Top Chef Masters – Recap & Review – Mindy Kaling and Yo Gabba Gabba

photo: bravotv

photo: bravotv

Top Chef Masters
Mindy Kaling and Yo Gabba Gabba

Original Air Date: Aug 28, 2013

Ryan O – Associate Editor

Mindy! Kaling! Yo! Gabba Gabba! But you knew that from the title of the episode, didn’t you? Unfortunately for us, the two do not appear at the same time. However, Mindy is a lot of fun and the Yo Gabba Gabba characters delight and entertain dozens of kids who invade the kitchen.

The downside for the chefs is the prospect of a double elimination in the Elimination Challenge. (One elimination for each Gabba?)


Mindy Kaling is the guest judge for the Quickfire! Mindy is a rom-com fanatic. Each chef is assigned a rom-com and must interpret the movie as the inspiration for their dish. They have 30 minutes.

Sue works with liquid nitrogen for the first time in this Quickfire. That seems gutsy. Rushing as one works with something that freeze a finger is not something I’d do but if you’re making ice cream, like she is, you do what you have to do.

Here’s what movie each chef had and what they made.

Sue – Knocked Up – Salty cayenne chips and pickles with vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate

David – Sweet Home Alabama – Southern grits with fried duck, slow roasted tomatillo, and angry chile threads (slow roasted? in 30 minutes? really?)

Douglas – Midnight in Paris – Scrambled eggs and caviar with pommes frites

Neal – Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Mediterranean sea bass and lobster with chile and pepper broth

Bryan – Mystic Pizza – Poached oysters with burrata, prosciutto, kale, migas, and oyster broth (Bryan talks about how he’d just gone to New Haven and had New Haven pizza for the first time and says that’s where Mystic Pizza took place. Oooh, sorry, but no. As a Connecticut native and life-long resident, let me assure you that just because they’re only an hour’s drive away from each other, the pizza is different and an hour’s drive is a lot in Connecticut. New Haven pizza is thin crust and usually baked at very, very high temperatures in a wood or coal oven.)

Sang – When Harry Met Sally – Apple pie compote with dates, Chinese cookie crumble, and vanilla bourbon ice cream (He mentions Sally being a pain in the butt but you know, Harry was more of a pain. Sally knew what she liked and didn’t like; Harry was infuriatingly wishy-washy.)

Jennifer – Roman Holiday – Insalata di fruitti di mare, poached scallops, and focaccia crostini

Bottom: Sang didn’t live up to Mindy’s expectations after he mentioned apple pie a la mode. Jennifer wasn’t that memorable.

Top: Neal made a sexy, hearty, spicy dish. Mindy loved Doug’s scrambled eggs. Sue’s dish was fun and something that a stoner or pregnant woman (the two main characters in Knocked Up) would love.

Mindy declares Doug the winner.

Elimination Challenge

Doug got a new sous chef to battle for him after his original one had to leave for a family emergency.

David’s sous chef won, so he has immunity. On the other hand, Sue, Neal, and Jennifer’s finished in the bottom.

Characters from Yo Gabba Gabba dance into the kitchen. Having never seen the show, this does nothing for me.

The challenge is to make a dish that encourages kids to eat healthfully (healthfully, not healthy).

They have two hours to cook a nutritious and delicious dish for 60 kids. Oh, and it’s double elimination.

There are 12 ingredients that kids typically don’t like stacked on a table. Each chef must pick one and make a dish around it. Things that don’t get picked include stinky cheese, mushrooms, lima beans, liver, and anchovies.

They’ll get two hours and that includes a half-hour of help from their sous chefs. Well, everyone except for Sue, Neal, and Jennifer. Also, those three, in addition to the ingredient they selected, must also incorporate Brussels sprouts into their dish. Ouch.

After two hours, the kids file into the kitchen. They’re adorable.

Curtis and the critics file in, too, including Gail, Francis, and Ruth.

Here’s what they made.

Jennifer: Melon-parfait “sandwich” with pickled Brussels sprouts and mint

Curtis finds the parfait to be quite sour. Gail can’t imagine kids wanting to eat it.

Sang: Teriyaki chicken meatballs with cauliflower foam and sweet pickles (ugh, foam? even 5-year-olds must be over foams by now)

Francis wonders about how much cauliflower is really in the dish. He points out the foam is mostly air. Gail does enjoy the dish.

Neal: Pasta with Brussels sprout and spinach bolognese

Ruth and Gail call the dish awesome. Francis says there’s no funky “cabbageness” that can turn kids off. Curtis says it’s genius and that you can tell Neal has kids.

Doug: Eggplant jelly with crispy rice

Ruth can’t imagine a child liking this dish. Gail says it’s slimy but it’s silly and fun. (We see a great shot of a kid trying it, clearly not liking it, and wordlessly handing it back to Doug. Then the kid says, “You’re not winning this challenge.”)

David: Avocado yogurt and white chocolate pudding with gingered fruit ratatouille (gingered fruit? is that really for kids or is it for the critics?)

Ruth tastes it and says she now understands why children don’t like avocados. Ouch. Gail agrees.

Sue: Mac and cheese with maple-glazed Brussels sprouts and bacon (well, I know she used cottage cheese in making the mac and cheese but this in no way sounds healthful)

Ruth says the dish is a bit heavy.

Bryan: Ruby beet sorbet with toasted granola and vanilla yogurt dome

Gail says the presentation is great but that the earthy taste of beets is in your face. Francis agrees.

This group of dishes didn’t draw a lot of praise from the critics as a whole.

Critics Table

Doug, Neal, and Sang go to the critics first. They’re on top.

Some kids tried eggplant for the first time with Doug’s dish and really liked it. Sang gets compliments for the cauliflower foam. Neal’s dish gets love for the taste and texture.

Neal wins! His dish seemed to get the most praise during the tasting.

Bryan, Jen, and Sue are sent out to the critics. Remember, two of them are going home. (I’m guessing Jen and Sue are out.)

Jen get criticism for making her dish look like an ice cream sandwich and then having it taste nothing like that, which could be a huge letdown. Gail repeats the criticism of the dish being too sour for kids.

Sue’s mac and cheese was good but the bacon was unnecessary (and unhealthful). Ruth says the cabbageness of the Brussels sprout was really brought out in the dish (that’s not a good thing in case that’s unclear).

Curtis says a lot of kids told him Bryan’s dish was their least favorite. Curtis suggests it might’ve been over-thought. Gail says the dish was beautiful but kids seemed to not understand why the dish looked the way it did but then tasted dry and dirty.

The chefs leave and the critics rehash the criticism. The chefs return.

Bryan is safe. Sue and Jennifer are out. (I called it but that’s no big deal.)

Curtis walks into the kitchen. He’s giving Sue and Jen one more time on Battle of the Sous Chefs and one of them can return.

Don’t bother watching the Battle of the Sous Chefs with Sue and Jen. They don’t tell you who won. I kind of thought they wouldn’t but I watched so you wouldn’t have to.

What did you find to be tasty in this episode? Did you think anything was overdone? Give us your Two Cents below!

This entry was posted in Top Chef Masters and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Give YOUR TwoCents

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s