To aid them in this task, the chefs are assigned sous chefs with whom they are very comfortable, namely their own chefs from their restaurants.
Off for shopping, which is not limited to Whole Foods.With only 8 hours combined to shop and prep, Mary Sue plays it safe and buys all of her ingredients from Whole Foods. Floyd, on the other hand, needs to rush all over LA to source his ingredients and gets stuck in traffic. So while Mary Sue and Traci are cooking away in the Top Chef Masters kitchen, Floyd is nowhere to be found. Eventually he shows up with a mere 3 hours to spare - and two types of meat to braise to tenderness in that short time.
The next day, they are taken by car to a mysterious location, which turns out to be a house near the Hollywood Hills where Curtis Stone is waiting to make them breakfast. Afterwards, fueled by mimosas, they head back to the TCM kitchen to cook for another two hours.
While it seems they all have some issues in the kitchen - Traci is not happy with the quality of her duck, Mary Sue is forced to use liquid nitrogen to make her lemon ice cream, Floyd's fish was badly butchered - they somehow all make it work.
When the Critics arrive, we see they've brought Danyelle Freeman, Alan Sytsma, and Tom Colicchio, plus former TCM contestants Jonathan Waxman, Susan Feniger, Rick Moonen, Jody Adams, and Susur Lee along to dine with them.
For the first course, Floyd serves an upma (semolina) polenta with wild mushrooms, Mary Sue brings out an Asian-style steak tartare, and Traci does a shrimp creole, all based on early food memories.
For the second course, Floyd made a rice-flake coated snapper, Mary Sue has shrimp two ways, and Traci offers a quail salad with sweetbreads.
Finally, for the third course, Floyd offers his rendang two ways (shortribs and oxtail) with tapioca pilaf, Mary Sue brings her lemon soufflé, and Traci has a duo of duck.
While the critics nitpick most of the dishes, Mary Sue's soufflé is faultless, and Floyd's rendang is highly praised. Traci's duck dish doesn't evoke the proper memories for Gael Greene, however, so it looks like she's out of the competition at that point.
Just when it seems that Mary Sue has it in the bag, Curtis announces that the winner is Floyd! Perhaps a surprise, but a pleasant one.
So what did you all think about this episode? Please tell us in the comments!
Posted on AllTopChef.com