Top Chef Boston Recap: Finale Part 2
By Jason Lee
February 9, 2015
I feel like every recap for the past three or four weeks has started off with some version of, “We’re here! We’ve finally arrived at (insert name of key point in Top Chef season)!” Well, this time, it’s true. Or at the very least, it’s merited once more.
We’re here! We’ve finally arrived at the Top Chef Finale Eve - the most important challenge of the season! Until next week!
In all seriousness, though, this is a really key point in the season. Today’s episode will separate the almost-rans (like Carla, Antonia, and Jen Carroll) from the winners/runners-up. Who will have the chance to compete for all the marbles, and who instead will be relegated to footnote status?
The producers kick off the episode as the previous Elimination Challenge fades away in the remaining cheftestants’ rear view mirrors. Mei is disappointed in herself. She put out a terrific dish but almost went home, and she only survived at the cost of Melissa, who she describes as “like a sister.” Mei - never slow to pull out the Spice Girl-ian, “girl powa!” manta - has made it clear over the course of the season that she wanted the final two to be her and Melissa. With that no longer a possibility, she feels immense pressure to win Top Chef for the both of them.
As for Greg, he’s daunted by Doug’s winning streak, which included Last Chance Kitchen and both of the last Quickfire and Elimination Challenges. Doug’s feeling pumped, noting that he does best when he feels like an underdog.
Makes you kinda wonder how he’s gonna do as the presumptive favorite to secure a spot in the final two, doesn’t it?
The Quickfire Challenge - the last for this season - kicks off with Padma describing it as a “bittersweet” moment. With the groundwork laid for the predictable food pun, Padma informs the chefs that this final Quickfire will require them to cook with a Mexican staple ingredient: cacao. They’ll be asked to make two dishes, one sweet and one savory. For ingredients, they’ll have the opportunity to harvest their own vegetables from the idyllic organic farm (Jalpa) that surrounds them.
As the chefs race off to select the ingredients for their dishes, Doug full of consternation and indecision. He doesn’t like doing desserts, knew that at some point he’d be forced to make a dessert, and has no idea what type of chocolate dish to make.
Mei is keen on winning this challenge, as the triumphant chef will get to choose his or her sous chef for the all-important Elimination Challenge before the other two. She wants Melissa as her partner-in-crime. I don’t think she has much to worry about. Even if Mei loses this Quickfire, I can’t imagine that Greg or Doug would choose Melissa ahead of George, Adam, or Katsuji.
Greg and Doug are both having issues, though for totally different reasons. Greg, noticing that his dish doesn’t look right, realizes that instead of grabbing white chocolate, he has grabbed cocoa butter. He moves quickly to remedy the situation. Doug, meanwhile, still has no idea what to make for his dessert. He melts some chocolate in a bowl and proceeds to put some white chocolate foam on top.