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"No Milkshake For You," Top Chef Masters Goes From Meatball-Lovin' Kelis To Mad Men

April 14, 2011 at 1:43 PM | by | ()

Border Grill Chef Mary Sue Milliken grinds it by hand in Quick Fire style.

The feud between Mandalay Bay and Wynn raged on in the second episode of "Top Chef Masters." Sure, the epic battle may be completely made up on our part, but we'd like to think that there's a back room in Wynn somewhere that has a dart board with Mary Sue Milliken's face on it. And, vice versa with Chef Stratta's mug at Mandalay Bay.

Last night, brought a surprise as soon as the chefs walked into the kitchen. Chef John Sedlar had to drop out so Chef Hugh Acheson received a Christmas in April miracle when he was gifted with a second chance to slice and dice his way to the top. From there, it was on to the Quick Fire Challenge where the cheftestants were tasked to make a meatball dish in 30 mins. Oh, and they had to grind their meat by hand. (That sounds a lot more interesting than it actually was.)

Kelis loves balls and 'shakes, who knew?

Guest judge Kelis, who we learned can cook as well as bring her milkshake to the yard, proved a harsh critic finding more fault than praise with all the dishes. Chef Stratta's spicy lamb meatball was slammed for being served on a bed of uncooked lentils. Pretty, but inedible. We can't remember what the critique was for Border Grill Chef Mary Sue as we kept being distracted by Kelis' awesome red sweater dress thingy she was wearing. If someone knows where to get it, please holla back. We can tell you that neither Stratta nor Milliken were the worst nor the best with Chef John C. winning the Quick Fire with a Vietnamese meatball and garnering $5 thou for his charity, No Kid Hungry.

Mad about Top Chef Masters' 70s show.

Enter Mad Men star Christina Hendricks who was clearly having an exceptional boob day. Her Elimination Challenge? Make 60s food good. And, with dishes like Ambrosia Salad, it was going to be a tough night in the kitchen. Especially for Chef Floyd Cardoz who got stuck with Ambrosia Salad, of which he had no idea what it was. (We didn't really, either.)

After drawing fondue forks to determine their lot, chefs were tasked with both serving the classic version of their dish as well as reinventing it. Chef Stratta got Bread Pudding. He knew what it was, but had never made it before. Chef Mary Sue got Deviled Eggs, to which even we shuddered as dear old mom still feels the need to bust them out at every holiday meal.

Skipping all the kitchen drama (not enough space, not enough time, not enough help) to the presentation, Chef Mary Sue was up first along with Chef John C. He had Oysters Rockefeller and she had Deviled Eggs with her contemporary spin being a Japanese-style poached egg with umeboshi and mustard miso mayo. Mad Men's Christina H. deemed it "amazing" while foodie critic James Oseland said it was "very, very delicious."

Let us give thanks for being paid to eat.

Chef Stratta was part of a trio of chefs to present dessert at the end of the fete. In the kitchen, he said he was happy with his dish and thought he might win. But, waa waa, Christina thought it was all sauce and the bread was lost while the judges thought it was less than stellar, too. The night ended with the judges declaring the deviled eggs and ambrosia salad their faves.

At Judges' Table, it was no surprise to see Chef Mary Sue with her deviled eggs win. Chef/Host Curtis Stone told Mary Sue he wanted the recipe - we do too if only to switch it out with mom's - while James Oseland thought it was delightful with the perfect balance of flavors and textures. She won $10 grand for her charity, No Kid Hungry, and picked up one VC point for Mandalay Bay.

Also, no surprise was seeing Chef Stratta in the bottom three. Critic Ruth told him she expected something "wow" while critic James O. said he couldn't even finish the dishes. Stratta wimped out by claiming that his strengths were olive oil, garlic and onions. Insert violin solo here. And take away one VC point as well. Stratta lived to cook another day, tho, after Chef Sue got the boot for stupidly helping other chefs in the kitchen failing to complete her dishes.

Final score for the series so far is tied at Mandalay Bay: 1, Wynn: 1.

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