Top Chef Masters

Justin Stephens/Bravo

Is Top Chef Masters jumping the culinary shark?

Last week, the contestants were reduced to cooking in a fast food restaurant. And then last night's elimination challenge had them preparing dinner in a moving tour bus (more like an RV) in honor of celebrity guest judges Maroon 5.

Whatever happened to watching these world-reknown chefs making five-star meals? Does last night's booted chef agree that producers may have gone too far? Read on to find out.

Alessandro Stratta, Top Chef Masters, Alex Stratta

Justin Stephens/Bravo

Alex Stratta isn't surprised he was told to pack his knives. The Las Vegas-based chef admits it wasn't his finest moment.

First, I have to ask, are you a fan of Maroon 5's music?
Yes. Very much so. It was very cool having them there. It was certainly one of the many unexpected turns in the show.

Did you know it would be you going home when you were at the judges' table?
In a way, yes. I know the mistakes I made. I didn't have a good feeling because of cooking on the tour bus. But you know, I couldn't use that as an excuse because everybody had the same challenges. I think I should have picked something a bit simpler.

Would you do the show again?
Absolutely. I hope they ask me, but I'll be a lot safer. I'll do the things that I've done before.

But then you get penalized for being too safe.
I know. You have to ride the fine line of being safe and going too far out.

Do you think Top Chef Masters should have elimination challenges on moving tour buses?
I guess being a part of a Top Chef show is that you have to expect the unexpected. Granted, I would have preferred to be cooking in my kitchen on my stove with my pots.

James said your dishes were like cafeteria food. What do they expect when you're cooking on a bus?!
[Laughs] It was tough. I'll take his opinion for what it's worth, but I know I didn't feel like that was my best.

Yeah, even you said your pasta was like "poop."
I did the best I could. It was really a comedy of errors. One thing after another would start to go downhill. I was disappointed in myself more than anything.

Well, next time I'm in Vegas, I'm coming to your restaurant.
I promise not to make you poop pasta.

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