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


Ahem. Anyway. The chefs and their sous chefs arrive at the oyster farm and head out on the water. Mei’s little brother breaks the crank (Sitcom hijinks! This thing is writing itself!), so they have to pull the nets up by hand. Ten bucks says Mei loses it before the end of this episode. Things are going a little smoother on Gregory and George’s boat, except George’s dad has zero fucks to give and apparently doesn’t like oysters. The chefs also have the opportunity to select a bunch of other sea-based ingredients from the farm before leaving.

At Whole Foods, Gregory and his sister reflect upon one of their earliest cooking experiences. Spoiler alert: it ended with a bag of burnt cake. They’re pretty adorable, though, and if they keep this up they might just have a shot at joining the cast of my sitcom. Mei’s brother is kind of just wandering around the grocery store, asking Mei where literally every ingredient might be located. It’s so good.

After shopping, the chefs + fam arrive at a super swanky and amazing looking beach house that I want to live in really badly. The chefs make dinner for their family members, and Melissa’s mom has got my emotions all over the place. First, she hilariously recounts how she thought her daughter was going to become James Bond by enrolling in the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). Then, she explains how Melissa’s dad is not really involved in her life at all. And now I’m sad. Both of Mei’s parents disapprove of her career. And now I’m even sadder. Parents—FUCKING DO BETTER.

It’s the morning of the challenge, and Melissa has prepared a very detailed step-by-step guide for her mom. I think I would probably do this exact thing. Totally not a control freak, guys- it’s just better if I can do everything myself the way I want it to be done. They get to the kitchen and Mei might actually murder her brother. He’s working very slowly and sort of bumbling around the kitchen, but at least he’s good-natured about it.

Gregory seems to trust his sister the most out of all the chef/family member combos, and I’m interested to see how that works out in the end. Melissa is nervous that she gave her mom too much to do, but I think it’s really sweet that there’s a story behind the custard they are making.

Tom comes in to do his usual Tom thing and make everyone nervous. He points out that Mei’s brother is burning some mushrooms and just… 

photo6I’m sorry, Mei.

Gregory’s sister continues to be adorable, giggling about how if Gregory wins he will owe her forever. As the cooking time ticks away, Mei’s brother actually steps up his game a little bit- so maybe he won’t get the shit kicked out of him.

The Judges are seated outside by the water and, hot damn, it is a gorgeous setting. Mei is the first to serve, and everyone is impressed that her brother shucked oysters for the first time. The judges really seem to love both of Mei’s dishes, and she and her brother even bonded over the experience. If you didn’t “aww” at that, you have no soul.

Gregory and his sister are plating next. Gregory is a bit pre-occupied with making sure his sister executes on her dish, and his halibut ends up overcooking a little. The judges really like Jessica’s watermelon-tomato soup, but are underwhelmed by Gregory’s fish entree. George and his father serve next, and, for the most part, their dishes are well-received.

Melissa’s mom is freaking adorable and just totally crushing it. The judges praise the silky texture of her custard, which seems like isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. Melissa’s lobster is delicious and cooked perfectly, and her vegetables are even better!

At Judges’ Table, Tom throws some shade at Gregory because his sister’s dish was better than his own. Melissa and Mei are on top! You guys, I’m so happy! But now I’m thinking about how only one of them can win! (This challenge AND the overall competition!) Can’t they tie and share it? Tom agrees with me! Tom, you have the power! Just do it! But only one chef can win, and it’s Melissa!!!

photo7 Melissa’s mom is crying! Melissa is crying! I’M crying! I JUST LOVE LOVE SO MUCH, YOU GUYS.

Next week on Top Chef: Boston, Melissa has Mei’s back and George should probably just go home.

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