'Top Chef Masters' Recap: Weird Science in the Kitchen

Julie Ryan Evans
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Top Chef MastersOn this week's episode of Top Chef Masters, the chefs participated in the world's best science fair -- an edible science fair. If they had lessons like that back when I was in school, I just may be a physicist now. Okay, that would never happen, but it was a cool idea to get kids interested in science and yet another way to challenge the remaining five chefs.

Each had to choose a scientific principle (things like emulsion, elasticity, and acidity), then cook a dish illustrating it. They had to present both the concept and the dish to a group of students during the fair. Not so tough for this group of seasoned chefs, but of course, there was a twist.

Instead of pots and pans, the chefs had to use Petri dishes and beakers. There were no ovens or gas ranges to cook with, but rather Bunsen burners. Like always, however, the chefs came up with some gourmet grub despite the conditions. 

The winning chef was Mary Sue Milliken for the churros she fried up in a beaker. While she had challenges getting the oil hot enough, she ended up nailing them. The dulce de leche infusion put them over the top. The judges also liked Floyd Cardoz's beef dishes using the Millard reaction (something akin to caramelization), but once again he just couldn't pull off the win.

Mayonnaise killed the loser this week. The judges, including guest Padma Lakshmi looking lovely as always, found Hugh Acheson's salad to be both a mess and much too safe of a choice.

While it didn't look appetizing at all, especially not for young students, I still didn't think they'd actually send Hugh home as he has kind of carried the show. He’s been the most entertaining of any of them with his beguiling eyebrows and quick-witted quips. Apparently his skills with bugs and microwaves just weren't enough.

And then there were four ... Floyd with the three ladies -- Mary Sue, Traci Des Jardins, and Naomi Pomeroy. If I were betting, my money might be on Mary Sue based on her performance this week, though I think it could be anyone's game ... except Floyd. I think it will definitely be a woman standing in the end.

What did you think of the edible science fair? Were you sad to see Hugh Acheson sent packing?


Image via bravotv.com

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