Previously, on The Sautée and the Pity, amateur chefs from around the nation competed for the coveted-ever-since-we-invented-it title of MasterChef, but only 100 were chosen to complete for a spot in the final 30. Many of the chef wannabes were sent home, and they wept vociferously. A few of the chef wannabees were given the thumbs-up from the judges, and they wept vociferously. This week, even more contestants compete for a spot in the Final 30. And I wept vociferously.
You've met the judges, right? There's chef Graham Elliot (Not Bowles!), who's sort of the Paula of this culinary American Idol. Then there's restaurateur Joe Bastianich, who's definitely the Simon. Finally, there's Gordon Ramsay, who's the... Randy? Seacrest? Dunkelman? Well, anyhow, he's present. "Yo, dawg, those mussels mouliere were really pitchy..." Anyhow, they're the three geniuses tasked with deciding who among this week's batch of amateur cooks can successfully cook a signature dish in just 60 minutes to earn a coveted apron. So let's get it on! If "getting it on" means "repeat last week's first episode from start to finish." Yeah, let's do that!
First up is Tamar, whom, we are told, has just quit her day job to pursue her culinary dreams. "I felt like I had to put 100 percent of myself into what I'm doing, and I couldn't spend nine, 10 hours a day someplace else. I think that would have just been a waste of my life." A bold decision -- but possibly a foolhardy one if her lobster curry on a bed of rice is anything to go by. The lobster claw that tops the dish looks limp and unappealing, while the bits of meat from the tail -- the most flavorful part of the cockroach of the sea, Gordon reminds us -- is buried in the rice ball. Gordon points out that the product in the pan looks more flavorful than what Tamar has plated. Graham credits her for a tasty curry. Joe tastes the dish and stares off into the middle distance.
So: decision time. Graham gives it the thumbs-down. Gordon says yes. That leaves things up to Joe, who's continuing to stare off into the middle distance while Tamar begs for her life. Joe looks like he's trying to remember if he has dry cleaning to pick up on the way home from the studio. Finally, he says no. Tamar is out of MasterChef.