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 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 Boston, Episode 1: The Handicapper’s Recap


The Top Chef Handicaper’s Recap:

Because I’m super thorough and one hell of a researcher, I’m arming myself with only the premiere of Top Chef Boston to handicap the cheftestants’ odds of winning and make snap judgments based on their looks. If you sat through Richard Blais’ maiden voyage as judge (good for him) and tried to see who’s who on your own, perhaps we can have ourselves a dialogue in the comments (or you could tell me how worthless this recap is–internet’s free if you have a library card). For now though, let’s take a look at the field, none of whom will be representing our fair city (closest thing we got is a birth certificate from Coatesville) this season (sucks to your assmar, Bravo).

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Top Chef Episode 4 Recap: Om Nam Nam


One of two things has become readily apparent this season. Bravo is either spending more of their production budget on the Shahs of Sunset, or the producer responsible for all of the zany twists is now over at MTV designing torture devices for the next Real World Challenge. Does anyone else feel like they’re dialing it down a bit? Perhaps it’s an effort to get back to the food, but like Cinderella’s Tom Keifer once said
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Top Chef Episode 3 Recap: Oh, Kale No!


Let’s have a brief moment of silence for our fallen comrade before launching into this week’s hour of clichés and bleeped-out swears. Jason, we’ll miss you until you reappear as a result of that twist you hinted about last week.

As for the rest of the cheftestants, there’s still a 1 in 17 chance to win, even if Vegas is giving different odds (can you bet on Top Chef outcomes in Vegas?). I’m not sure who I like besides St. Nick, but Bret the Dumbass has definitely fallen to the bottom of my list, right next to Cancer Card.

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Top Chef Finale Recap: A Tale In Two Parts

So this is it. The big finale. The big reveal. And in order to do justice to this momentous occasion, we here at Foobooz HQ decided to do this recap as a game of sorts–a prognostication contest, a jeu de TV wherein Fidel Gastro (who has been recapping these shows since the start of the season and growing progressively weirder, crazier and more terrified of Eric Ripert as the weeks went on) would, on the eve of the broadcast, give a “pre-cap” of the episode. Basically an educated guess at how things would finally shake out during each stage of the well-rehearsed dance that is a Top Chef finale. Then I, your humble editor, would take Fidel’s work and compare it to how things actually happened during the broadcast.

Sounds simple? Well that’s where you’re wrong…

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Top Chef Recap: Three The Hard Way

After squeezing as many product placements, thematic challenges, stupid haircuts, dramatic stares and vacant looks from Padma as they could out of making dinner at a ski resort, Bravo makes one last use of the Toyota Sienna (which, at this point, has to just reek of shame, failure and scallops) and sends the final three chefcicles to Vancouver. In the car (and in the confessional), Sarah admits to shedding crocodile tears at Bev’s departure, and now she’s ready to win. She’s also ready to shart herself when Takashi Yagihashi emerges from the kitchen of Bao Bei–a Chinese brasserie where this week’s All-Asian Quickfire will be happening.

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Top Chef Recap: And Then There Were Three…

After spending almost an entire season taping under a 105 degree sun, the final four cheftestants are now subjected to the cold extremes of Canadian weather. Maybe it’s the ninth circle of Dante’s Inferno, and this is their own vision of hell? I get my own vision of hell after seeing Grueneberg with a Beiber cut, claiming that she’ll be a nicer person now after two months’ rest.  I call bullshit, and it’s readily apparent that she still wants to smash Beverly’s face into an open flame when she interrupts poor Bev’s Last Chance Kitchen report the minute they find themselves together in the back of another Sponsormobile, headed for the top of Vancouver’s Whistler mountain. Right now, they’re miles away from the Top Chef kitchen, and up to this point in the episode, there are neither stovetops nor weapons available to assist Sarah in her murderous ways. But that won’t last forever…

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