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'Top Chef Masters': Where are your (truffle) chips?

August 7, 2009 | 10:09 am

For the remaining Top Chef Masters, it was a night of contrasts. In the quickfire challenge, the finalists were asked to whip up their best burgers for big names in the biz including Morgan Spurlock (director of "Super Size Me") and the beloved Sang Yoon of the Los Angeles Father's Office outpost.

Micheal Chiarello's bovine masterpiece stole the show, beating out Hubert Keller, who apparently has a $5,000 burger at Fleur de Lys (Las Vegas). Let's just marinate on Chiarello's side for a moment -- truffle manchego potato chips? Mamma mia! There's no Vegas burger that could trump that.

Later in the show, the chefs were put through the ringer by Zooey Deschanel and her barrage of hipster buddies. Not only were they vegos, but they also didn't eat eggs, dairy, soy or gluten. Having such limited options around a wealth of talented chefs irks me almost as much as watching Gwyneth Paltrow tromp across Spain, turning up her nose at jamon Iberico.

The chefs and judges were a miffed as well. New Yorker Gael Greene seemed a bit perturbed at one point, "God knows what they get to eat!" she said. All the contestants seemed challenged, but Smith was the worst off. Perhaps he could use a tip or two from the some of L.A.'s indie vegan caterers.

His strawberry and rice cream soup looked like a little a sixth-grader's science experiment that had been left out in the sun. And though Lo's limp eggplant was a sad sight, Smith's dish ended up on the chopping block.

Now only four chefs remain. Where are you placing your chips? (If they're covered in truffle, please send them my way).

-- Krista Simmons

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