Wow, what a fun, first Top Chef Masters episode!
OK, so first things first: My hat (not Gael Greene's) goes off to all of our Master chefs for being on the show, cause it sure as hell isn't easy. For these flavor maestros to risk making a fool of themselves on national TV, albeit for charity, takes some serious guts. It is a really big deal that they agreed to cook under whatever situation we presented to them.
Now, to the Quickfire Challenge and our four beautiful Girl Scouts. Just watching this part of the show revealed to me how much of what went down with our four Masters was just as much of a revelation to me as it might've been to you. For one thing, after I tell Michael Schlow, Hubert Keller, Tim Love, and Christopher Lee about their Quickfire Challenge, I'm not allowed to stay and see what our Masters end up making. So when I saw that Michael had run into so much trouble making his dessert for our Scouts, I was wholly surprised. Sitting with the girls during the tasting and asking them questions about what they liked and didn't, I never would've known that Michael's cake hadn't baked properly nor that his ice cream hadn't set up (my only regret is that I wish I could've tasted the dishes too, but since I'm too busy asking questions, I can't join in and eat).
As far as the desserts that were presented, I was particularly impressed with what Hubert had produced for his blind tasters. Not only did it please our young diner's palates, but it was playful and pretty to look at. And I sure would've loved to have tried Michael's dish of chocolate gooeyness even though it may not have looked refined enough for him. The one sure thing about his dish was that the girls didn't mind one bit that it looked like a chocolate lava cake gone wrong.
I think our Masters found that at certain moments, the Scouts were the toughest critics to please — even more than a diner at one of their schmancy restaurants — because the Girl Scouts didn't sugar-coat any of their candid opinions.
When it came time for me to reveal to the Masters their Elimination Challenge, I was totally cracking up inside the entire time. I was scanning the kitchen to watch their reactions and it was hilarious watching Christopher and Tim look at me like I was a three-headed alien. Use what? A hotplate?? A toaster oven and MICROWAVE?? They probably hadn't touched any of these vessels in years, if ever. Yes, my dear viewers, this is how we had to challenge our genius chefs because if you let them cook under normal circumstances, they're undoubtedly going to produce amazing food time and again.
Skipping ahead to the meal at Pomona College, my favorite course from Tim Love was his "Pozole" — it was hearty and tasty, and I still can't believe he made his entire menu from (accidently) frozen ingredients! Ugh, just thinking about how Tim must've felt when he opened up his bags of rock-hard icy ingredients that morning of the Elimination Challenge just makes my heart sink.
Christopher Lee's winning dish, for me, was his risotto. Man, that was a warming and delicious bowl of food. Michael's soup with cabbage was fantastic and satisfying, and Hubert's salmon mi cuit, in all of its creamy fatty glory, was a complete culinary knockout.
In the end, what the Masters pulled off with what tools they had to cook with in an itty bitty dorm room was awe-inspiring. If my college boyfriend had made for me anything close to what these guys did for their students, then I'd be hitched with him today for sure ....
you're such a natural host. you seem so down to earth and not robotic like some other hosts on tv. my buddies and i wish we could see more of u on the show. anyone who's watched ur show, "eat out ny" knows u have a passion for food. to the top chef producers, MORE KELLY PLEASE!
This si the best show on television and my favorite show. BRAVO, I want Padma back, otherwise I am pretty sure the ratings for this show will drop... Kelly seems like a bobble head who knows absolutely nothing about food, but is simply there to discuss the rules and look pretty, which I am sorry to say in the pretty arena, she doesnt rank for me.
Padma knows food, and who says it better, 'Please pack your knives and go.'
I really enjoyed Top Chef Masters and thought that you did a wonderful job hosting the show. I like the format and the differences in the two shows. I just don't understand why everyone is busting on Padma? I personally like her as host of Top Chef and don't understand the hatred expressed here. You both have different styles of hosting and both compliment your respective shows. Looking forward to the next episode!
loved the show. just rewatched it today. i think i have developed a major crush on chef hubert keller. he was very impressive with his skills, knowledge and sense of humor. do i have to tell my husband?
show is a little bland compared to top chef but still enjoyed it. really need to have tom more a part of it.
it's nice to see both kelly and padma as hostesses since i'm an asian american. but, i prefer padma. she is smooth, graceful and has a natural presence. she glides into the scenes rather than entering with a choppy walk. loved the first episode...only wish padma was back.
