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Coddling Judges, Shower Cooking in Top Chef Masters

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Last night, Bravo's new Top Chef spinoff Top Chef Masters premiered with its first roster of pro chefs: Boston's Michael Schlow, Fort Worth's Tim Love, San Francisco's Hubert Keller, and New York's very own Chris Lee. Though we assumed the show wouldn't be as entertaining without the returning personalities—and indeed, it does lack a certain amount of drama and tension—there is something undeniably enjoyable about watching pro chefs work on their feet. It was a less tedious, more ridiculous (the chefs had to make desserts for Girl Scouts and cook a three course meal out of a dorm room), product placement-heavy version of Iron Chef. Except that the judges were excessively coddling. Oh and Kelly Choi is no Padma. To get a quick recap and check in on the internet chatter, click through.

Handy 40 word recap: Charities named. Quickfire; Girl Scouts judge. Schlow flames out. Keller (one time pastry chef) wins. Elim Challenge; dorm room cooking. Love freezes his food. Keller cools pasta in shower. Judges overtly nice. Gael in hat. Keller wins; Lee second place.

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· Top Chef Masters: The first episode! [TONY]