For those who aren't familiar with the premise, Master Chef features home cooks from across America vying to win a $250,00.00 cash prize and the title of Master Chef.
And with judges like:
Awarded the distinction of Best New Chef 2004 by Food and Wine Magazine and a three time James Beard nominee, Elliot appears to have been cast in the kinder, gentler role of Master Chef's version of Paula Abdul and can be counted on to give a smile or word of encouragement to home cooks laying their culinary hearts on the line - something I can definitely identify with because the dead pan of Joe Bastianich, son of one my culinary Gods, Lidia Bastianich, would be enough to put me into an early grave.
Among his many successes in the culinary world, Bastianich has partnered with Mario Batali on several restaurants including the Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca which earned three Michelin stars.
And finally, Gordon Ramsay.
Whose numerous awards, cookbooks, restaurants, television shows, knowledge of food, and drill sergeant like management style need little introduction.
Of the thousands of would be chefs who applied, 100 home cooks were chosen to present a dish to the judges with the hopes of moving on - which, according to Chef Elliot, meant making dishes that were "equal parts delicious, creative, and would display a lot of skill."
The evening kicked off with a stilletto wearing former beauty queen named Jenny who reminded me of Chrissy Snow's cousin Cindy on Three's Company - and yes, I know I'm dating myself.
With high heels and a Texan snort, she served a curried coconut and lentil soup that was met with mixed reviews.
In the end she got the first apron of the competition giving her a green light to proceed, but it was Ramsay's parting words that still have me scratching my head.
"It's like you're wearing the wrong clothes and putting lipstick on your big toe."
Is that anything like putting lipstick on a pig?
And, if so, what would Obama think?
Moving right along to my favourite competitor so far:
Albert the Trucker who brought my holy trinity of likeability because he is:
- From Louissianna
- A self proclaimed red neck
- Draws the line at possum as a viable food option.
I love it when seemingly pretentious people are proven wrong in their judgments of others because Albert, the trucker who also knows his food, was a unanimous yes.
And I adore him.
Next up was professional musician, piano player Monica who made Bibimbap - a signature Korean dish that received a resounding three yes's from all of the judges.
By now I was riding high on the fabulosity of the whole show, enjoying the cooks, and feeling resplendent in my own culinary know how while I took notes for this blog.
At the exact same time Master Chef aired, our local cable station featured a segment with me cooking my Twice Baked Lobster and Truffle Baby Potatoes.
Enter Tracy and her wild mushroom crispy risotto cake with truffled egg.
And by truffled egg, she means an egg drizzled with a little white truffle oil.
The same product I was all over on cable access.
To say that they slammed the very notion of truffle oil would be an understatement because the judges in their infinite culinary knowledge not only slammed a product I, the earnest Kitchen Witch, have been touting (and still believe in) as a condiment that can be used to elevate certain flavour profiles, damned the mighty oil and sent it to hell as quickly and efficiently as the 1990's version of the Exorcist, or Donald Trump in the board room.
Like a parolee begging for a way out of Attica, the Poor White Truffle Oil woman stood before Joe who granted her a stay of execution as Gordon Ramsay chanted "Get off the floor."
Absolved of all sin, she is handed a white apron.
The same can't be said for our next guest however, Christian from Las Vegas, who served his entry - "Body Sushi" - on a naked woman.
People, does it get much better than this?
But despite a real go to it attitude, Christian and his faithful assistant were not granted access to go on in the competition.
However, naked sushi lady was so enamoured of the idea that Gordon Ramsey ate sushi off of her, I had to name the blog in her honour.
A few others got the nod from the Gods, most notably a Scottish woman who served Haggis in puff pastry and a stay at home dad who made something called Shipwreck Stew.
All three judges say he could win Master Chef.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next round of competition and reflections on my ultimate humiliation as user of truffle oil!
And that's the blog.
Click the link to read what I had to say about Episode 2