First off, they are not Master Chef's but in reality Celebrity Chefs in a funked up "Chef Masters" reality series. You have to go through a grueling ACF Master Chef certification to become a real and true Master Chef. Oh Bravo...how to mislead us all...
Where's Padma?????She is one of the recognizable faces of Top Chef along with Tom and Gail-need her as hostess.
Loved the show! Kelly, you are a breath of fresh air. I am completely over Padma and have been for quite some time.
I loved the civility with which the judges treated the contestants and with thich the contestants treated one another. I would like to see this carried over into the regular edition of Top Chef.
I am another one who says ditch the stupid music.
Chef Keller: divine! That he can cook is merely a bonus. :)
Kelly dresses like she's on Top Runway. Her lack of food knowledge shows. This isn't about what she wears but how the chefs take on their challenges. The "pack your knives" works for Top Chef but not here. Get a better catch phrase. I like the premise of this show but it lacks something. Perhaps when I veiw episode 2, the "something" will come through.
I enjoyed this show much more than "Top Chef." A lot of fun, and you're doing a great job -- plus, you're also the hottest hostess on TV. Can't wait for the next ep.
Kelly, you did a great job as host, and we love the show. I disagree that the chefs weren't challenged enough, and I think it's terrific that they are going to have to face some of the same Quickfire challenges as the original cheftestants - challenges some of these people have judged, HARSHLY, in the past! I'd love it more if Collichio, Bourdain, and Ripert were competing against each other. Hey Bravo, watch THAT happen!
The first episode rocked and I can't wait to watch the whole season, and I rarely even watch TV! The chefs have authentic personalities and all have a passion for cooking, rather than those regular Top Chef competitors with less experience and bigger egos. Kelly did a fabulous job hosting, and has now taught me how to pronounce "mi cuit."
Awesome first episode! Great job Kelly, Padma's got nothing on you. And so looking forward to the rest of the season!
I want the beautiful Padma back!!! Kelly, I'm sorry but you're not a good replacement for Top Chef hostess. You wear too much make-up, which makes you look like a Kabuki actor and you're sickly thin! Maybe you should 'really' eat what they serve on Top Chef!
I liked it overall. Though I turned it off after a half hour because it's Hubert Keller. No one stood a chance. "Hubert Keller, One of the best chefs in the country.... I guess."- Fabio
Kelly, I could not believe it when I saw you on the first episode of Top Chef Masters! You may not remember me, as an old friend from William and Mary but think Theta, drinking green punch at your lodge, and going to formals in your red convertible...I am so sorry that we lost touch!
I didn't like to host. There's a reason they replaced the season one host. She was too monotone and not as good as Padma. I feel like this Kelly host is just the same as the season one host. Where is Padma? Bravo what where you thinking replacing her?!?
Kelly any chance you'll come back and host for the regular season? You are so refreshing. You and Tom would make a winning combination.
WHERE'S PADMA!?!?!?!?!?!?! Nothing agaisnt Kelly... but seriously, where's Padma!?!?!?!?!?!?! oh, fun show by the way.... DVR is ready to go.
Hey guys, you are totaly wrong!! Kelly, you're great, but Padma is awsome. She's hot, sexy, smart, and a GREAT host. And yes bravo, bring back Padma! Although i perfer Padma, this is an awsome show.
Top Chef Masters is great. I can't wait for Top Chef season six to begin. Kelly your great. Please quit bashing Padma from Top Chef, she's great too. I can't wait for the next 4 Chef's to compete next week. Top Chef and Top Chef Masters are awesome shows. Keep up the quality programming with the Top Chef series. Get rid of all the Housewifes shows: all except the original; The HouseWives of Orange County. Please make more great shows like Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. Why not Top Chef All Pros, where Chef's from Top Chef seasons 1-5. What I'd love to see is Tiffany from season 1, Carla from season 5, Stephany the winner from Season 4, and Jamie from Season 3.
Kelly, you did a great job! I wish you were the host of regular Top Chef. This whole episode was quality and fun, as were the contestants. What a great group of people. I'd love to eat at any of their restaurants.
The only thing is, I really wish Tom Colicchio were one of them. ;)
PS-I'm glad you didn't put any chefs on the judging panel. That would have been awkward.
