After such a fantastic episode of MDLLA, that I just recapped, I was on such a high. And now, I find myself a tiny bit wistful that this fantastic season of Top Chef ends tonight. I will be happy for the winner and sad for the two who came so far without winning. One of my commenters here, (sorry y’all are legion and it’s hard to remember who said what) has been commenting for weeks that she believes the edit clearly shows that Melissa was prechosen to win. I hope she will expand on why she feels that way if Melissa does win.
I’ll be happy if Bryan Voltaggio wins but maybe a tiny bit less happy than if one of the girls win. I am not overly pro women. I usually just root for the home town person if there is one, or that adorable man from Alabama on a recent season. But this is season SEVENTEEN. And there have only been four female winners (and one did not deserve it in my not so humble opinion). In the early, and Emmy award winning I might add there was a lot of outright misogyny filmed from regarding the male chefs.
I’ve worked in the restaurant business and chefs are extremely egotistical and at least in my day didn’t accept female chefs. I was not a chef, I was a REALLY shitty waitress who go fired from every job I had. I was a smart ass teenager who I told a manager at an old fashioned diner I used to work at. “I’m eighteen and waiting tables. You’re old and will be working here your entire life. So no, I will not be back to practice stupid dance routines that screw up service. So bye.” Yep, I’ve pretty much always been really bad at getting along with others.
This Is The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance
Anyway, off we go! This is so exciting. I didn’t realize this was Bryan’s third time making it to the finals. Melissa has more wins than any other competitor in Top Chef history. And I would like to remind you that she is super fucking hot. I don’t know how to work with her equipment nor do I want too, but dayum. We could be college makeout buddies. And Stephanie, who doesn’t realize how great she is and is getting the underdog edit that makes me think she will win. Everyone loves an underdog. Also, she just got an edit where she says, “I absolutely deserve the title of Top Chef” that is not an attitude we have seen much of this season.
Sigh. Italy…Sigh. Will I ever get back there?
The Elimination Challenge
They have to make a four course progressive meal. That’s it, no twists. According to Padma. I don’t believe her, do you? They are cooking for some of the world’s most renowned chefs. And they are going to get a little help from their friends. It’s super foggy and they all get to chef to help them out. Kevin, Malarkey and….LeeAnne? Gregory had to leave for his back problems that fucking production exacerbated on the last episode.
They draw knives and Stephanie picks Malarkey. Brian is next and picks his bestie Kevin. This means that Melissa
is stuck with gets LeeAnne. LeeAnne? Didn’t she go home in 1987?At least it will be team Asia. Or is Leeanne Hawaiian which is also maybe Asia? I am really bad at knowing what race people are. Melissa says she’s happy with LeeAnne because she knows Asian flavors. Maybe that was a plant for Melissa?
Leeanne is already giving a lot of opinions. Sometimes when people come to help the chef, they tend to act like they didn’t get to where they are for knowing what to do. That’s Leeanne. I know in her mind she is trying to help. But, girl, she’s got this! Meanwhile, Malarkery is encouraging Stephanie and says that this is going to be the best fucking upset ever. Bryan wants to make lasagna for Italians. Oh boy. Kevein says it’s been a long time since he’s been a sous chef.
And we are off to shop in Florence! They have one hour and a thousand euros. A THOUSAND EUROS! Melissa finds some beautiful squab and some Italian persimmons she is not familiar with (girl! you in danger!). She also gets some octopus for her Chinese meets Italy inspired menu. Leeanne keeps giving Melissa helpful suggestions. I would have punched her in the face by now. I hate helpful suggestions. It looks like Steph may be getting octopus too. I am not an octopus person, are you? She also gets some really good looking veal. Bryan also gets veal. And some beets.
Then, we go straight to the kitchen. Leeanne’s intentions are good but my God she is overbearing. Malarkey on the other hand follows Stephanie’s lead. If Melissa loses this I will forever blame Leeanne. And, If Stephanie wins this I will forever credit Malarkey. If Bryan loses it will be because he made lasagna for Italians. Malarkey is worried about Steph’s braised veal. Her veal cut isn’t fatty enough for a braise according to Malarkey.
Tom Arrives In The Kitchen
He goes straight to Malarkey. Bryan is making a Cacciucco which is an Italian fish stew. The only other time he has been to Italy was to learn how to make that dish in Tuscany. Tom says it’s a dish he makes a lot. Yikes. The same thing happens with Steph’s veal dish with melted lemon. Of course Tom has made all of these dishes. Tom doesn’t seem like a fan of Melissa’s “Chinese-Italian” food. Sounds good to me. Melissa says in her talking head, the term “fusion” has a bad rap in the culinary field. She wants to change that.
