Top Chef Masters Episode 4: Grand Canyon Kitchen

Chefs step out of the kitchen for some outdoor cooking

Top Chef Masters Episode 4: Grand Canyon Kitchen

This week the Top Chef Masters chefs said goodbye to the kitchen and hello to the Grand Canyon.

Before they took off for their elimination challenge, Curtis Stone met the chefs in the kitchen for this week’s Quickfire Challenge. The chefs were asked to create a gourmet salad using the ingredients from the salad bar the found in the Top Chef Masters kitchen. ”It’s as big as a whale,” Curtis said. “And you’ve got eight minutes to make it set sail.”

No, Curtis isn’t just a B52′s fan. That “Love Shack” reference was a hint that the guest judges are the B52′s. Known vegetarians, they’re hoping the chefs present them with a gourmet salad worthy of such famed musicians.

A salad is a salad, but a gourmet salad in eight minutes is another story. The chefs seemingly do a great job as the B52′s only pick favorites and no least favorites. Coming out on top were Lorena, Thierry and Kerry. The decide Lorena’s “smokin” grilled cauliflower salad was the top dish. She wins $5,000 for her charity and immunity in the elimination challenge.

Curtis sends away the B52′s and delivers the week’s elimination challenge. As I mentioned earlier, the setting will be the Grand Canyon. And the challenge itself will be cooking a family style dinner for the Arizona Native American tribe the Hualapai using traditional Hualapai ingredients.

The group splits into teams of two and draw knives for their ingredients. Loren and Art pick quail and prickly pear, Takashi and Thierry draw venison and Banana Yucca, Chris and Patricia will cook with rabbit and squash, and Clark and Kerry pick beef and corn.

This week we don’t get the frantic Whole Foods shopping montage. Instead, the chefs get into some helicopters and head from Vegas to the Grand Canyon.

We do get the usual frantic kitchen scenes though. Only this week the kitchen is on the rim of the Grand Canyon. And it’s raining. And they’re cooking on a weak charcoal grill. It might end  up undercooked, but Art and Lorena’s quail is looking delicious.

Top Chef Masters episode 4 winning dish

The Hualapai Tribal Council and the Top Chef Masters Critics show up for their dinner, also on the rim of the canyon, and the food service and consumption starts. This is the part where we all ask ourselves why we watch these food shows because we can’t taste the food so all we’re left with is what the judges say the food taste like and a growling stomach.

Curtis calls Chris/Patricia and Takashi/Thierry to Critics table to tell them they had the favorite dishes of the day. The winning team was Takashi and Thierry for their Grilled Venison and Banana Yucca Cake with Braised Figs (pictured above). They win $10,000 to divide among their charities.

They go back and deliver the bad news to the bottom two teams: Lorena/Art and Clark/Kerry. Lorena has immunity so she’s safe. And they loved that team’s sauce, so they’re fine. The chef leaving the show is Clark for his part in the Spiced Beef Filet and Corn with Sage Pistou and Chili Ragout.