Top Chef Boston Recap
By Jason Lee
January 12, 2015
After a couple weeks off, the Top Chef producers bring us back to the cheftestants’ loft following the previous elimination challenge. Mei is rocking high-fives, reveling in her performance in the “New England author” challenge, where she put together not only the best dish of the day, but also her best dish of the competition so far. Also recognizing the departure of their lost comrade, Katsuji, the cheftestants give a toast in his honor. Doug notes that he was a pain in the ass, but a great guy and a real loss.
The next day, the chefs start reflecting on the fact that selection of the TC finalists is close at hand. Mei and Melissa have formed a close friendship, sharing similar family histories (neither family approved of their career choices). Off on his own, Greg says that he’s “struggling with not winning as much as [he] wants” - an odd statement given that he’s won more Quickfires and Elimination Challenges than any remaining chef.
Before we know it, it’s time for the Quickfire. The chefs head to the TC kitchen where they spot Padma and… UGH. Andy Cohen and his old college roommate. Just for the record, I cannot stand Andy Cohen, with his smarmy attitude and smug “aren’t I just the cutest?” smile. For a pitch perfect parody of his worst qualities, I strongly recommend you check out SNL’s “Watch What Happens Live” sketch, if you haven’t already.
Andy Cohen immediately starts asking annoying questions of the chefs. He asks who among them will win the title of Top Chef. All chefs raise their hand, but Doug’s is the last to make it there. Andy zeroes in on him and asks which chef most intimidates him (Doug says it’s Tom). Andy asks the chefs which among them have been hooking up. UGH. Andy Cohen is turning Top Chef into Watch What Happens Live.
Padma FINALLY steps in and kicks off the Quickfire (“Taskmaster,” Andy calls her). Today, the chefs will be making a dish that’s a part of every college student’s life: ramen. They’ll have to put their own spin on the ubiquitous, cheap, starchy dish. And yes, they’ll be using instant ramen. To make things worse, they’ll only be allowed to utilize ingredients that five Emerson College students have rummaged up from their respective dorm rooms.
The chefs select their college student (and accompanying dorm room pantry) and get started on this 20 minute challenge. Within seconds, it becomes eminently obvious that this is going to be the worst Quickfire of the season. No actual culinary skills will be tested - it’ll all be about making the best dish out of horrible ingredients. It’s reminiscent of Quickfires on early seasons of Top Chef, where the show was more gimmick that gourmet. Anyone remember the gas station Quickfire from Season One? UGH. I hate Quickfires like this.