“Back to Reality” 3.21.11: It’s great to see everyone again. We’ve heard through the grapevine who’s in and who’s out of the competition. When I walk into the hotel lobby — a different hotel that we had previously stayed at… I’m immediately greeted by a table of friends. They’re eating lunch and I’m starved, but seeing them is awesome. I sit and order a crappy pizza that takes forever to come… no worries though, we’ve got lots of catching up to do.
On Monday, the top 6 competed in a MasterChef team challenge. They chose teams and took over the Michelin Star restraunt Patina in Los Angeles. Both teams did remarkably well but in the end, Christian’s experience helped his red team triumph over the blue team.
Team captain Tracy, Adrien, and Jennifer faced a pressure test of massive proportions. The three were given a HUGE King salmon to filet, portion, and cook. At the beginning of the challenge, Chef Ramsay effortlessly broke down the giant fish in a demonstration for Tracy, Adrien, and Jennifer. His skill with a knife and fish gave Suzy Singh an orgasm in the galley. All three chef-testants seemed to struggle with the daunting task, but in the end it was the bit of tail left of Tracy’s fish that sent her home.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture given by one of my food network heros: Alton Brown. I was invited by my friends at PolyScience to the American Culinary Federation Convention in Dallas.
After a late night of mini golf, smoked rum and coke, and fun with former MasterChef roommate Ben Starr (I stayed at his house) I hit the sack and woke up early to prepare for the conference. On my way to the Gaylord Texan I had a delisious “upstream Benedict” (with smoked salmon instead of canadian bacon) at a local bakery on Main Street in Grapevine.
I arrive at the Gaylord Texan convention center and meet with Chef Joe at the PolyScience booth. He, Konrad (also with PolyScience) and I head into the room where Mr. Brown’s lecture is and find a seat in a room filled with white chef’s coats.
I’ve got A LOT to say about last night’s episode, so listen up…
“1st Team Challenge” 2.18.11: We have a 6:00am call time this morning… There is a lot of complaining and coffee drinking going on from the cast. “All in a day’s work” is still my attitude, there’s no way that the producers will be able to break my work ethic. We are driven into downtown LA, somewhere near the Staples Center. Alejandra, our cast local and urban geography specialist is throwing our possibilities. We know today will be the first team challenge with yesterday’s winners, Derrick and Max, picking the teams. We end up in a small meeting room in the LA Times building. After a couple hours of waiting we are escorted to the cafeteria where we find the three judges.
“1st Mystery Box” 2.12.11: We are in the MasterChef kitchen for the first time today. We had done the signature dish, apple chop, and chicken challenge in an old warehouse in Compton. The place was filthy…hard to believe we prepared food there. The “Real” MasterChef Kitchen is a lot closer to our hotel and has one big benefit right off the bat: Air Conditioning! (Yeah, the warehouse was THAT bad!)
“The Pre-Egg Challenge” 2.11.11: Last season, the first cooking challenge was to create a dish featuring a single egg. There’s lots of speculation on what this year’s version will be. Potato and chicken are popular theories. On the morning of the 11th, we are taken in small groups to a “food safety” class. We arrive near the Beverley Center and the Casting PA’s walk us to a small cooking school. Sandee is there! We are cooking! It turns out that this “Food Safety” course is a impromptu “informal” cooking challenge!