There really should be no excuse for cooking in a microwave. Period. However, in the realm of television and let’s face it, modern American life, microwave cooking apparently makes for must see tv. For the Quickfire Challenge the Chefs of “Top Chef Masters” were asked to make breakfast solely in the microwave for comedy duo Frangela, which caused a hell of a lot of struggling and an attempt at Curtis to remove his shirt.

Struggling with the microwave turned out to be the easy part of last night, because the Chefs had to demonstrate scientific reactions and work directly with a scientist for their Elimination Challenge. Cooking with only bunsen burners, test tubes and presenting in a petri dish all the while having a scientist over their shoulder proved to be one of the toughest challenges so far this season.

The Good:

  • It was nice to see that none of the Chefs had any real experience with microwave cooking, not that a real Chef would, but you never know. Seeing Frangela try to convince Curtis to remove his shirt was a plus, especially when he avoided the question and responded with this gem, “Never cook bacon in the nude.” Hmmmm…
  • The science experiments themselves were fun to watch, but the food that came out of it was just subpar- Naomi with a pizza pocket (really?) Mary Sue with a churro (well, that’s normal for Mary Sue), Traci with a tuna ceviche (again, really?) and Hugh with an Okra salad. Floyd at least made an attempt with two beef dishes that actually looked great and according to judges tasted good as well.

The Bad:

  • UGH. The absolute worst part of this was seeing Hugh not be able to control himself and get sent home. How we will miss those crazy quotes, the unibrow, the outbursts and the general overall Anthony Bourdain-like disdain for the world. Also, seeing Chefs once again cook food that is so blah has really gotten old. There should be Richard Blais challenge or something to bring this show back to the level that it is supposed to be at. How can serious food critics like Ruth Reichl and James Osland even look in the mirror when they have just named a churro in a petri dish as the winning plate?

Best Quotes:

  • Well, we have to pay homage to Hugh here one last time. Even though Naomi gave us a gem like, “How much pride can you actually have knowing so much about microwaves?” when she learned that the guest judges for the Quickfire were microwave connoisseurs.
  • But of course, the back and forth attitude and zingers between Hugh and his scientist have to be noted. In particular this one:
  • “You’re not a scientist, you have to be curious to be a scientist.” Hugh’s sous-chef scientist quipped.
  • Acheson’s response? “At what stage do you think I’m not curious?”

We will miss you Hugh!

Rating: 7/10

Top Chef Masters Recap by Marla Nease Gilbert of Picktainment.