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Reality Fix: Top Chef Masters 

Photo Credit: Bravo

This mushroom fricassee doesn’t look like much (at least to me), but the judges flipped for it. And I really like the chef behind it, Alessandro Stratta. He just came across as this warm, calming presence in the kitchen. And they definitely needed that for their first challenge; the kitchen was crazy! The new host, chef Curtis Stone, and both the quickfire and elimination challenges signal that this season is going to be a whole new ballgame. Ugh, really with the sports metaphors? But it works.

I can’t even imagine getting Restaurant Wars as the first elimination challenge, no matter the skill level of the cheftestants. Of course they all have the experience of actually having opened at least one of their own restaurants. But that also means a possible power struggle in the kitchen and a definite clash of styles. On the other hand, in past seasons we’ve seen the chefs be competitive but also help each other out in the kitchen. I definitely think we saw some of that.

I’ve never worked in the food service industry…wait, I’m totally lying. I worked at a fast food joint my junior and senior year of high school. I was going to say I don’t know anything about whether or not to stagger diners but I do. You never want to serve everyone at the same time. It makes for an extremely tense kitchen and things can go so wrong so fast. It’s just unneeded pressure. And I think that may have contributed to the judges picking Team Blue as the losing team, even though the diners picked them as winners. I wonder why the judges (or the show’s producers” decided to go with the diners picks over their own? I seem to remember they did that as well on Top Chef All-Stars. Is that right or am I misremembering? From what I saw in this episode (and sometimes I really wish there was a way for us to taste that food too), Team Red should’ve taken it.

Who’s the unlucky chef to get the dubious honor of being sent home first? Hugh.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Here’s what we know: he’s Canadian and he isn’t someone known for having a signature dish – he’s always trying something new. Like the judges, I would’ve liked to see him stay around a little longer so they could try his food and describe it to us. But I wouldn’t have sent anyone home, which is why I could never be a judge on this or any show. Well, I can be brutal sometimes. It depends. In any case, this was a tense and very interesting start to this season of Top Chef Masters. I’ll be back and on the edge of my seat for the next installment.

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