MasterChef

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Sous Chef? More Like Boo-Hoo Chef

So let's start separating the culinary wheat from the chaff, shall we? First up is Chris who, in addition to making wacky faces when Gordon tells him he's competing for $250,000, also enjoys cooking with beer. Anyone can cook with wine, Chris says, but beer is so out there and unusual. The authors of these cookbooks would certainly agree. Chris has used his hour to make Beer Cheese Soup with Crostini and Chives. It looks like unappetizing paste. Nevertheless, Graham praises the consistency. Joe says it looks brown, and from the tone of his voice, you can tell that brown doesn't do very much for him. Gordon says nothing, though the double-take he shoots Graham when the latter admits he would have no problem eating it speaks volumes. Chris is sent away; he doesn't even get to drown his sorrows in the remaining beer, as the judges order him to leave that behind.

The next crop of contestants fare no better. A self-described chef groupie is told she's better off dating chefs than trying to feed anyone with the yucca and sweet potato-encrusted snapper she serves up. A blackened catfish dish is similarly dismissed. A flirty ex-soccer player tries to engage Gordon in some ribald punnery about backfields, but she just reduces Gordon to retching up her tilapia fish tacos and mango chutney into a conveniently hollowed-out red pepper. Flirty fish taco lady wants to know how she might improve her dish. "The show's not that long," Joe says. I like Joe. Since MasterChef has a decidedly American Idol-like feel, I suppose this is the portion of the show where the deluded are brought out for us to enjoy a good chuckle. Still, when someone sings off-key, there's very little chance of ptomaine poisoning. On the other hand, MasterChef appears to be Seacrest-free, so what's a little gastro-intestinal distress among friends? Still, after conferring with his fellow judges, Gordon decides to march back to the waiting contestants and give them what-for. His takeaway message: Please cook less shittily.

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MasterChef

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