Legit drama based on competition and actual culinary aptitude with a dash of personality clash? Now this is the Top Chef I came to watch.
Meanwhile, Phillip and his man bun have inserted their own twist in the proceedings. Tom Colicchio would be proud...except I bet he finds this guy as annoying as I do. Sure, he's making buttery mashed potatoes like he promised, but then he runs them through a whipping siphon so they have a texture akin to whipped cream. Kwame, who's making the sauce for these potatoes (which now have the consistency of sauce themselves) has a taste and deems them notsogreat.
The next morning, the betrothed gather before Padma. Her outfit is indeed fierce, but her hair is even fiercer. While she ushers 25 couples into lawful matrimony (you may now kiss your bride--and your grooms!), the chefs are busy setting up their chafing dishes.
Angelina tells some diners that their chard-wrapped chicken is "almost like a dolma." Jason finds this a wee bit aggravating. He (rightfully I think) reminds her that if they promise a dolma and deliver something totally different, the chefs will call them out on it.
When speaking directly to the camera, he's a little more unvarnished: "Don’t say that. It’s completely different. This is my dish. I know how it’s supposed to be. Don’t fucking tell me what you don’t know." Tom and Gail and Art and Padma praise the dish to the high heavens.
At judges table, Tom and Padma take a moment to acknowledge that marriage equality is an even bigger deal than a cooking competition show, and cite Jason's dish as one of their favorites.
Karen, Giselle, Phillip, and his man bun land on the bottom. The judges try to suss out why Phillip's potatoes were so stupid. He recalls his exact words when describing his potato dish to his fellow chefs: "Think of it as a sauce."
Jason interjects from the sidelines: "I don't think that's how the dish was described to the team." Marjorie chimes in: "You described them as mashed potatoes." Phillip's all "Yeah, in the form of whipped cream." Buddy...you do know a camera recorded your every word, right? The editors helpfully splice in some footage of Phillip (and his man bun) saying no such thing.
As the judges deliberate, Jason and Phillip's whipped cream potato dispute continues in the stew room. "You don't have to believe me," Phillip tells Jason. Oh my god. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
The winner: Kwame made sauces for two separate dishes and takes the win for gussying up Wesley's shrimp with his own tangerine and ginger nuoc cham.
The loser: The judges table sniping between Phillip and scatterbrain Giselle and Karen is painful to watch. Eventually Giselle gets sent home for being too wishy washy and not doing much in her dish with Karen. Kwame's excellent eggplant relish redeems Phillip's sucky potatoes and he and his man bun will stick around to say ridiculous things for at least another week.
Next, on Top Chef: The chefs journey to San Diego and cook with beer. Isaac makes mayonnaise out of...bananas? Oh and we get an unnecessary close-up of someone's butt crack. That's all it takes to guarantee I'll be tuning in.
- I dig the giant silver hummingbird boutonniere Art Smith was rocking on his green linen jacket.
- You have to wonder, did anyone consider sending Kwame home, just for the drama factor of having a guy win, then lose...all in the same episode?
- Tom's story of why he wears two wedding rings was particularly sweet. Especially since he's not a guy naturally prone to wearing excess jewelry.
- Classy move: Art Smith struggled with making a wedding cake on Top Chef Masters, so he provided an awesome (rainbow-layered) cake for this wedding, thus sparing the contestants from that particular form of torture...and sparing the couples from eating crappy, crooked cake on their wedding day.
- Even through the filter of Bravo's heightened drama and cheese, these couples being able to get married (by Padma, no less) got me all misty eyed.
- Between Isaac coveting that date-harvesting device (basically a machete that's attached to a giant leather cuff) and Chad and Amar celebrating the end of a challenge with a chest bump, I am definitely picking up on the fratty stuff Jason mentioned.