“Top Chef: Boston” recap (12.1 & 12.2):


Well, hello there, and welcome to the newest season of Top Chef. I’m very excited to be recapping this season, for a few reasons:

  1. I live in Boston, so I can check out any restaurants that look awesome on the show.
  2. Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons.
  3. I really, really like food.

Now that you have my credentials, let’s begin. Top Chef: Boston kicks off in the usual dramatic fashionominous music, quick cuts, and chef voiceover intros. I can’t help but notice there’s a hometown Boston girl, which I’m already excited about. I know a lot of Boston girls and, boy oh boy, can they be feisty.

Padma welcomes the new chefs and introduces Richard Blais, which I guess means he’s going to be a judge this season. Blaze (I like to call him Blaze) has always kind of bugged me (I feel like he’s trying to be too clever for his own good), but I’ll try to give him a chance.

photo1Did you guys know his website is on a .net? Hmm.

OK, let’s meet some of the chefs:

Katsuji Tanabe – Mexican-Japanese chef with a kosher restaurant. he’s got a lot of jokes.

Mei Lin – Michael Voltaggio’s sous chef. Something tells me she’s probably going to be a ruthless bitch in the best possible way.

Adam Harvey – NYC. Worked at a vegan spot. Basically too hip to function.

Joy Crump – Awesome name. Awesome hair. Adorable and self-deprecating.

photo2 Let me hold you.

Quickfire challenge: TWIST, y’all. Today’s quickfire is sudden death, and it’s a mise en place relay race. I’m a big fan of these, because, invariably, some idiot doesn’t know how to chop an onion and happens to be on the team with the most competitive person. Then competitive-guy either yells in onion-guy’s face or seethes really loudly just behind them. It’s always a good time. Today the chefs will have to prep some classic New England ingredients as quickly as possible and the slowest individual on the slowest team will be up for elimination.

So, you know how some people (aka racists) are always like, “Black people all look the same!” That’s kind of how I feel about generic white guys. I can not tell them apart, so the beginning few episodes of Top Chef are always a struggle for me. Anyway, one of the white guys (George) tries to pawn the clams off on Gregory, but Gregory is like, “Nah, man, I’m all set with this here mackerel.”

The competition begins and Mei is all businessshe is absolutely just crushing the lobsters. I’m not going to lie, she’s kind of turning me on.

photo3Mei Lin: Pro at smashing lobsters and hearts.

We’re onto the oysters andoh no!Joy, one of my initial crushes, is not looking too good. She just (adorably) referred to herself as “Shaky McGee,” and I’m worried for her. Meanwhile, some other white guy (Doug) actually utters the words, “Because of my short stature, I gotta be Napoleon in the kitchen. Just gotta be bigger than everyone else.” That is just the definition of a Napoleon complex, but, okay buddy, whatever you need to tell yourself to help you sleep at night.

Some chefs have moved on to the fish and, “Holy mackerel!” Blaze earns some points in my book by uttering what is, I believe, the first food pun of the season. Also, one of my favorite things about cooking shows is when the hosts/judges stand about 20 feet away from the chefs and rag on them. Blaze remarks, “Katsuji is BLOWING it for the blue team right now” and the dude is standing right there trying to work!

The green team is storming right past Katsuji BLOWING it, and we have our first reference to the 2004 Red Sox/Yankees series that I still don’t like to think about. Great, I’ll keep a tally. It’s not upsetting at all, and I’ve never had to deal with it before as a Yankee fan living in Boston. JK yes I have.

Katsuji, amazingly, does not totally BLOW it, and it turns out that the red team is the slowest. That seems about right, because they all kind of sucked except for the hot, queer girl with the undercut who hasn’t really been introduced yet (Melissa, I have since found out is her name).

George is the slowest, so he gets to choose any other chef to compete against in a sudden death cook off. If George wins, they’re both safe, but if he loses he’ll have to go home. George is still feeling pretty meow-y about Gregory taking the mackerel, so he becomes George’s unlucky victim.

To be honest, I’m hoping George goes home because he’s kind of annoying, but mostly because of the way he just pronounced kalamata. Gregory, meanwhile, darts about the kitchen and prepares a trio (it’s our first trio!), all the while shaming George about only using one protein.

The risk of the trio pays off and Gregory is declared the winner. George is told to pack his knives and go, and I’m not mad about at all because it’s one less white guy I have to keep track of.

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