‘Top Chef: New Orleans’ episode 4 review: Travis Masar’s Vietnamese food showdown

What's next? -When you have something on “Top Chef” that you have experience cooking, you better do it well. Otherwise, you are probably better off not ever admitting to be good at it in the first place.

This is the situation that Travis Masar found himself in tonight. He spent most of the episode touting his awesome ability to do anything Vietnamese, citing his personal life and his experience traveling around the country. He also implied that he knew more about the food than the people judging him on it; then, he decided to conceptualize something for his team using a heavy tomato sauce, with is something that you would never think about in theory cooking unless you over-thought something. We think that Travis was trying to be cute here and show that he could make something SO revolutionary that nobody else had experienced it before. Don’t get cute; be creative, but go along a flavor profile that most are familiar with, especially for a challenge themed around ethnic cuisine. The judges aren’t really looking for fusion food, and it looked Italian. We’re no chef, and we could’ve figured that out.

Ironically, the person who actually won this challenge on this Quickfire-less episode was Shirley Chung, otherwise known as the woman who was terrified that she did not do a good enough job and her Vietnamese friends would mock her.

The loser, meanwhile, was someone in Janine Booth who really suffered a hard break. While she seemed to mess up with her failure to fry shrimp (which is something we admittedly know how to do), she was pretty solid in the competition to this point. Travis is only really safe because his dish wasn’t that horrible, and the other problems were really so collective that you couldn’t really single out a single chef. Travis staying is proof that it really is all about cooking at the end of the day, and any of the other chefs could have stopped a monstrosity from leaving the kitchen. Even a local wing joint knows the best way to fry while also using sauce. Grade: B+.

Do you think the right person went home here? Be sure to share below, and click here if you are interested in seeing some more news related to the show (including our review of “Last Chance Kitchen”).

Photo: Bravo

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