8/09/2012 12:21:00 PM

Top Chef Masters Season 4, Episode 3: Boitano and Benihana

On last night's Top Chef Masters, the chefs walk in to an ice bar of seafood and a Quick No-Fire: make a masterful dish using of at least one of a bunch of fancy proteins with no heat in twenty minutes. They all joke that Takashi's gonna win, he's a culinary raw-fish ninja and of course, he does. NBC keeps the Olympics going with Olympics Skating Gold medalist Brian Boitano judging. Takashi's super excited because his daughter used to skate and "she's going to be big, big jealous." Boitano thematically judges in medals. Patricia Yeo is "very impressed with Brian Boitano" because he "speaks so intelligently about food." Takashi takes home the gold with aji sashimi with sea urchin, heirloom tomatoes and daikon apple salad. Cosentino takes the silver with his mackerel fra diavolo, and Mark Gaier gets the bronze for his maine lobster with heirloom tomatoes. The losers were Kerry Heffernan's hamachi with lemon eucalyptus oil which didn't have enough acid and Fedora's geouck, which was sad because he thought there was a huge chance he might win.

Nevermind the elimination challenge, Fedora wins the Whole Foods sprint by stopping for a massage while everyone else is freaking out.

The elimination theme is a Benihana-style teppanyaki challenge. The chefs have to work in teams to create a three-course teppanyaki meal for critics James Oseland, Ruth Reichl and food writer/Reichl's Gilt Taste buddy Francis Lam and past Masters contestants Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Jonathan Waxman and Rick Moonen.

None of the chefs have ever done teppanyaki before (obvi) so naturally everyone's nervous. They're split into three teams of three. The green team - Mark, Kerry and Lorena - goes first. Mark makes scallops and bok choy and went too simple. Everyone's horrified by the way he grills the bok choy - Moonen just wanted to grab it, throw liquid on it and season it. Kerry does a Korean take with shrimp with eggplant herb salad and gochujang. The shrimp is sadly overcooked. Lorena Garcia (big fan of Waxman's apparently) speaks in the third person and puts on a show making chicken fried rice. That's her thing, she's got spice - but unfortunately all three of them forgot to spice their food. They didn't taste it and it's all under-seasoned. The yellow team - Takashi, Patricia, and Clark - is up next.  Takashi takes on too much trying to sauté calamari and make pancakes so Patricia jumps in and backs him up - teamwork! Oseland thinks they're a little gritty, he may have used the wrong flour, but Waxman still likes it. Clark makes lobster tails with orange soy vinaigrette. Patricia makes a beef kalbi lettuce wrap with gochujang sauce and does a strip tease. It was Moonen's favorite. Last up is the white team: Art, Cosentino and Fedora - the power team.

Art and Cosentino have the best relationship. Bravo tries to pit them against each other, they have us voting on whose side we're on and shows them fighting but it's charming, sibling-type relationship at the end of the day. Art makes shrimp and grits and Chris makes a play on grandma's clam chowder with pork belly. Fedora makes crepes. The teppanyaki is too hot and the crepes don't quite work but they caramelize and the extra heat ends up working in his favor. Art's shrimp and grits takes home the prize, absolving him of last week's CakeGate. The green team that under-seasoned loses. It's really between Mark and Kerry. Kerry agrees he should've tasted his dish (breaking!) but Mark goes home for his total failure to execute his too simple scallops and bok choy. Womp womp. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any drama between him and partner Clark play out.


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