'Top Chef Masters': What's scarier than eggplant jello?

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Image Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo

“What the f*ck is going on here?” wondered Chef David Burke upon seeing the Yo Gabba Gabba characters (“like… a carrot and an oil can and a green thing”) waddle in for tonight’s kid-friendly Elimination Challenge. But the Gabba gang wasn’t even the trippiest part of the episode, which also featured eggplant jelly topped with crispy rice (yo gimme gimme, for real) and a dreaded DOUBLE ELIMINATION. (Spoilers ahead.)

QUICKFIRE CHALLENGE: CREATE A DISH INSPIRED BY A ROMANTIC COMEDY

Much to chef Sang Yoon’s horror, Douglas Keane won this one because guest judge Mindy Kaling thought his scrambled eggs and caviar dish (inspired by Midnight in Paris and a picnic the certified rescue dog trainer himself had set up for his wife, awwww) was the most romantic.

Noteworthy highlights of this segment: Of course Neal Fraser was the one “holding right now” after Mindy suggested she and Curtis Stone go smoke pot outside so that everything would taste better. And Sang’s resigned attempt to take Mindy’s theme seriously despite his tremendous disgust in this particular film genre was pretty funny. “We all know what a pain in the ass Sally was…” he began his When Harry Met Sally... presentation, certainly not earning any rom-com brownie points, or apple compote (with dates!) points for that matter.

ELIMINATION CHALLENGE: COOK HEALTHY STUFF KIDS WILL LIKE

I definitely could’ve used some of Sue’s Knocked Up stoner snacks — salty cayenne potato chips and pickles with ice cream — for the blissfully ridiculous Yo Gabba Gabba guest appearance. We’ve seen this same challenge so many times on Top Chef, but I could never get tired of seeing little kids fiercely hug their plush, colorful idols after a difficult round of trying to force-feed themselves melon and Brussels sprouts parfait sandwiches. Excuse me.

……..

Sorry, I just barfed. Anyway, it was Jennifer Jasinski’s lot in life to have to serve kids not just fruit, but the vegetable that smells like garbage — plus she (along with Sue and Neal) didn’t get any prep time with their sous chefs before the party. In the end:

–Neal, Sang, and Douglas landed in the top three.
–David Burke’s sous chef had won him immunity.
–Jennifer, Sue, and Bryan were up for elimination.

Major props to Douglas for pulling off that “slimy..but fun…almost silly!” (according to Gail Simmons) eggplant jelly with crispy rice in a kids challenge. That blows my mind. I seriously want to eat that. Neal’s pasta Bolognese with Brussels sprouts (keen move topping half the dish with delicious shredded cheese) and Sang’s chicken teriyaki meatball with a “cauliflower foam” (I get it — whipped cream) were also smart.

NEAL WINS. The emphasis/excitement mine. He’s so….subdued.

Double elimination: Sue and Jennifer… but wait! We have to go to BravoTV.com to find out what happened next when Sue and Jennifer participated in the Battle of the Sous Chefs! Well, you don’t have to. I checked it out and we still don’t find out which one of them headed home.

Some other lasting gems from David Burke, who always seems drunk but in a great way:

“I’m sweating like a farm animal.”
“I’m a good people person. I can get along with a f*cking rock — you know as long as they don’t talk back.”

“Not gonna have any more bitches around here,” announced Jen. Your thoughts? Would you have sent Bryan Voltaggio home for his beet sorbet, which apparently tasted like a “face-full of mud”? Discuss!

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