Next Tom cooks for the final three on an outdoor farmhouse girl. And Inside Padma and Gail are cooking for them. It looks fantastic. Gail made a salad and roasted artichokes. I didn’t catch what Padma made. Tom made white truffle lasagna and some squab? Not sure. I am getting really far behind and just want to know who won! Sorry. I’m not sure the judges have ever cooked for the chefs before. I sort of remember a breakfast a few years ago. But nothing like this. Gail also made a ricotta quiche. Melissa tastes Tom squab and changes her menu. Then the final three finally got to call home. So touching. Again I want them all to win.
IT’S GO TIME!
Melissa’s tiramisu is all fucked up and Leeanne has to start over. I didn’t even realize that the three sous chefs were not invited to enjoy the judges cooking until Melissa told Leeanne. That was kind of rotten. Then Melissa says she decided to grill her squab like Tom did. Steph is still unsure about how to cook her shrimp dish. Bryan is overly confident due to his y-chromosome privilege. SWIDT? Melissa is also confident in her porchini mudrooms. We might have to break up over mushrooms. They are just not my thing.
It looks like all three chefs courses are coming out side by side for each course. HOW IS THIS SHOWING A PROGRESSIVE DINNER? This is a terrible way to judge. Bryan’s first course is a beet dish. Steph’s first course is a shrimp dish. She cries because it’s a tribute to her father. She’s definitely going to win. The judges licked all three of the first courses clean. It’s a draw so far. The African chef in the hat is one of my favorite chefs from Parts Unknown and other shows. Oh Marcus! How could I forget Marcus Samuelsson! I hate that I cannot remember his name at this moment.
Clare Smyth is not a name I am familiar with but she won Best Female Chef according to someone.Really? A British chef? Have you traveled to the UK. (prepares for negative comments. I have a grudge with the Brits for two reasons. One my parents took me there as a child and one day we went to Piccadilly Circus. IT WAS NOT A FUCKING CIRCUS! It’s like a roundabout or I don’t even know. It was traumatic. And as an adult Brits are fucking lousy lays. I feel like Clare makes spotted dick. Or some other nonsense. Anyway, she doesn’t have much nice to say about Melissa’s dish. How dare she mock my imaginary gay lover like that! Lots of raves for Steph’s prawn! They loved Bryan’s beet dish.
The Second Course
My tummy has decided to do unspeakable things so I keep falling behind. Perhaps it wanted the food I am watching rather than nachos today. What can I say? It’s a pandemic and I had the stuff for nachos! Anyway, Steph made a pasta dish. That was well received. So did Melissa but hers was squash based with as Szechuan sauce. Bryan made a lasagna with a wild boar bolognese and gives his emotional family connection. The judges loved them all. But Steph is getting rave reviews.
The Third Course
Just as Malakey said, the veal Steph is cooking is drying out due to lack of fat. I wish I could dry out do to lack of fat. First up we have Melissa’s squab. Bryan’s Caccuico seems like a hit. There is one chef who cleans every plate and the is team Bryan. Steph make a gnocchi (more pasta?) with her veal breast. All the judges say it is very close. One judge says she doesn’t like squab and Melissa converted her. Girl, Melissa converts everyone and not just to squab. Marcus loves Melissa’s dish. An Italian judge did not like Steph’s dish. The veal was over cooked. The gnocchi was not good. It looks like it is down to Melissa and Bryan.
The Fourth Course
It all comes down to this. Bryan has chocolate mousse dish made with coffee and cardamon. You can hear a female judge say “mmmmm cardamon.” I have no idea what cardamon is. We get no feedback on the women’s dishes. Bryan “started with the earth and ended with the earth. Oh here we go, the really liked Steph dish and Melissa’s tiramisu. There was one judge who didn’t like Melissa’s dessert and another who thought hers was the best. He was the one who cleaned his plate for everyone. Then he tears up and says she respected the Italian culture the most. He apologizes for being the emotional butcher. He’s embarrassed. So I think we have our winner.
I’ll Talk But You Won’t Listen To Me, I Know Your Answer Already
Tom says all three of them cooked the best meal of their lives. Gail cries talking to Steph. Tom says she nailed her dish. Gail says Bryan’s first dish was the best. Lots of compliments to Bryan and Steph. This is foreboding a Melissa win. Basically, they start to pick about Bryan and Steph’s dishes. This is in contrast to what they said in the moment. #Editing. The guest judges says Melissa’s dish for course three was the best course of the day. On course four they go back to praising all three. Then by the dessert course they bout out the Italian butcher literally crying at the table over Melissa’s fourth dish.
I love Stephanie. But I feel like my commenter may be right and Melissa was pre-ordained? If so that will be sad and taint her win. I’d be happy for anyone if that commenter was not constantly saying it like she already knew she won. Le sigh. If she does win. We have a no spoiler rule here! 🙂
In the end, the families are there. So I presume they all at least get time with their families in Italy on the show for a week or two. And so of course Banjo does his potty dance. FUCK.
MELISSA WON! I AM SO HAPPY FOR HER AND SO SAD FOR EVERYONE ELSE! They all deserved to win. I am happy for Steph and Bryan too. He was the only one to go to the finale three times. He’a a super star.