I loved watching the show. I cracked up when I watched the scene of the "Masters" shopping at Whole Foods. That was hilarious! I look forward to the upcoming weeks and seeing some of our previous cheftestants getting into the act.
You're intelligent, adorable and beautiful, but forgive me -- I think I prefer Padma. Padma is no doubt a size 0, but she *looks* like she's a girl that eats and you are just too thin for a foodie show. My two cents. You're a knowledgeable and gorgeous hostess -- and I look forward to seeing your input and reading your blog for this show.
I have to agree that the judges were so very kind -- funny they're not like that with non-celebrity chefs, hmmm... *smile* I enjoyed, though, the camradarie and professionlism of the Masters - future Top Cheftestants (and former, eps. Season 2) - make note!
I am another one that had to mute the sound to stop that awful background noise(music). Could not even hear what the judges or chefs were saying much of the time. The show creates it's own drama. We do not need the tone set for us. Otherwise the show was as good as I had expected.
YOU GUYS ROCK! So happy you enjoyed episode 1...so much more to come, and i will totally give you the lowdown....
xo Kelly Choi
I'm a big Top Chef fan, and I enjoyed the first episode of Masters, but where are Tom and Padma? Tom was seen briefly, but Padma not at all. Will they continue to host and judge Top Chef for it's next season, whenever that is? I hope so.
Hubert Keller is so very sexy - just like Sean Connery. Yummy, just spread him on a plate and heat him up. P.S. loved the show.
Both of my ears are completely plugged due to this stupid weather California is having and I still had no problem hearing over the background music.
Thank you Viewer who wrote:
"...Please, Bravo, never bring back Padma!"
I agree 1000%. Kelly did an excellent job.
The show was not what I had expected, it was even better. It looked like a good time was had by all! I'll watch each and every episode.
Great show! The funniest moment was watching these chefs actually shop for food. It's amazing how well these guys did with the tools at hand, but then again, it's a poor workman who blames his tools.
Kelly, good job. You're a wonderful host. As for the show. It's fantastic. I loved every minute of it. The chefs were class acts and entertaining to watch. I love their commarderie (sp?) and their respect for each other. Just a wonderful show.
Could have predicted Hubert was going to win this episode from the start... look at the top of this page - he's part of the show's banner! Can't lose him in the first show.
What do the runner up charities get? I'd be interested to know that since Kelly said "they get a donation" also.
Can't wait for next Wednesday!
Loved the show! Loved being able to watch it twice in a row. The challenges were creative, looking forward to seeing what you've come up with in the weeks to come.
I've been anticipating this show since it was announced and am thrilled it's finally started! I loved all of the TC seasons, but I'm enjoying seeing the masters at work and them having to think on the fly - whether it's shopping at a supermarket or having to cook in a dorm room with "normal" dorm room appliances! Love the tighter focus by using only 4 chefs per challenge as well. Kudos to the chefs for participating for all of their worthy charities; very much looking forward to each week's show!
OK, Honestly, To easy..........the challenges and the judges. OF Coruse these Chefs are going to makes superb food, they are the Best of the Best, challenge them more. These Chefs could pull off a lot. The Judges need to be tougher as well.
What happened to the Host????? She is trying to hard to be Padma?? Who is she??? I like Padma bring her back.
I did, however like the concept of the challenge with the dorm room cooking aides, like they ever use a Microwave hahaha. Guest Judges might be contestants of past shows....OOOO just a thought.
Move over Top Chef - here comes Top Chef Masters. Loved it, loved it, loved it! I look forward to spending my summer nights watching this highly entertaining competition.
I love the show! I can't believe a show this classy and fun is airing on Bravo, where "classy" and "fun" haven't resided in quite some time (save for "Top Chef", of course!). Thankx for blogging and giving us some great insight beyond what we're seeing on the program. I hope more viewers and readers will learn about yourself and appreciate your obvious knowledge and joy as host of the show. Can't wait for next episode!
Kelly, great opening episode! And nice blog! You've got me enthralled and waiting for the rest of the episodes!
i love you! you are awesome, you are cute and i love the nod to gael's hat;) please, bravo, never bring back padma!
I am enjoying the show, but the background music over shadows the comments made by the participants. It would be much better if the music was toned down some. Tried everything on my HDTV to correct this but nothing helped and still had to strain over the music to hear the comments...However, I look forward to each new segment.