TOP CHEF RECAP: What Is This, Top Chef Europeland??


The following collection of words contains spoilers. If you didn’t watch last night’s Top Chef but plan on doing so, stop reading these words and processing the thoughts which they represent, as it will “spoil” the outcome of the episode for you. You’ve been alerted!

Fabiohh– Another solid episode; the twist of having all of the chef applicants who didn’t make it onto the show was absolutely brutal, and way better than their “twists” last year where Padma would be like “Remember how we said you could use allspice in this challenge? Well you CAN’T. GOOD LUCK NOW!!!!!”

— The Elimination Challenge made me wonder what it would be like to write BWE posts and try to be funny for 50 other writers who didn’t get my job and keep refusing to laugh and make angry comments all the time and call everything ‘f*ckin’ gay.’ Could you imagine if the internet were like that?

— I may have underestimated Fabio, if only because “I must be good ’cause I have an accent” Mark had such a brutal elimination last year. The spherical olives brought back visions of Richard from last season; I guarantee Alton Brown masturbated to this part of the episode.

— I loved Tom’s forced line at the judges table about “You’ll be out of here in a NEW YORK MINUTE.” I really wanted him to also say, “Ariane, your martini was NEW YORK too sweet. And Jill, that ostrich egg was a NEW YORK really bad decision.”

Craptini– Every time they show people buying ingredients skeptically, like Hosea with the canned crab meat or Jill admitting she doesn’t know what to do with an ostrich egg, it ends up coming back to haunt them. The way Top Chef is edited, there are no red herrings. It’s like Curb Your Enthusiasm — if Larry yells at someone in line at the DMV because they’re taking too long, that person will always come back to be, like, Larry’s new chiropractor.

— Jill being eliminated over Ariane was BS; I have never seen a judge spit something out the way Padma initially spit out Ariane’s martini. Last season, Anthony Bourdain called Dale’s final dish “the worst thing I’ve eaten in four seasons of the show” and he still didn’t literally spit it out. Ariane gets one more week, possibly two if someone else attempts to murder Tom next week and gets voted off.

— Keeping the camera on Jill for like a full minute while she stumbled over her defense of her ostrich egg seemed unusually cruel from the Top Chef editors, but I enjoyed it.

Alex– Add Plaidhat Alex to the list of people with no chance of winning. We’re still in the reality show grace period, where there’s at least 4-5 people you know aren’t going to the finals, but it’s just a matter of seeing what each one does specifically to get eliminated. I believe Alex will cook a hat (55% joking).

Radhika bounced back nicely this week, but she’s still not making it to the finals. I assume everyone noticed that in her intro, she said she doesn’t want to just be seen as the person who always cooks Indian food, and she’s now cooked something Indian in all four challenges. Next week, she makes a lentil and chutney Vindaloo in the shape of Gandhi playing cricket in the Taj Mahal.

— They’re finally switching up the pattern of calling people to the Judge’s Table; calling in the three winners and three losers all at once was a decent change of pace from last year, where they called in the winners first every time but the music got really intense and they’d hold long, dramatic camera shots on all the chefs and judges before anyone said anything, then they’d be like “you were our favorites!” every single week, as though it was any f*cking surprise. Not that I get too into this show or anything. I like food things.

— Highlight of the episode: Fabio frantically defending his dish at the judge’s table before any of the judges could get a word out about him being in the Top Three.


1) Stefan
2) Fabio
3) Tennessee Titans
4) Carla
5) Gene
6) Richard
7) Jeff
8) Danny

115) Michigan
116) Ariane

Episode / Season thoughts, Top Cheftans? Leave ‘em in the comments!

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