Top Chef Masters

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Pub Grub
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

This week's contestants all competed on the show last season but didn't make it to the Champions' Round. So they've BACK! Like ROCKY! I wish they had shown them training for their second chance by chasing chickens in the frozen tundra. Except then they would kill the chickens and prepare them with a red wine reduction. I'll give you that one for free, producers. So the contestants are:

Rick Moonen, who might have won his round last season except he didn't finish his Quickfire on time, and thus earned no stars for that round. So he's determined to make sure the food gets out on time.

Wylie Dufresne, who swore a lot the first time around, and accidentally didn't give one of the judges the main element of his dish due to a plating mixup. He wants redemption.

Graham Elliot Bowles, who didn't really screw anything up on his first outing, but was just plain out beat by Suzanne Tracht, so he's got that going for him, which is nice. Graham and Wylie are friends but also frenemies, so they really want to beat each other.

Jonathan Waxman, who had a lot of respect from the other chefs on his first time out, but somehow that didn't translate to actual stars for his cooking. I hope he's had Lasik since last season, because he kept complaining about how he couldn't see anything.

Mark Peel got screwed over by a Quickfire that involved cooking eggs with one hand, since everyone agreed that his Elimination Challenge dish was great. But now he's back!

Ludo Lefebvre, who served placenta on a plate for his first round (not really but it looked like it) and tried to charm his way into the finals after taking too long to serve up his food. That obviously didn't work out for him. He complains that people called him Pepe le Pew after his season. They also called him Asshole, because he kind of was one.

Kelly Choi welcomes them all back and introduces the Quickfire Challenge. They walk into a room with a fully stocked bar, and Jonathan cracks that he's in his comfort zone. Maybe that explains the vision problems; he's always drunk! The challenge is to create a dish to be paired with an "exotic cocktail" made with the sponsoring company's vodka (they have to pay me if they want the advertising). An award-winning mixologist comes in and makes all the various cocktails for them, and they get to sample each. At 8:00 in the morning. And then they each choose a cocktail to base their dish around. The judges will be the Real Housewives of Orange County and Gael Greene. So, you know, experts on drinking.

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Top Chef Masters




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