Live Blogging Top Chef Masters, Week 4

Well, a fortnight has passed since we last met, thanks to Bravo's pre-empting of TCM with The Fashion Show last week — a bid to trick us into watching their lame Project Runway replacement. Hope you didn't fall for it!

I also hope you all had a fortnight full of good fortune. You know who had a really fortunate fortnight? Our own live-blog accent-emulator extraordinaire, commenter bjonston, who welcomed a baby boy into this world last week. Congrats, dude! (I hear the infant can gurgle and cry with an Italian or French inflection, depending on his mood.)

So, while BJ diapers his new arrival, allow me to run through these highlights from our last live blog:

  • Cindy Pawlcyn asked age-old question: "Who goes to Universal Studios, and how much organ meat do they eat?"
  • Pepe Le Pew lost, and said "merde!" Ned Flanders won, and said "son-of-a-diddly-doo!" I'd translate the latter, but I don't speak Mexican.
  • Among the commenter highlights: DahlELama conducted an exotic-meat poll, wherein we learned that Lizawithazee once ate smoked kangaroo. Dot's dog dropped a rawhide on her head. Many of us made offal puns and tripe jokes.

As for tonight's episode (which, as always, starts at 10 Eastern on Bravo), here are a few things to watch for: We will be told that guest judge Neil Patrick Harris is a "big fan of magic" — something I knew already, having seen his awesome turn as the Fairy Shoe Person on Sesame Street. (Check it out: He sings while conjuring footwear!) We will also meet Neil's friend, Max Maven, Master Magician and Mentalist, a rather silly-looking fellow who would benefit from learning how to make his own beard disappear.

Sadly, tonight's chef lineup looks a tad boring by comparison. They are:

  • Anita Lo, who may be most talented chef of the group, but also (judging from the preview clips) the least charismatic. In fact, she might just make Week 2 winner Suzanne Tracht look as bubbly as Doris Day by comparison.
  • Douglas Rodriguez, whose nickname (we're told) is the "Godfather of Latin Cuisine." Perhaps his specialty is Cabeza de Caballo?
  • Mark Peel, whose Bravo bio says he once worked as Wolfgang Puck's poissonier, which I think is French for "poisoner." So he once poisoned Wolfgang Puck, I guess … which wouldn't surprise me, because he looks a little creepy. (Peel, I mean, not Puck.)
  • John Besh, a New Orleans chef who is competing for Brad Pitt's charity to rebuild the Lower 9th Ward. I'm hoping Besh wins, just to make Top Chef finally do something charitable to help the people of New Orleans, after barely mentioning Katrina during the Big Easy-based final episodes last season.

Is that enough background for tonight? All right then: Let's emulate the Fairy Shoe Person and make some magic happen, people!