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Top Chef Masters: Episode One

Well, Top Chef fans, what did you think of the spinoff, Top Chef Masters? I have mixed feelings about the show — I loved seeing the world-renowned chefs compete, but I hated seeing three of them fall so far, so quickly. I also didn't like how the stakes weren't as high: the four competitors are already established and well-respected professionals in the food industry.

They aren't desperate to win, their careers don't depend on the success of their performance. Top Chef Masters lacks the immediacy of the original. These chefs haven't shopped for groceries or made desserts in years, so who cares if they can't complete a quickfire challenge? To see the rest of my thoughts and discuss the premiere in more depth (warning, spoilers ahead!),


  1. Was I the only one who missed the signature Top Chef theme song?
  2. Why couldn't Michael Schlow make a dessert that pleased Girl Scouts? I understand that he was under a time restraint, but hello? Rice Krispy treats? Brownies? Cupcakes? He could have made any of these desserts and totally impressed the little girls.
  3. What did you think of Kelly Choi? Was she trying too hard? Is she too skinny to be the host of a culinary competition?
  4. Did Bravo fool the chefs? How come Michael Schlow's cake didn't bake? How did Tim Love not realize he was putting his food in the freezer?
  5. Would you eat macaroni and cheese that was made in a dorm bathroom?
  6. Was there too much emphasis placed on the charities?
  7. How did you feel about the critics table? Don't you love how it's not called "judges" table anymore?
  8. Did you love or hate the star rating system?
  9. Were you surprised Hubert won?
  10. What was your overall perspective on the show?


