“Top Chef: Boston” recap (12.11): All in the Family

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Previously on Top Chef: Boston, the chefs were inspired by Julia Child, Melissa nearly went home, Dougie did go home, and George was the worst.

This week’s episode begins in the stew room immediately after last week’s elimination. Gregory is basically choking back tears over losing his little bro, Dougie. Pour one out for Napoleon. Melissa is frustrated with herself over her performance in the last challenge, and the time away from her family/adorable girlfriend is wearing on her.

George apparently thinks it’s really comical that there’s “a little Asian, a lesbian Asian, a gay black dude, and a straight white guy.” Hahahahahawait, so why is that funny? OH. As a straight, cis, white guy, you’ve probably never felt like a minority before, huh George? Yeah, it’s pretty fucking hilarious, right?

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I am 1000% done with George, but I am pretty pumped about the lack of white guys making it to the end this season. Yay for diversity in the kitchen!  

It’s a new day and the chefs arrive at the kitchen to meet Padma and guest judge Chef Ashley Christensen, who I can tell you (from personal experience) is an awesome chef and a lovely human person. (I once rambled to her drunkenly about, like, the overwhelming difficulty/impossibility of solving world hunger and she politely tolerated me! Thanks, Ashley! And, also, sorry about that!)

Anyway. Padma tells the chefs that there will be no Quickfire Challenge this week, because they have “a lot of work ahead of [them].” At this, George gives an exact imitation of a deer caught in the headlights. What’s the problemYOU SCARED, BRO? The chefs are going to an oyster farm to forage for oysters, clams, seaweed, and probably any other weird stuff they can find. They will have to create an appetizer and entree from their locally-sourced ingredients.

Because this is such a big challenge, Padma tells the chefs that they will have some surprise help. The chefs are all shocked to see various family members walk into the kitchen. Melissa’s mom is pretty darn cute, telling her immediately that she’s proud of her. Gregory is also very happy to see his best friend and sister. Mei calls her little brother a “brat,” and I am so pumped for more of their interaction. For instance, this is her reaction when Padma announces that the family members will be acting as sous chefs:

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Mei announces that she will do all the work and will also beat the shit out of little bro if he doesn’t listen. Doesn’t sibling love just make you feel all warm inside? George’s dad is used to being the boss, or something. IDK, I wasn’t really listening. Padma announces that the appetizer dish will be entirely executed by the chef’s loved ones, and Mei looks like smoke might come out of her ears at any moment.

Padma also announces that there is no elimination for this challenge, so the chefs should feel free to take risks and really go for it. I’m suspicious of this for approximately 5 seconds before Padma adds that the winner of this challenge will receive an automatic place in the finale in Mexico. OH, well that makes sense now. The stakes are high, y’all!

Ok, ok, network sitcom pitch: The wacky restaurant misadventures of Melissa and Mei. The duo spend their nights battling sexism and racism in the kitchen, and when they get home all they want is a little peace and quiet. Due to zany circumstances, however, they receive some unexpected house guests! Both Melissa’s sweet, supportive, and overprotective mother and Mei’s goody-two-shoes, bratty little brother move in with their respective family members the same day! What are the odds! Also, the two pairs live across the hall from one another in a quirky apartment building, and learn valuable life lessons.

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