Top Chef Masters: A Look at Season 2 So Far

ludo-vs-rick

Recently, I’ve found myself enjoying watching food shows more and more.  I used to avoid watching them because they made me so hungry.  Now I’m absorbed enough to put my hunger pangs aside for pure enjoyment! In case you haven’t already guessed, the show I’ve been watching for the past few weeks is Top Chef Masters Season 2 (I didn’t see season 1).If you haven’t been watching, it’s not too late!  Only 3 episodes have aired, and you can watch the first 2 episodes (as of 11 am today) on Hulu for free.  It airs on Bravo on Wednesday nights.  The show is designed to follow a format similar to the popular show Top Chef .  In this show elite, world-renowned chefs compete against one another as a panel of judges eliminate contestants  until only one chef remains and is crowned Top Chef Master.  The winning chef also receives $100,000 donated to his or her charity of choice.

In each episode there are 2 challenges to test their cooking skills: a Quickfire Challenge and an Elimination Challenge. The Quickfire Challenge is a blast to watch; it tests the chefs’ ability to use simple, even mediocre, ingredients to create a delicious meal.  This challenge is rated by a blind taste test, not the judges.  Singing group The Bravery rated and tasted the first Quickfire Challenge in episode 1.

In the first episode of the season, the Quickfire Challenge took the contestants to a gas station convenience store.  They were instructed to create a dish using only what they could purchase in the store!  I don’t want to spoil the show if you intend to go back and watch, but one of the dishes was Cheetos Macaroni with Grilled Slim Jims and Tomato Soup.

cheetos-macaroni

Why is the macaroni dish fiery red? The chefs accidentally picked up Flaming Hot Cheetos!  Who knew you could get something that looks like that from a gas station. Tune in to see the other crazy creations.

Well, I don’t have any recipes for mac ‘n cheese or tomato soup using cheetos and slim jims, but  here are a few of the recipes I like.

Low-Fat Macaroni and Cheese

Tomato Mushroom Soup

Macaroni and Cheese Bake

Tomato Basil Soup

The elimination challenge is more involved and designed to test the chefs’ versatility and innovation.  Not only do these dishes need to appeal to a panel of tough judges, but tasters (people for which the dish is aimed) also weigh in on the final score.

If you’re a die-hard Top Chef Masters or even Top Chef fan, how is this season better or worse than season 1?  I’ve heard there isn’t as much drama, although there seems to be plenty of drama in episode 2!

Who’s your favorite to win?  My vote’s for Carmen Gonzalez right now.

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