'Top Chef Masters' Tailgating Episode: Just The Tasty Bits


Another week, another episode of Top Chef Masters! We're down to the final six competitors: Susur Lee, Marcus Samuelsson, Tony Mantuano, Susan Feniger, Rick Moonen, and Jonathan Waxman. This week, Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak showed up as a guest judge for the Quickfire Challenge, and the chefs threw a tailgating party at a USC football game. Exactly how many times did Susur remind us he's never been tailgating? Find out, as we delve into the most interesting moments from the show!


They've Got Legs; They Know How To Use 'Em!

What's New On Serious Eats

For this week's quickfire challenge, the chefs were asked to create a unique dish using leg proteins. In a move that surprised exactly no one, seafood master Rick Moonen ran to the octopus faster than Ina Garten to a bottle of good vanilla. It proved to be a bit of a challenge for him, since trying to cook octopus in 45 minutes is a bit like trying to pinpoint exactly what's wrong with Justin Bieber's hair: impossible.

Jason Lezak's In The House


No, that's not Al Bundy; it's Olympic swimmer Jason Lezak! Apparently, being able to do a killer backstroke makes you eligible to be a judge on an elite cooking competition. Who knew! I guess swimmers use their legs...and the challenge was about legs... so there you have it. I still think ZZ Topp would have made for better judges, but maybe that's just me.

Jason seemed really out of his element behind the tasting table, but held his own and even politely answered Kelly Choi's stupid questions, like "What was it like winning the gold medal?" I probably would have snidely answered back, "I don't know, what was it like when you were created in that laboratory?"

So who won? The sauce on Marcus' frog legs was too rich for Jason, and Jay Rayner thought Tony's salad was too boring. Susan's seared chicken with cumin cilantro sauce was their overall favorite, and she was named the winner of the challenge.

Grillin' & Chillin'

For this week's elimination challenge, the chefs had to throw a tailgating party for 100 fanatical USC football fans. Since Susan won the quickfire, she was given a USC jersey and cap to wear during the event. As it turns out, she just might have needed that edge. "I've barely been to a football game," Susan confessed while chopping onions for her carne asada tacos. That's it, Susan. Your lesbian card is being revoked tomorrow.

In Other Susan Feniger News...

She was a cheerleader in high school! Don't you just want to hug this woman? She's like the poster child for good moods.

Reminder: Susur's Chinese (And Has Never Been Tailgating!)

During the challenge, Susur took the opportunity to remind us all...about 500 TIMES...that he's never been tailgating, and that he has absolutely no clue what it's about. Uh, ya think? The guy showed up to the game in a black sweat suit with a towel wrapped around his neck, like he was getting ready to go 12 rounds in the ring with Rocky Balboa. Then, he used his grill as a flat top and made ROASTED DUMPLINGS for everyone. So yeah. Don't expect the guy to be authoring a book about tailgating any time soon.

Susan's Testosterone-Inducing Tacos

In a sea of tailgating food mediocrity, Susan's skirt steak tacos clearly stood out from the rest. They were so good, in fact, that they made judge James Oseland feel "more like a manly American by the minute." Jay Rayner quickly quipped back, "Any plate of food that can do that to you is a miracle." Indeed!

There's A Giant Sparkly Chameleon Clinging To Gael Greene's Left Breast!

No, seriously! There is!

And The Winner Is...

Susan, Marcus, and Susur had the three highest scores of the day, but in the end, Susan won the tailgating challenge and earned another $10,000 for her charity. She's earned $32k so far, more than anyone else on the show. Nicely done, Susan, nicely done.

Jonathan, Tony, and Rick were the bottom three, but in the end, Tony Mantuano was eliminated. The judges thought his grilled pizza was chewy and tough, though I have to say it certainly looked delicious.

Good luck in the future, Tony! If things don't work out in the kitchen, you can always take Susur's advice and join the cast of the Sopranos!