It was a powerful and patriotic episode of Top Chef Masters tonight, as the remaining four contestants were tasked with cooking for members of our nation's military. They each were assigned one serviceman who had been serving overseas and asked to cook for his homecoming meal -- buffet style.
Each chef selected a knife representing one of the branches -- Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines -- then assigned their solider. The chefs met with the soldiers' families to determine their favorite foods. Not big on buffets, but bursting with patriotic pride and gratitude to get to give back to our U.S. troops, the chefs put their hearts into these meals.
From an incredible-looking beef tenderloin to mouth-watering mashed potatoes, they proudly served up the fare to the soldiers and their families at an American Legion hall. There was such mutual gratitude between the chefs and the soldiers, it was really quite touching.
Those attending were asked to vote for their favorite fare, and it was Mary Sue Milliken for the win ... again. She's really turned on the power as of late, and I wouldn't be surprised if she wins the whole thing. Her tomatillo BBQ ribs really pleased the soldier she was assigned and his family; the apple and cream cheese bread pudding with crema she served for dessert is going to go haunt my hungry dreams.
Floyd Cardoz missed the win (due in part to his "really bizarre" salad), but was incredibly touched when "his" solider gave him a military coin as a token of thanks. As an immigrant to the United States, it really meant a lot to him, and there were tears.
Sent packing this week was Naomi Pomeroy. I was a little surprised, since the judges didn't seem to have any major problems with her meal. I was betting it would be Traci Des Jardins and her salty meatloaf, but was wrong. Though somewhat annoying, Naomi is a fabulous chef and never seemed to take the easy way out, so she can be proud of her run.
The season finale is next week. Left are Floyd and the women -- Mary Sue and Traci -- and I think it's still anyone's game ... except Floyd, as I can't imagine Bravo passing up the chance to crown a woman for the first time, when there are two very qualified ones left standing.
Who do you think will win this season of Top Chef Masters?
Image via bravotv.com