Top Chef Masters – Season 3

By Iron Chef Leftovers

TCM has a new host and a new format! Or so the trailers tell me. Apparently when they reformatted the show, they forgot to cast an actual set of master chefs. Don’t get me wrong, the lineup is impressive, but when I hear the term “master”, I am really thinking of guys like Bayliss, Tsai, Waxman, etc. – old chef who have served their time working in the kitchen and now draw people based on their names, not because they are on the line every night.

Season 3 is a decidedly different demographic – the lineup is loaded with up and comers, winners of “Best New Chef Awards” and a couple of grizzled veterans. Honestly, the lineup looks more like a regular “Top Chef” season than a “Masters” one. There are also only 12 contestants this season, so it is probably going to be a short season.

That being said, I am probably going to watch, so here are my favorites:

Naomi Pomeroy - I really want to see her do well in TCM - Season 3. How can you not root for someone who loves pig as much as I do?

George Mendes – he has worked at El Bulli, owns ALDEA in NYC (it is very well received), owns a Michelin Star and is probably the best new chef you have never heard of. He is all over the place with his resume, so he is probably the most well suited to win the competition since he can cover just about any style.

Naomi Pomeroy – the only Northwest chef in the competition, Pomeroy is the chef/owner of Beast in Portland – one of the Iron Chef’s top 5 places he wants to eat in 2011 (but that is for another post). She has a boatload of awards – lots of best of’s, but I honestly don’t see her winning this entire thing. You really have to cheer for the only local chef in the competition.

Alessandro Stratta – probably the best of the “old guys” in the competition. He has worked at some of the best restaurants in Vegas and probably can handle the pressure better than just about anyone in the competition.

My winning pick after the jump.




My pick for the winner – Mendes.

What I would love to see for Top Chef Masters, Season 4 – Take the 8 winners from the regular Top Chef show, the 3 winners from Top Chef Masters and Tom Colicchio and put them against each other in a competition. Now that I would watch without hesitation.

2 comments to Top Chef Masters – Season 3

  • A.J. Coltrane

    I saw the list of chefs and said “Ehhhh.” I agree, it’s more like a regular Top Chef season.

    I’ve enjoyed the Top Chef as a whole so far, though the blubbering/crisis of confidence the contestants seem to have all the time is getting kind of old.

    For whatever reason you don’t see many Ming Tsai level athlethes making the transition to chefdom. There appears to be a lack of mental toughness as a group.

    Though maybe that’s just good television.

  • Junior Joey Jo-Jo Shabadu

    I am starting to think that the editing is making it look like there is constant conflict, lack of toughness, etc. It probably makes up 5% of what is going on, but chefs in control and getting along really doesn’t make for good TV. I keep reading that Marcel was actually well liked among the chefs in the seasons he worked in but was edited to look like a complete douche.

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