Top Chef Masters

Masters Get Schooled

Season 1, Ep 1, Aired 6/10/09
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  • Episode Description
  • The first group of four chefs compete tonight for one of the Champions Round slots, but they may find the stress of the kitchen is nothing as compared to the stress of competition. First up is a twist on Top Chef season four's "Improv" Quickfire Challenge involving the dreaded dessert course, followed by a "Foo Fighters Thanksgiving" inspired Elimination Challenge cooked in such a bizarre circumstances that one of the chefs resorts to a bathroom to rinse his food. Meanwhile there's the usual mechanical difficulties, and one huge mistake that may affect whether the chef will be able to complete the challenge. Quickfire Challenge: Create a Dessert for Junior Girl Scouts Elimination Challenge: Create 3 Courses Using Only a Toaster Oven, Microwave & Hot Plate Heat Onemoreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Tim Love


  • Michael Schlow


  • Christopher Lee (III)


  • Kelly Choi


  • Gael Greene


  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • Not Top Chef original but it will do!

    By JPPT1974, Jun 25, 2009

  • Not Top Chef original but it will do!

    By JPPT1974, Jun 25, 2009

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (8)

    • Jay: (about Michael's crudo) If you're offered limited cooking facilities, it does seem to me to be cheating slightly to avoid the issue by not cooking one of the dishes at all.

    • (Working with the food he accidentally put in the freezer overnight) Tim Love: You can choose two paths when something like that happens to you. You can sit down and cry about it, and complain about it, or you can go, 'Now it's my job as a chef to make it happen.'

    • (About cooking in a dorm room using a hot plate, microwave and toaster oven.) Christopher: It's gonna be very hard to do our challenge. It's like saying you're gonna cook a three-course meal on a car engine. It's the same difference.

    • (The overly critical red-headed Girl Scout comments on Christopher's French toast.) Jr. Girl Scout #2: I think it's kinda crunchy. Like a little bit burnt to me? (Christopher starts laughing) Hubert: I think she's gonna be a future food critic. Christopher: Yeah, right? This is the New York Times critic 20 years from now, man.

    • Hubert: The scary part is when they start giving you lifetime achievement awards. It's like, before you are passing away they will quickly give you that (laughing) achievement.

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    Notes (3)

    • Although the press release for this episode mentioned drawing knives to determine who competed in the episode (à la Top Chef's team challenges), if a scene was filmed depicting the activity it did not make the final cut for broadcast.

    • Jay Rayner wasn't able to be in LA for some of the early filming days for this episode due to a delay in getting his Visa from the US Gov't, and was therefore unable to do one of the chef introduction scenes which his fellow critics did. His place was filled at the last minute by regular Top Chef Judge Gail Simmons.

    • The Top Chef franchise returns to Los Angeles for Top Chef Masters. The second season of Top Chef was filmed in LA. One of the four chefs competing in this episode, Hubert Keller, was a Guest Judge during season two, but he did not appear while the competition was in Los Angeles; he was on the Judges' Table for the finale in Hawaii.

    Trivia (1)

    • First Run Fan Poll: Who has to be the toughest cookie in the restaurant biz? 1. The Chefs 52% 2. The Food Critics 25% 3. The Hostess 23% (all percentages are as of the end of the initial broadcast) This season's prize is a personal dinner at the Top Chef Masters winner's restaurant.

    Allusions (1)

    • Jr. Girl Scout #1: (about Michael's peanut butter chocolate candy) Those, um, kinda taste like Tagalongs. Christopher: Whose cookies are those? Michael: Not mine! I'm not taking credit for 'em. She is referencing one of the eleven different cookies girl scouts of all types sell each year. The Tagalong is a chocolate-covered cookie with a layer of peanut butter inside, which is why Michael's candy reminds her of it, and why he refuses to take responsibility for producing the equivalent of a boxed cookie.

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