TOP CHEF MASTERS Recap: Neil Patrick Harris & Max!! - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

TOP CHEF MASTERS Recap: Neil Patrick Harris & Max!!

July 9, 2009 by  

Oh, Top Chef Masters. I WANT to love you.

That kind of says it all, right?

It’s not that I don’t LIKE TCM, because I do, it’s that I don’t love it, because I want the contestants to stick around so I can get to know them (even though I know it’s impossible), and I don’t love the bobble-headed host, and I don’t love the critic who dresses like a fancy bag lady, and I miss Padma’s puke faces, and I like when the contestants get all tired and beaten down and bitchy. So, in short, WAAAAHHHH!

But on the other hand, we do get to see some pretty ingenious stuff, and this was a cool challenge, what with the Neil Patrick Harris and the magic and whatnot. And did you guys realize that we got a TWO FOR ONE celebrity episode? Please tell me that you all recognized Ed Alonzo—he’s Max, as in THE Max, as in Saved by the Bell! I was excited.

Okay, and one last note on the magic castle before we really get into the food—did anyone else catch that little vignette in the middle of the commercials where a guy pulled a rabbit out of his hair? That was awesome, I loved Ed Alonzo’s face and no one having any idea how he did it. And that floppy-eared bunny was SUPER cute, although I’m not sure I would’ve held it since I’m pretty afraid of holding bunnies. They’ve got those teeth … But it was still really cute to see everyone having a good time and enjoying the show.

The challenges this week were so great. I love the egg challenge because after several years of waiting tables and doing the breakfast shift at two different places, I can absolutely say without question that eggs are every bit as difficult as they were making them out to be. I worked at a national park in Virginia one summer during college, and we all lived in cabins with roommates. One of the guys got moved to the breakfast shift the summer before I was there, and one of his roommates told me that he must have cooked over a thousand eggs, just practicing. They’re just really finicky.

Anyway, Anita’s did look awesome, really neat presentation, and if it tasted that good too then she totally deserved to win. I was excited to see John Besh, since I know him from all his various TV appearances as a Top Chef judge, Next Iron Chef competitor, Food Network Challenge judge, etc., and I was sad to see him crash and burn so hard on the Quickfire, but he was totally right—he should’ve checked it to make sure it was getting done. But of course, hindsight is 20/20. Still, I thought he was really gracious about the whole thing. I didn’t get that excited about Douglas’ dish because I’m not into ham, but the judges seemed to like it; conversely, I did get excited about Mark’s because I’m totally into noodles, but the judges thought it was bland. Still, I enjoyed that little discussion on how you make noodles with one hand, and how he demonstrated it. Hilarious!

I have to say though, this was probably the best theme challenge that I can remember seeing, and I also think that having pros do it probably worked better than trying it on regular TC. I loved the concept of Mark’s, and thought that the mystery element was completely well-played. You could actually hear people saying, “What IS that?” when it came out, which was perfect.

Poor John, again, with his “surprise” dish. It wasn’t that the horseradish didn’t freeze up that I felt bad for, it’s that he promised us something either awesome or horrible, but definitely not boring, and I think boring was kind of what he wound up with, and the across-the-board three stars would support that theory. Billy laughed while NPH was holding the bowl full of liquid nitrogen though, because it reminded him of Dr. Horrible.

Also, NPH was a pretty tough critic! I don’t think he was wrong or unfair, and I always think it’s kind of fun to see someone come out and not just gush over everything, so I totally support that. It was just a little unexpected, is all. Oh, that NPH—he keeps us on our toes.

Anita’s dish was very cool, and this challenge does seem like it would be tailor-made for a molecular gastronomist, does it not? I’m not saying she is one, because I didn’t hear that, but I would’ve been curious to see Wylie take this challenge instead of last week’s. Still, her dish was so cool because it DID look so much like a scallop (and did anyone else have Jamie flashbacks?), and I liked that she tried to make it make noise. I thought that was cool. So far, she’s the one I think will give Hubert the biggest run for his money, but of course, I still think he will dominate.

