Top Chef Finale Recap: Like The Ramones At CBGB, But With Cooking


Wait, what?

Yes, Colicchio compared Hipster Urkel and Mei to Johnny, Joey, Deedee, and Tommy at end of last night’s Top Chef Finale–the culinary culmination of quite possibly the most lopsided (and dull) season we’ve subjected ourselves to in the name of food. He was awestruck at the raw talent of the final two, but I beg to differ at both the comparison and the compliment. All due respect to the leather-clad Lower East Siders, but raw talent is something none of them really had–or at least that’s what you’ll find in the folklore. And with regard to the cheftestants, their skills are the result of pure work ethic, both of them most likely closing in on Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. No matter, I really wanted to turn them (and George and Melissa) into the Ramones (and I’m sure Colicchio really wanted to make that comparison). So sue us.

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Top Chef Episode 14 Recap: How Urkel Got His Groove Back

With apologies to my editor, this every other week thing is totally working out for me–and for a season which barely has enough notable things happening in any single episode to fill a couple tweets, let alone an entire recap. With that said, here’s what happened last week:

– Everyone’s in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, including the also-rans and the two Last Chance Kitchen finalists, Little Doug and Kapnos, the former of which cooks past the latter to earn the final spot in the finale. Doug is the Scrappy Doo of cheftestants.

– The second-to-last Quickfire challenge has the cheftestants using the rare and exotic prickly pear known as xoconostle (cho-co-no-slay), which is made only more exotic because of its hard-to-pronounce name. Doug wins with a xoconostle and tomatillo stew with roasted peppers and pepitas. The guest judge appreciates the fact that he went full-vegetable.

– The cheftestants are then paired up with local artists and must cook a dish inspired by a piece of artwork that will be made while the chefs cater a party. Doug wins again with a Texas chili, of all things. His momentum is fully back. For how long? Well, keep reading.

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Top Chef Recap: Because Wylie


With no Quickfire and no Cheftestants being sent home last week, there was little to recap. But still, here’s a brief rundown of the highlights:

–A family member of each Cheftestant shows up in the kitchen. Everybody cries.
Kapnos’s father eats an oyster for the first time. While wearing the same pair of Rustler jeans he’s had since 1984.
Hipster Urkel continues to self-destruct.

The main takeaway is that Skrillex has emerged as the true dark horse, winning the challenge and an automatic entry into the final.

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Top Chef Recap: Restaurant Wars And The Aftermath


Did you miss me? Maybe you were just too busy eating leftovers or participating in a die-in? Well, if you’ve gotten that white guilt out of your system, maybe now we can return to our normal lives of complaining about things like bagel places that give you a tiny little tub of cream cheese instead of spreading it on your bagel for you. More importantly, we can talk about Top Chef.

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Top Chef Episode 6 Recap: A Very Top Chef Thanksgiving


Since we have to wait two weeks until the inevitable disaster that is Restaurant Wars, I decided to hold off a bit on this recap so you could avoid the Top Chef shakes (guys, don’t tell my editor, but I’m actually just a lazy sonofabitch who failed to get to this until now-ish. Sorry, Jason.).

But anyway, the holidays are upon us! So what does that mean in Top Chef TV-land? That’s right! Thanksgiving in the middle of the summer. And since, apparently, outfitting the cheftestants with old-timey elephant guns and sending them on a turkey shoot was disallowed by the lawyers and insurance adjustors, what do we end up with? Right again! A cranberry bog race.

You guys are smart.

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Top Chef Episode 5 Recap: War Is The Answer


We’re getting close to the halfway point, folks, and it’s anybody’s game.

And by “anybody,” I mean Hipster Urkel or Voltaggio’s protégé, Mei. Everybody else will slowly be picked off the Top Chef vine like so many sour grapes.

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Top Chef Episode 4 Recap: Cooking Your Way In The World Today Takes Everything You Got…


Okay, I take it back. Grissom’s not gonna sleep with Keriann. He’s gonna sleep with Katsuji. Hate turns into love faster than you can burn bacon, or so I’m told. I’m a marginal cook at best, certainly nowhere near this crop of cheftestants, who get to cook at Cheers for this week’s quickfire. Doug, the little guy, thinks that one of the most highly rated sitcoms in the history of sitcoms was based in Chicago because people had moustaches (is he confusing Ted Danson with Tom Selleck?). At the risk of aging myself, this—along with their sense of entitlement and their general being younger than me-ness—is what’s wrong with millenials.

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Top Chef Episode 3 Recap: Tea Ballin’


Sorry for the delay on this one, folks. I had a real tough time tracking down my “Sexy Bowl of Ramen” Halloween costume for my weekend’s festivities. But enough about my First World struggles–let’s get to the topic of today’s discussion: this season’s class of hopeful young (and one bitter old) cheftestants.

Episode 3 begins with some residual bickering between Keriann and Grissom. Turns out Grissom has an 8 Mile story about his childhood and that’s why he acts like an adult-sized baby and secretly loves Keriann. These two are definitely going to sleep together before the season’s over. It’s only a question of when…

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