The five remaining chefs go back to (French) basics and their college days in two creative challenges on this week’s Top Chef
And we’re back! It’s been a long Christmas break for Top Chef1. I was concerned that I wouldn’t remember what happened when we left off, but there it is again. We lost Katsuji, and back at 1330 Boylston, everyone is high-fiving Mei for her performance in the authors challenge. She feels she’s proven she deserves to be in the finals. I can’t believe we’re already down to five chefs – only a few more challenges2 stand between the chefs and the Top Chef crown.
The B-roll this episode has been Emerson College heavy, which makes sense since this week’s guest judge for the Quickfire is none other than Bravo’s own Andy Cohen, who’s an Emerson Alum and mentions it ever 5 seconds. The “very handsome”3 Andy is here with his college roommate, for some reason. The college roommate looks like he’d like to be anywhere else than with his college roommate from 20 years ago, regardless of how powerful that roommate has become at a cable TV network in the interim, and I don’t blame him. Andy spends most of his time mugging for the camera4 and trying to get any juicy details out of the chefs, who just want to cook already.
Every college student eats ramen at some point or another, so the chefs are challenged to put their own spin on the mass-produced noodles. The chefs are provided with noodles, but rather than the full Top Chef pantry, they’ll be provided with additional ingredients from…more Emerson college students5. They’ve scrambled to pull things together from their dorms and the chefs have to choose which student’s bag of ingredients they want. There’s no immunity this Quickfire, but the winner gets $5000. Not bad for some instant noodles.
Based on her grocery bag, Melissa is going to attempt something mac and cheese-y. Other chefs got cans of chili; a few got leftover pizza and half-empty jars of old salsa. Gregory is making a broth with bacon, doritos, and the toppings off of a slice of pizza. After 30 minutes of cooking, all of the chefs seem skeptical of the combos they’ve come up with:
- Doug – Ramen with coconut pineapple broth, tofu, and bell pepper
- Gregory – Ramen with bacon and pizza broth, string cheese
- George – Ramen chili with hot dog, chicken wing, crispy spam
- Melissa – Mac and Cheese carbonara with roast chicken
- Mei – Ramen with spicy tomato miso sauce and “sushi” shrimp((they were literally shrimp she had gotten out of some sushi.
After tasting everyone’s dish, Andy and his roommate favored George, Gregory, and Melissa’s dishes, while Mei and Doug disappointed them. Melissa wins! She’s going to buy a new scooter with the money she won.
With this over, Padma tells the chefs there’s a surprise in the stew room that will explain their Main Challenge.
- two weeks? three? I honestly don’t know ↵
- and something something Last Chance Kitchen finalist ↵
- which I’m sure was stipulated in his contract ↵
- seriously, Cohen: turn it down to at least a 7. ↵
- I’m guessing these are the summer students? This shot in June, when classes were well out of session and the Boston subway was slightly less crammed full of people ↵