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'Master Chef' crab challenge pinches Maryland contestant

The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore-area "Master Chef" finalist Helene Leeds had her apron confiscated on Tuesday night's episode of Master Chef.

In the elimination challenge, the 15 remaining contestants had to prepare a crab dish using either fresh crab meat or canned crab meat. Leeds, a health coach based in Baldwin, was among the fresh-crab bunch. But her Dungeness crab soup with corn bread left the judges panel of Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliot cold.

I didn't watch the show, but Baltimore Insider Jill Rosen did. " “She muffed up with an ingredient that as a Baltimorean, she should have won with,” Insider said. “And the judges didn’t fail to point that out.”

Sound familiar? Back in 2010, Baltimore-based chef Timothy Dean failed to impress the judges with his crab creation. That was an immunity challenge, but Dean was eliminated later on the same episode.

Here's how one recap site describes Leeds' downfall: "Next up is Helene and she made Dungeness Crab Soup with Corn bread. Joe said she has done a great job of taken a beautiful crab and making it taste exactly like canned crab. Graham said it looks like Shredded Wheat and waste of a great product." (Reality Wanted)

Wait, it was Dungeness crab? What has that got to do with Maryland? Are Maryland contestants being graded unfairly on reality-TV cooking-show crab challenges?!?  Who produces these shows anyway, Paul Tagliabue?






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