I liked Douglas a lot and I really wish that his flaming coconut dish would’ve gone better, but that sterno on there didn’t look awesome, and it burns for a long time, AND we just saw Jeff get eliminated in last season’s finale for the sterno flavoring his food, so we know it has a taste. (Or, if you’re into LOLcats, “sterno haz a flavor”.) But I did like the idea, and I wish he could’ve had some 151 rum. I mean, seriously, if we can get John Besh a nitrogen tank, can we get a brother a bottle of rum?

Only two more finalists to be determined until we get to the finals! What did you guys think of this episode? What do you think Anita’s chances are against Hubert, Suzanne, and Rick? Was this the most awesome challenge or what? And how excited were you at the joining of Top Chef and Neil Patrick Harris? Discuss!

SB has many interests, including photography, her pets, entertainment, traveling and writing. She does have a day job, but that mostly amounts to her being a sarcastic young woman with a lot of time on her hands, which is why she appreciates the opportunity to recap.


7 Responses to “TOP CHEF MASTERS Recap: Neil Patrick Harris & Max!!”

  1. TOP CHEF MASTERS Recap: Neil Patrick Harris & Max!! | Joe Hosting on July 9th, 2009 12:40 pm

    […] the whole story on Give Me My Remote Leave a comment Related Posts and VideosSneak Peek: Neil Patrick Harris […]

  2. TOP CHEF MASTERS Recap: Neil Patrick Harris & Max!! | Joe Hosting on July 9th, 2009 12:40 pm

    […] the whole story on Give Me My Remote Leave a comment Related Posts and VideosSneak Peek: Neil Patrick Harris […]

  3. cinethia on July 9th, 2009 3:33 pm

    I agree with you about TCM!! I really, really, really WANT to love it, but it just falls flat to me. There’s no investment in the people, so I really don’t CARE who wins or loses. It’s OK and will tide me over until the REAL Top Chef comes back…. It IS coming back …. Right???

  4. Nicole on July 9th, 2009 3:48 pm

    I just heard this morning that the REAL Top Chef is back at the end of August, on the 26th. It’s in Vegas this time ’round. Yay!!! I’m with you guys – I like TCM, but it’s sure as hell no Top Chef. I completely agree that there’s a lack of investment in the chefs on TCM because they change every week plus they’re professionals playing for charity so the stakes just aren’t the same. It’s a nice way to pass the time, but it’s all about the real show. Without Padma and Tom, it could never live up. Can’t wait to watch this and see NPH though!

  5. Kat on July 9th, 2009 5:52 pm

    I was so excited because David Burtka was there!! I love him with NPH – too cute! I was kinda disappointed with the egg challenge. I thought it was boring and not all it was cracked up (hehe egg pun!) to be. That being said, I loved the magic challenge and how each chef made their food fit the themes.

  6. Lisa (aka lmr) on July 10th, 2009 7:20 am

    Hey SB, I had to hold off comment until I watched…had delayed it on DVR. I am with everyone on TCM, I like it but I don’t love it. I think Cinethia nailed it, there’s no one to root for week-to-week and the host is so vapid there’s no familiar face from week-to-week that we like.

    I did enjoy this ep, though. I thought all the chefs were nice and I particularly liked John B. Has anyone that won the quick-fire not won the whole thing? The challenge was so cool and their responses to it were as well. Anita deserved the win and I look forward to seeing her in the finals. She’s so self-effacing for a star chef, isn’t she?

  7. phyllis on July 12th, 2009 12:12 am

    the bobblehead host is admittedly a turn off but as someone who has a huge interest in food and a somewhat decent knowledge of well-known chefs, TCM is super fun to watch! i love seeing the tables turned on these big names and so far each round’s winner has been well deserved. these people are truly top chefs and consummate professionals and i love that they’re good natured competitors. but i can totally see why the show might not be as interesting to others, especially if you don’t really know much about the chefs that are competing in the first place.