wah-Wah-Waxman was the one who frosted it and slathered it with all of those berries. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've literally seen Sandra Lee "no-bake love cakes" that looked better than that hot mess. And the flowers only made it worse. Atrocious!

8. And The Winner Is...

There's no doubt that the wedding challenge was difficult, and really took its toll on the exhausted chefs. In the end, the blue team (Susan, Jody, Rick, and Jonathan) won the challenge. Jody Adams was the overall winner, even though she made a lamb dish after the bride said she hated lamb.

The lowest score of the night went to Carmen "bloody fingers" Gonzalez. Her one dish was well received by the crowd, but it wasn't enough to compete with Susur's 94 desserts or Marcus' mushy beef.

Carmen, please return to the kitchen and pack your knives. CAREFULLY, HONEY, CAREFULLY!

What did you think of this episode, Serious Eaters? Were you as mortified by that wedding cake as I was?