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Curtis Stone: Throwing Curveballs

Curtis assesses the chefs' undesirable ingredients.

By Curtis Stone

Funny gal, Mindy Kaling, and Nick Jr. stars, Yo Gabba Gabba!, didn’t have anything in common until this episode. However, they do now! They both did a great job helping us to create fun challenges for our chefs. This resulted in yet another week of pure kitchen madness. Heck, Mindy’s Quickfire Challenge had David "sweating like a farm animal," (his words, not mine!) Not too sure how Mindy found that sexy, but hey, each to their own... Only joking, David, you know I think you’re sexy. 

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It was so awesome having Mindy on set. What’s so crazy is I met Mindy before we went out to film, and she was quite nervous and starstruck about meeting the chefs. It truly blew me away. Of course, when she opened her mouth as the camera was rolling, you couldn’t tell. She was confident and hilarious -- what a true professional. I loved working with her. 

On the other hand, when some of the chefs laid eyes on her, they got nervous. Can we just talk about the wild flirtation that was going on between Mindy and Doug for a minute? Really, did she like the scrambled eggs with caviar, or did she like the guy who cooked it? No, the truth is she just loved the caviar. It was bloody delicious, and I totally agree with her -- it was the best dish I tasted. 

Sang was not buying it! I had the pleasure of bumping into Sang at the L.A. Food & Wine Festival over the weekend. It seems like he’s turned from being everybody’s fan favorite to "the nasty guy" after screaming at a couple of waiters during Restaurant Wars last week. He has a knack for keeping things interesting from week to week. Love your work, Sang! 

So, how about Sue’s "preggo/stoner" ice cream and spicy chips? Potato chips with ice cream sounds horrible, and there is a real element to the concept that is disgusting, but it actually worked. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in fancy dishes in the food world, and we think it has to be about wine reduction sauces and emulsions, but in this case, Sue nailed it. When my wife was pregnant, she didn’t have super crazy cravings like this, however she was all about guacamole, all the time. I really perfected my guacamole recipe during those nine months. 

“There’s a party in my tummy, so yummy, so yummy!” Who else has that song stuck in their head now? Argh! Yo Gabba Gabba! has become a big part of my life since having a son. It was fun to meet the characters and see the kids having an absolute blast. 

Doug’s eggplant jelly was a real wild card. I didn’t love it, and I didn’t think the kids would like it, so I was surprised with the response. Creating an eggplant jelly is a really interesting way to introduce kids to eggplant, and it is a great formula to use for introducing new ingredients to children -- e.g. mixing the familiar and likeable jelly with the "new" eggplant. 

We’re starting to see Bryan get his bottom lip out when things don’t go his way. As the stakes rise in the competition, a little bit of that Voltaggio temper is starting to rise with it. The kids weren’t fans of his ruby beet sorbet. and I think I know why. It was too rich in taste, and although beets are sweet, they are a root vegetable after all, and carry a dirt-like flavor. Jennifer really got the rough end of the stick with melon and Brussels sprouts. I don’t know what I would make with melon and Brussels sprouts. It’s a total head-scratcher. Maybe I’d juice it and try to make the Brussels sprouts flavor go away by combining them with other juiced veges and fruits. That was a real tough one. 

Sue’s mac and cheese was a great idea in theory, but mac and cheese is either hit or miss, and unfortunately, she didn’t get it right. The dish was dry, too salty, and the pasta was overcooked. It just wasn’t good. 

We weren’t nice to Sue and Jennifer, sending them both packing, only to give them another chance in Battle of the Sous Chefs a few minutes later. Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions. We love this on Top Chef Masters, but of course you’ve figured that out by now.  

Until next week…



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