Top Chef Masters: "I will beat you with my quesadilla!"
Fans got a taste of what they’ve come to crave from Top Chef during Episode 3 on Wednesday: a sprinkling of drama, a few sound bites from a trash-talking European chef and a dash of frenzy during the "elimination challenge."
Ludo Lefebvre was a breath of fresh air for the series, making it clear that he was there to win. Many of these top-notch chefs seem to be tip-toeing around one another and playing nice simply because there’s a charity involved. We want drama! We want blood!
Fortunately it didn't take long for the show to serve up both. The quick-fire challenge was to create a dish using a single color palate. The waiters accidentally forgot to bring out the beet gazpacho that accompanied Ludo's beef carpaccio, which led to a melodramatic outburst. When the gazpacho finally was delivered, the judges weren't pleased with the monochromatic mess that resulted. The drizzled beet soup turned the plate into a gory murder scene. Ludo's wasn't the only slip-up, though. Wilo Bennettleft the ring around his salmon tartare, but the judges didn’t give a hoot. He won the quick fire.
For the offal street food elimination challenge, all four of the chefs chose to prepare dishes from Latin America. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an Angeleno who’s all about a late-night taco run, but there are so many roads they could have taken with those ingredients (heart, tripe, tongue and pig’s ear).
For example, Ludo drew the pig ear for the challenge and chose to make a quesadilla, which seemed a bit unimaginative considering pig ear has so many street food-friendly applications (Thai hu mu plao or French-fried pig ear salad, to name two). Plus, television's guru of Mexican cooking, Rick Bayless, was his competition. Cindy Pawlcyn's bland menudo had everyone underwhelmed, and judge James Oseland was perturbed by Bennett's cold pita pocket. Bayless' tacos de lengua (tongue tacos) ended up bowling over the judges and the tourists at Universal Studios who got to do the scoring.
The quote of the hour was definitely Ludo’s threat to Bayless, “I will beat you with my quesadilla!” Sounds like grounds for a restraining order to me.
Photos: Bravo TV