wunami wunami 8 years
"These chefs haven't shopped for groceries or made desserts in years, so who cares if they can't complete a quickfire challenge?" Well...I kind of care. It's like when a well established dermatologist is present when someone needs CPR and can't do it. He may not have done CPR or had to deal with anything similar for years, but he should still know how to do it.
redchick152 redchick152 8 years
i'm sure i will watch it, mostly b/c there's nothing else on in the summer. but i do miss gail, padma, and tom. its just not the same w/o them!
AmberHoney AmberHoney 8 years
It was okay! Wanted Tim Love to win just cause he's a cowboy - yee haw.
sparklemeetspop sparklemeetspop 8 years
I agree that the new format will need some getting used to. Overall though, I loved the attitude of the chefs. It seemed like they were having a good time, but at the same time, were challenged. Top Chef is known for being ridiculous, so I don't really mind the wacky competitions. Kelly and the theme song have got to go, though.
mlen mlen 8 years
i understand why the format has to be this way, but i agree it kinda sucked that 3 had to go home so quickly! i thought hubert would win too but i am glad he did, he was endearing! i agree that i kinda wanted to see them really go to town in a kitchen, but at the same time it was kinda funny watching hubert lose his shopping cart lol. i'll continue to watch!
smileyyy123 smileyyy123 8 years
I enjoyed the new format and appreciated that Bravo is honoring these chefs as legitimate professionals. No matter how much these Masters said they commiserated with Top Chef contestants, it was instantly apparent that these guys play on a whole different level; I love that Bravo gave them the latitude to do so. I also really liked Kelly Choi - she's been the host of Eat Out New York for a long while, and I definitely like her more than Padma when Padma first started hosting and WAY more than Katie Lee Joel. I'm willing to give Top Chef Masters a chance and will definitely watch the rest of the season, based on the quality of chefs alone!
smileyface smileyface 8 years
I agree with the point made about the rating system--that its not a panel decision but based on the ratings that each critic gives. I think the quickfire should give the winner an advantage in the elimination round like in the regular show, instead of the points. But overall I thought it was a good show. And I liked watching the master's cook. I was sad at the thought that 3 had to go home, but I get that they can't really have 24 or however many masters away from their restaurants filming over an extended period of time. So I guess having 4 come at a time and then all of the round champions coming back for the finale makes sense. I plan to continue watching although I do miss Tom!
sabs sabs 8 years
i wasn't sold on the show and format either. but i do love hubert keller and was pleased to see him conquer the dorm challenge. i think it's fun though, i mean most of the chefs are probably folks who wanted to be on top chef, but were already too far along in their careers to do so. this way they get to see what it's like to be on that side of the judging panel. and since top chef is full of wacky ridiculous challenges, i guess it's good that this is too. whether i'll agree with that statement after a few weeks of viewing is another thing...
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
silver, i thought huber was going to win as soon as i saw his name too! lol, i was kinda rooting for the cowboy too. i really want to try his food!
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
i love me some TC, but i agree, there wasnt any real compitetion going on.. they were all winners in their own right since they all got some $ for charity (which they did mention alot!) i thought some of the food they made looked fantastic, but honestly, regular chefs on TC have had similar challenges like cooking in a microwave, on the beach, with no heat etc and came out with decent things so im not awed with what the masters did with all 3 cooking tools and a room to cook it in. im not that crazy about kelly choi, but maybe its b/c im used to padma. and i love that new british critic! i wish hed stay on the regular show, and take out toby young! only thing is i missed tom collicicio lol. its not as interesting as the original, but i may still tune in for this show.
silverpenny013 silverpenny013 8 years
I enjoyed watching quite a bit. It wouldn't be much of a challenge if these guys just got to cook in a real kitchen like they do everyday! We all know they're excellent chefs and nothing shows ability better than a good challenge, right? And I had a feeling Hubert Keller was going to win from the beginning... when it's the only name you really recognize, he must be good. The only thing that bothered me was how the chefs (or at least one of them) seemed to almost brag about how he didn't know how to use a microwave because he didn't even own one. And he didn't know what it does to food (ie dry it out). Please. That just turned me off... what is he, too high class for such bourgeois trinkets? Was I supposed to find that endearing somehow? It's really not like it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to use a microwave or how it functions to heat food, you know? (Geez, I guess this really bugged me!) And I miss Padma! And the judges! I'm now picturing Carla: "Gail?! Gail!" LOL
mannylove mannylove 8 years
I did not love this all, would be much better with the original format though I understand they probably don't have that much time to be away from their jobs, etc. No way he did not know that was the freezer! That had to have been scripted. Who doesn't know that side is the freezer?! Really... I miss Tom & Padma, I'll still watch b/c nothing else is on in the Summer, but I'd rather be watching the real Top Chef instead!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
1) i missed it too! 2) i think that masters sometimes try to hard since they have this reputation. nothing can be simple 3) my problem with her is that it sounded like she couldn't pronounce the dishes - like she was a novice and i didn't like that. padma faked it better when she wasn't sure . 4) i think that they had to make it a bit more complex than normal. i think that everyone would know the difference between a freezer and a fridge - so that was a bravo thing i think. as for the cake - well we know that's happened to chefs in the regular show... 5) as long as i didn't know about it - sure. i think that it was smart 6) not really. i think that the show and Glad wanted to make sure that everyone knew that the money wasn't for the chefs 7) well they don't need to be judged - they are established chefs and critics are in their restaurants all the time 8) i'm indifferent to the system. i know why they did it - to make it finite who was better... 9) not at all 10) it was good - less exciting than i expected but ok. i was hoping that it would be more like the regular season than just 4 guys competing against each other
kpelli73 kpelli73 8 years
Overall, I thought the show was entertaining. The only things I didn't really like were Kelly Choi (but that is probably because I really like Padma) and the star system. It would have been hard for Hubert to lose since he did so well at the quickfire. I know they can't do immunity for the quickfire winner given the format of the show, but I would rather see the winner get an advantage in the elimination portion. For example, last night they could have given them more grocery money or an extra hot plate or something.
cupcake345 cupcake345 8 years
I sorta enjoyed it. I was looking forward to seeing them cook, not do some wacky challenge in a dorm room. Kelly needs to go, she is way too skinny and too annoying. They are chefs, let's see them do what they do best!
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