Top Chef Masters

Season 1 Episode 6

Trick In A Box

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jul 22, 2009 on Bravo
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

First, the chefs display their skills in a grocery store, à la season three's "Chef Overboard". Later, the Elimination Challenge hearkens back to Top Chef's season two episode "Into The Fire" when the chefs are presented with a mystery box holding the ingredients for the Elimination Challenge.moreless

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  • The Final Four

    Week Six

    Roy Yamaguchi (Roy's Honolulu) Imua Family Services

    Art Smith (Table Fifty Two, Chi) Common Threads

    Michael Cimarusti (Providence, LA) Grameen Foundation

    Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto NTC) Meals on Wheels

    Quickfire Challenge: Make a course from ingredients in one aisle of the grocery store with $20. Judges - 3 Whole Food employees.

    Jonathan - mint, lentil and roasted pepper salad. I thought it looked yummy, but it did not score well. 3 1/2 stars

    Roy - pasta with a fried egg and Asian flavors. Taste was a bit off. 4 stars.

    Art - multi grain risotto with crispy rice salad. Given the problem from last week, risotto gave me pause. I am glad he pulled it off. 4 1/2 stars

    Michael - Chocolate parfait with ginger sauce and sesame cracker. He says his wife is the pastry person and he was lucky he had chocolate. 5 stars

    I was happy for once that no one messed up this part and all go into the second half on basically an even playing field.


    Elimination Challenge: Shop for a box of goods for another chef. Use 7 of the ingredients.

    Before the final challenge, all the chefs gathered at Kelly's house and made a meal. Like they were when they were shopping for each other, the chefs were helpful to each other and truly liked one another.

    Roy: short ribs and mahi mahi. He admitted that he could not think on his feet and it hurt him in the contest

    Michael: lamb loin with sunchoke puree, broccoli rabe and purple cauliflower. At a disadvantage because he did not have seafood, everyone raved about his sunchoke puree.

    Jonathan: pork chop and sausage with celery root puree. He was aiming for comfort food. This did not look good on the plate, but oh, boy, I would love to be come home to this on a cold winter night and eat in front of a roaring fire.

    Art: fried and smothered fried chicken with a mango pie. Comfortable Southern food that the judges swooned over.


    J 3 1/2 + 4 1/2 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 20

    R 4 + 3 + 2 1/2 + 3 + 2 1/2 = 15

    A 4 1/2 + 5 + 3 + 4 1/2 + 5 = 22

    M 5 + 3 1/2 + 3 1/2 + 2 1/2 + 3 = 17 1/2

    I thought Jonathan would win, but Art won the Elimination Challenge and this round. Another one came from behind to take it all. Now the finals are set. Let the champions round begin!moreless
  • The final four before the real competition begins!

    This is the final four before the competition begins and that this was one of the few laid-back episodes. And that the chefs really enjoyed one another's company, plus they also seemed relax. Despite this being a competition, they did this for fun. You couldn't or wouldn't say that if it was the original Top Chef. But here, they look like they are having fun. And Art came from behind to win. Art seems to be a really nice guy. And that he was one of the chefs that I wanted in the finals. Can't wait for the finals to begin. They should be a dandy.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • First Run Fan Poll:

      What's the biggest difference between a Master and a Chef'testant?

      1. Confidence 17%
      2. Experience 76%
      3. Bank account 07%

      (all percentages are as of the end of the initial broadcast.)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Jonathan: (lamenting his aging eyesight as he preps his food) Yeah, the worst part of all this, honestly, is the fact that I can't see! The gods have not been kind to my eyes over all these years. Maybe it's that tequila?
      Michael: Maybe it's that other thing?
      Jonathan: Yeah, maybe. But we're not that friendly, Michael, so don't get fresh!

    • Jonathan: I'm my own competition. I'm not going to look over my shoulder, I never have, I never will.

    • Michael: I find out that I'm in the baking and pastry aisle. You know, I contemplated running and there were just too many people between me and possible escape routes so I had to stay.

    • Michael: (referring to his fellow competitor) When I was a 19 or 20 year old line cook I actually cooked for Jonathan. He's like a rock star of the culinary world.

  • NOTES (3)

    • 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.

    • Gael was a bit concerned when she learned that one of this episode's chefs, Jonathan Waxman, was competing. This is because she is the board chair and co-founder of Citymeals-on-Wheels, the charity chosen by Jonathan. Chef Waxman has done several events to support the charity in the past, as well, so she was worried that she'd go into the judging with an undeniable bias in his favor.

    • Although this was the last episode of the preliminary round to air, it was the first one that they filmed.


    • Art: (referring to Roy) Sir Spamalot, you are!
      Art is getting several references in here, most notably for Monty Python's Spamalot, which is a broadway musical version of the comic movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's also a nod to Roy's Hawaiian heritage, since Spam is so popular there it's sometimes called "The Hawaiian Steak".