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Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless

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Oh, Ludo Lefebvre.

You're very French.

You worked with Marc Meneau and Alain Passard.

You have experience cooking all the offal meats in tonight's challenge.

You came intense and ready to win.

But none of that made you equipped for "Top Chef Masters," though hands down, you were the�most combustible and entertaining part of�the evening.�No, Ludo, you have the distinction of being this week's Wylie Dufresne -- Sorry Wylie! At least you recovered during the elimination challenge -- while, ironically, the King of Slow Food Rick Bayless was crowned the night's champ.

(A�pattern seems to be emerging here: Three weeks, three nice-guy, laid-back chefs finishing first.

Hmmm...)But back to Ludo.

I would�have eaten your red carpaccio slathered in blood-red beet gazpacho, but you barely finished on time.

Even with the help of your competitor, Napa cooking queen Cindy Pawlcyn, you still forgot the tomatoes.�(Cindy�became my�sentimental favorite the second she said she'd formed a club called Girls Who Eat Guts.

Where do I sign up? I want in.) Still, Ludo, your bravado and supreme Frenchness made me think that maybe you had an ace up your sleeve for the next challenge.

And yet, it was not to be ...It was not to be because you made a quesadilla.

You made a quesadilla with Rick Bayless cooking right next to you.

Ballsy -- how very French of you -- but probably not the smartest idea.

Rick's got far more foodie awards than you do, and all for cooking Mexican food.

Also, what is up with asking Rick for cheese advice and then refusing his offer to help you pack? "Leave me alone.

Don't tell me how to cook," you said after the fact.

So unaware that Rick was about to eat you for lunch ...And why must the first thing the French guy associates with street food be quesadillas? "No such thing as French street food"? Oh please.

A quesadilla is not far off from a crepe, is it? Or a sandwich? (Jambon...Fromage...Mmmm.) Snobby is fine, but wrong is ...

well, wrong.Pig ears in a well-executed quesadilla might not be so bad -- and all the elements�you made separately sound delicious, but all together you pretty much buried the flavor of the pig ears themselves.

An easy mistake for someone as showy as yourself.

Ah well.

As you said, if there's ever a "Top Chef Masters 2," you'll be better prepared.

Especially after this serving of humble pie.

-- Denise MartinPhoto: Ludo Lefebvre, left, and Rick Bayless.

Credit: NBC Universal
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