Thursday, September 20, 2012

TV Quick Takes: Top Chef Masters (Spoilers)

Tonight I watched what the cable guide blurb hypereloquently called the penultimate episode of Top Chef Masters Season 4, featuring an elimination challenge in which the final 3 chefs mentored teams of high school culinary students through the preparation of dishes they themselves couldn't even touch. I've been enjoying this season of Masters, which has finally come into its own and no longer strikes me as a knockoff placeholder for the Top Chef mothership, but since I haven't been blogging here much until recently, I haven't had a chance to express myself about it. Just a few quick observations, as we await the finale:
  • I've liked Chris Cosentino since I first saw him on the first season of The Next Iron Chef, but I have loved him on this show. Tonight's Critics' Table was edited to lead us to believe he was going home, so I was intensely relieved to see him advance to the final. Not only has he consistently put out food I wanted to eat all season, but it was clear he was by far the best, most committed, most caring teacher of the three... which observation matches the judgment of the viewing audience, according to the viewers' poll.
  • The fact that Cosentino obviously liked her was the only reason I was sorry to see Patricia Yeo go last week. Early on, I liked her feistiness and thought her food looked interesting, but in the later episodes, her behavior toward fellow competitor Lorena Garcia increasingly turned me off. I hate the sexist term catty, but it's hard to avoid the word when Yeo actually made aggressive meowing noises at Garcia more than once. These are all high-level professional chefs, and one of the nice things about Masters is that they usually treat each other with respect. Yeo, not so much.
  • Speaking of Garcia... Taco Bell? Seriously?
Well, I'll be looking forward to next week's finale... and to the upcoming new seasons of Top Chef and Next Iron Chef... and to Life After Top Chef... and to  Chef Race: UK vs U.S. ... and to... argh! So much food TV; so little time!

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