Top Chef S07E13: Boring Season Ends Boringly

The season finale (part two, I guess?) picks up exactly where last week’s left off, with the chefs being called back to Judges’ Table immediately after the elimination of Kelly. OMG, what could it BE? Hopefully they are introducing a new twist in which the chefs have 30 minutes to build a time machine, and then everyone climbs in and none of these clowns wins, and we go back to before they ever cast this dismal season and start all over again. Oh. No? No. It’s just that the chefs are getting “extra” time to plan their final meals by having the ground rules laid out the night before they start prepping. Fair enough, except that Tom and Eric Ripert are going to be shopping for all the proteins in the morning, and everyone has to use all the proteins they buy, and they won’t know until the next day what the proteins are, so how much planning can they really do? Anyway: four-courses. A vegetable dish, a fish dish, a meat dish, and a dessert. Everyone must make a dessert this time. Fair enough. “The judges just really want to eat three terrible desserts made by people who are not good at making dessert.” Also: they will have some help in the kitchen from previous season winners Hung, Elaine, and Michael Voltaggio. Immediately, I wish this was just a show about the three of them. The chefs draw knives to see who will be paired with whom, and almost everyone gets the person they’d hoped to work with except for Ed, who gets paired with the person no one hoped to work with, Elaine. Aww. I wonder why no one likes Elaine?! Oh right. Because he’s insufferable and not very good at his job. Also this:

Angelo is paired with Hung, and is very excited because “I’m in Asia, and I’m working with Hung!” Good grief, Angelo. There are some things that are perfectly reasonable to KEEP TO YOURSELF. You know? Racist things? The chefs go back to their hotel to begin the process of toothlessly teasing each other. Seriously, even the competitive ribbing on this show is WEAK SAUCE. Get some balls, boys. “I can’t wait to beat you (yawn) tomorrow.” Right. Uh oh, HOLD THE PRESSES, Angelo feels sick! He goes to bed. Goodnight, Angelo! I hope you don’t wake up with crippling stomach pains that threaten your ability to compete in the finale.

Uh oh.

Speaking of barf, the whole Angelo being sick storyline makes me want to! He says that he can’t even open his eyes because the pain is so bad…in his stomach? I guess he has a migraine, I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. But everyone is kind of shocked that he can’t pull his shit together since this is, after all, the finale. Good point. Then again, remember how he just got divorced and is already engaged to a Russian mail-order bride? There’s plenty of examples of the ways in which Angelo has trouble getting his shit together. A doctor comes to visit him and is like “you definitely need to roll around in bed and act like a fucking tiny baby bitch for at LEAST 24 hours,” and Angelo is like, “yes, Doctor, right away, Doctor, sorry guys, Doctor’s orders.” Tom tells everyone that Hung is going to be doing all the shopping and all the prep for Angelo by talking to him on the phone, and they will figure out what to do if Angelo is still sick tomorrow tomorrow. Good plan? Definitely makes Angelo’s sickness seem like a real thing if you’re going to just wait until the last minute to have the Doctor reveal that Angelo is well enough to cook. Ugh. I also liked the part when the doctor told Angelo that he could get an antibiotics shot that had a 3% chance of curing him. HAHA. 3%. What IS that? Also, Angelo makes a suspiciously big deal about having to get a shot in his butt. Relax, Angelo. Everyone knows that you are very careful what you put in and around your butt.

REWIND: everyone is shopping. Did you know that the grocery stores in Singapore look exactly like American grocery stores and all the prices are in dollars? The more you know! What a fabulous and exotic land. Elaine is browbeating Ed and pretending like he is in charge. That is bothering Ed, when what should be bothering Ed is that Elaine says stuff like “salt and whatevs.” Salt and whatevs. FOUR STAR MICHELIN STARS EAT HERE. Total pro. Total adult. Meanwhile, Hung is on the phone with Angelo who is apparently knocking at death’s door and yet still has the wherewithal to instruct Hung to begin preparing “duck and foie gras marshmallows.” Haha. Aww. GET WELL SOON, ANGELO!

