“Top Chef: Boston” recap (12.12): It’s the final countdown

Previously on Top Chef: Boston, Melissa won a spot in the finale! I’m equal parts super pumped for her and selfishly relieved that I won’t be stressing about her during this whole episode. I will be stressing, however, about Mei and Gregory. If any of you guys were ever worried that I have low blood pressure, just—don’t.

It’s morning in the Top Chef house. Gregory, Mei and George are up already, talking/worrying about the day’s challenge. Melissa, meanwhile, is snoozing because she DGAF, y’all. Maybe, I don’t know. Actually, she probably still does give a fuck, because she seems like a responsible person. If it had been me, I would’ve gotten hammered the night before and slept through the challenge, probably. And that’s why Melissa is in the running to win $100k and I am writing in my sweatpants.

Anyway, the contestants arrive at the Top Chef kitchen to find Padma waiting for them along with Chef Wylie Dufresne. Dufresne is one of the few chefs that practices molecular gastronomy that doesn’t annoy me or seem like a total douche. This is probably because he seems so weird and wacky (in a good way), that it somehow just makes sense. Instead of using fancy techniques for this Quickfire Challenge, however, the chefs are simply tasked with making a great and innovative bean dish.

The winner of today’s Quickfire will receive a trip to Napa, and Melissa wants to win so she can whisk her girlfriend away on a romantic getaway. As someone who has been whisked away on a romantic getaway to Napa, I approve of this plan wholeheartedly.


The chefs begin to work and George makes a bean/fart joke, because of course he does. George also gives us some really important culinary insight—you have to make the beans taste good, you guys! Who knew? Melissa throws some shade at Gregory’s tendency to stick firmly to Asian cuisine, all, “One does not simply win Top Chef on curries alone.”

photo2Awwww snap

Meanwhile, Mei knows that Wylie loves eggs + molecular gastronomy, so she’s preparing a breakfast dish that has a bean foam. I’m inclined to trust Mei’s instincts, but, not gonna lie, the idea of bean foam weirds me out a little. Oh wait, George thinks it looks funny, so that means I now LOVE IT.

Padma and Wylie come around to taste the dishes, stopping at George’s station first. He made something with beans and tomatoes, I think. IDK, I’m bored. Mei’s up next. If I know Padma like I think I do, the tone of voice she uses to tell Mei, “Nicely done,” means that she’s very impressed.

The judges try Melissa’s dish next, and the only comment Wylie makes is about how the beans aren’t really the focus of the dish. Ruh Roh, Melissa’s girlfriend, you might not get to go to Napa after all. Gregory is last, and, though navy beans are Padma’s favorite (Noted.), there is some bitterness from the saké that the judges don’t seem to like.

Wylie has good and bad comments for all the chefs—we’re too far along in the season to have a true top and bottom at the Quickfire. The winner is Mei! Are you impressed with how well I can read Padma’s tone of voice? Are you scared of it? Both reactions are valid! Mei is going to Napa, and she’s tryna get wasted. Mei, you are a woman after my own heart.

For the Elimination Challenge, the chefs are tasked with the, in my opinion, infuriatingly vague instructions to create an “innovative dish.” Wylie tells them that innovation doesn’t necessarily mean technique; they should push boundaries in any way that they can. Eep, this is a tough one, y’all. Also, the winner of this challenge will receive $10k! Padma reminds everyone that Melissa has already earned her place in the finale, and there are only two spots left.

The chefs arrive at Whole Foods and there’s the standard running around montage. Remember that time Padma went completely bananas on a Whole Foods whilst wearing overalls? Yeah, me too.