Chef Yamaguchi battles in Bravo's top chef show


POSTED: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This column normally follows a you-ask, I-tell recipe format, but we're taking a break from that this week so I can blather on a bit about “;Top Chef Masters,”; my guilty summer pleasure.

Hawaii chef Roy Yamaguchi joins the competition show in tonight's episode, which debuts at 7 on Bravo, repeating through the night and all week long.

I've been loyal to “;Masters,”; which is a spinoff of Bravo's original “;Top Chef,”; for its five weeks of existence, partly because of Yamaguchi's involvement, but also because it's fascinating. The competitors are all proven chefs with their own restaurants (in Yamaguchi's case, 37 and counting). They have nothing to lose (except maybe pride), so they seem to relish cooking against their peers, without the sniping and stink-eye that can make other reality shows so annoying.

Each show features four chefs, with one winner advancing to the finals. The six finalists continue on, with a chef bumped off each week until just one is left.

The champion receives $100,000 for a chosen charity. Yamaguchi is competing for Imua Family Services, which provides for children with special needs on Maui and Lanai. If he wins tonight's match, Imua gets $10,000.

What will he have to do? The contests have been wild — make a dish using food from a vending machine, make a meal in a dorm room using just a hot plate, microwave and toaster oven, make a meal inspired by the TV show “;Lost,”; judged by producers of the show. Tonight's episode is called “;Trick in a Box,”; and challenges the chefs to make a meal based on items hidden in a box.

Recipes from past episodes are posted at This one is from Anita Lo, chef-owner of Annisa in New York, who was the winner two weeks ago. Her challenge was to prepare an egg dish with one hand tied behind her back.



4 large eggs

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons butter

4 fresh shiitake mushrooms caps, finely chopped

Beat eggs with cream, chives, oyster sauce, salt and pepper.

Heat saute pan over high heat; add butter, then add mushrooms and saute. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and add egg mixture. Over low heat, whisk slowly to form small curds, stopping when eggs are still soft and creamy. Garnish with more chives. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving (not including salt to taste): 230 calories, 21 g total fat, 11 g saturated fat, 260 mg cholesterol, 170 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 1 g sugar, 7 g protein


Nutritional analyses by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S. Send queries to “;By Request,”; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813. Send e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).