Shop shop shop. Cook cook cook. Hung and Michael Voltaggio are seriously running laps around these fools. At some point in the episode, Michael Voltaggio makes a joke about how this is the second best food he’s ever seen on Top Chef, which makes me sad. Because the joke is implying that the best food on the show was Voltaggio’s food, which is possibly true, but this food is far from second best. It’s like, what season is this? Season seven? OK, this is like the eighth best food served on Top Chef. Groan snore fart barf (my reaction to the show, not what Angelo is doing at the hospital).

The doctor gives Angelo the go ahead to cook. Really? I mean, I trust the doctor’s judgement, I’m just surprised that Angelo was going to NOT cook if the doctor said not, but now that he says it’s OK, Angelo hops out of bed. What a lying piece of shit. He must have just been in that lucky 3% for whom the anal injection of semen antibiotics is successful! What luck! (3% LOL every time.) He says something about how this is the fall of Ed’s dynasty (?) and that he, Angelo, has regained his satchel of jewels? Or something? It doesn’t make any sense. He’s probably got diarrhea backed up into his brain pan.

Final cook cook cook.

And now the final meal is served. Here are everyone’s final menus:

First Course: Chilled summer corn veloute with fried black cockles.
Second Course: Stuffed rouget, glazed slipper lobster, and cuttlefish with zucchini pesto.
Third Course: Duck two ways: roasted breast & braised stuffed neck with baby spinach.
Fourth Course: Sticky toffee date pudding with fleur de sel creme chantilly.

First Course: Eggplant, zucchini, & pepper terrine, tomatoes, jalapenos, and black garlic puree.
Second Course: Rouget, cuttlefish “noodles,” pork belly, cockles, slipper lobster and cigala.
Third Course: Roasted duck breast with duck dumpling, caramelized bok choy & coriander sauce.
Fourth Course: Frozen “Singapore Sling” with tropical fruits.

First Course: Pickled royale mushrooms, char siu bao pork belly, noodles & watermelon tea.
Second Course: Sauteed rouget & poached cuttlefish with Asian style bouillabaisse.
Third Course: Sauteed duck breast & foie gras with marshmallow & tart cherry shooter.
Fourth Course: “Thai Jewel” — coconut-vanilla cream & crushed ice with exotic fruits.

Ed explains that Angelo’s food could look great, but it could taste like shit. Sure. On the other hand, Ed, your food could look like shit AND taste like shit. Being a top-tier chef includes the ability to present your food well, and you know that. Pack your mouth and shut up. Everything seems pretty good. Mild praise, mild critique, hi Treme’s David Chang!

David Chang Top Chef

And here we are: the final Judges’ Table. It’s anyone’s game. I don’t mean that everyone is equally talented and deserves to win, I mean that no one cares. Seriously, I haven’t watched a reality show finale with so little interest in the outcome since season 2 of Temptation Island. (Dump him, stay together, who cares, you’re all a bunch of assholes, which is why I watched/loved that show in the first place, NOT for to see whether or not you guys can make it work, which you cant. Whoops, back to the show we’re actually talking about…) No one understood why Angelo put the cranberry shooter on the plate. He explains how you were supposed to enjoy the dish. Tom doesn’t think meals should come with so many instructions. I agree. No one understood why Ed served a poo brick for dessert. He says that he wanted to make a lemon curd but he could have messed it up. Wait, HUH? I mean, you could have screwed everything up, Ed (and SPOILER ALERT: you kind of did, basically). Also, he left the dessert entirely in Elaine’s hands. Good thinking? For the finale? To just completely remove yourself from one quarter of your menu? Have you seen Elaine’s hands Ed?

Pro-Tip: never leave anything in Elaine’s hands. Kevin’s appetizer was bland, but not terrible. And his duck was cooked perfectly. And they LOVED his dessert. Uh oh. Oh no. No. Nope. No way. I see what is going on here. Can we just turn the episode off now? No? We can’t? We have to watch because Jigsaw would like to play a game? MINI BEAR-TRAPS ON MY EYES! The judges “deliberate.” The chefs “stew.” But now the judges have come to an “obvious” and “unanimous” winner. And that winner is…

Top Chef Season 7 Final Four

Richard Blais!

Richard Blais

Congratulations Richard Blais! Much deserved! Great season everyone. Not a fucking boring, drama-free, march through the dun-colored wastes of mediocrity with no payoff whatsoever because someone managed to slip quietly through the cracks all the way to the end and then put fruit in a coconut. Totally not THE WORST.