Top Chef Masters: The difference between the great and not so great

In a recent Top Chef Masters episode I got to see the difference between a great food critic and an amateur.

Anito Lo was asked to create a dish with the theme illusion. Her dish was a masterpiece of thought and execution. A key element of the dish was a steak tartare sauce whose purpose was to be poured into a bowl.


In the regular Top Chef, where newbies compete, Gail Simmons is one of the better food critics whose opinions are usually thoughtful and insightful.

But little did I realize the gap between her and the great critics. Presented with this dish, Gail complains it lacks salt. Then the incomparably greater critic, James Oseland, turns to her and says:

Well I poured the steak tartare sauce into the bowl, and it was perfectly salted.

I suppose that’s the way one food critic tells another food critic:

Dude, have you ever eaten food before?

Gail, after having been educated on how to eat her food, proceeds to give the seemingly unsalted dish 4.5 stars. 

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