Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | 7:09 p.m.
Mandalay Bay celebrity chefs Susan Feniger and Rick Moonen get a break tonight from competition on Bravo’s Season 2 of Top Chef Masters, but the two winners in their respective challenges return next Wednesday.
Top Chef Masters uses the basic format of Top Chef but challenges world-class chefs in a series of eliminations. The winners receive a donation to the charity of their choice. The first six episodes pit four chefs against one another to determine the six finalists, who then battle it out over the next five episodes until one Top Chef Master is left standing in the kitchen.
The charity chosen by the winning chef receives $100,000. Rick is playing for our Three Square food bank, and Susan is competing for the National Scleroderma Research Foundation -- her college roommate died from the disease. Susan and Rick have each raised $15,000 so far for their victories.
On tonight’s episode, the rival chefs face off to make meals for the cast and crew of ABC’s Modern Family; the episode is appropriately titled “Cast & Crew.” Next week when Rick and Susan return to continue with the contest, they’ll face a blindfolded relay race and are challenged to cater a wedding out of mobile kitchens.
SUPER GREEN CUISINE DINNER
One of Rick’s passions is sustainable seafood, and our Editor Don Chareunsy recently attended Rick’s Super Green Cuisine Dinner at RM Seafood’s upstairs fine-dining room in Mandalay Bay. Here are Don’s report and photos:
The chef’s Super Green Cuisine Dinner was attended by a capacity crowd of more than 100 who were interested in the five-course sustainable meal with wine pairings. The dinner was help upstairs in the recently reopened fine-dining area, and guest speakers included Sheila Bowman of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program.
The exquisite meal was amuse, Hog Island oyster, Meyer lemon vinaigrette and Oscetra caviar, paired with Chikurin Karoyaka, “Lightness,” Junmai Ginjo, Okayama sake, organic, 2010; first course, Togarashi marinated albacore tuna, pineapple confit, cilantro essence and toasted macadamia nuts, paired with Loradona, Riesling, Monterey, Calif., 2008; second course, Hawaiian walu and poached spot prawn, stuffed white asparagus and basil bouillon, paired with Newton, Chardonnay, Red Label, Northern California, 2008; third course, Morgan Valley lamb chop, morel crepinette, English peas and sweetbread tournedo, paired with Bonterra, Cabernet Sauvignon, Organic, Mendocino, Calif., 2007; fourth course, strawberry sorbet, strawberry shortcake and Dippin’ Dots paired with Moscato D’Asti, Paolo Sarocco, Piedmont, Italy; and the fifth course, chocolate variations and passion fruit, chocolate in all forms, passion fruit creme and caramel.
Attendees also received Rick’s cookbook Fish Without a Doubt, which he autographed after the four-hour dinner. Rick, who is a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Southwest, executive chef Adam Sobel and chef de cuisine Gerald Chin also autographed the evening’s menu. An unexpected highlight of the night was the presence of Los Angeles chef Christian Dolias, who has a tattoo of Rick(!) on his leg.
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words -- or leaves one speechless.
Vegas DeLuxe Editor Don Chareunsy contributed to this report.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.