Top Chef: Lucca
June 7, 2020 10:22 AM - Season 17, Episode 12 - Subscribe

The final five travel to Italy, where the chefs must make an aperitivo for 30 locals from the town of Lucca that pairs perfectly with a Peroni beer; then, they hunt the elusive white truffle which they must use in a dish for a Tuscan food festival.

I'm glad that Stephanie outlasted Malarkey, who predicted her early departure, but a dish with an effectively inedible component should have sent her home over Gregory's dish that had the same problem addressing the challenge parameters (overwhelming the truffle) but was reportedly thoroughly delicious.
posted by praemunire (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I really feel for Gregory, since he put details of how bad his back pain was on Instagram (he was even receiving treatment during Italy right before challenges). I expected him to be in top 2 or 3 at least, so unfortunate. :(

Melissa wins again. Admittedly the judges seem to favor congee, but i am HERE FOR IT since like her, I grew up with people saying "your food is weird!" and now it's winning Top Chef because it's _actually delicious_. Fuck yeah. Also I never thought of the relation to risotto to congee until now but it's so brilliant. :D

Also watching Padma break out her Italian is soooo cool!
posted by xtine at 10:31 AM on June 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I can't even imagine pushing through that while bending, turning, lifting, and generally racing around.
posted by praemunire at 11:15 AM on June 7, 2020

Stephanie’s “this is when you should be yelling at the TV” was dead on, and I had Gregory in the final meal as well, but it certainly sounds like he wouldn’t have been at full strength for it so probably better to let others go forward instead. I do feel for “always the bridesmaid” Brian but Melissa followed by Kevin seem like the chefs to beat.
posted by supercres at 12:22 PM on June 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

I thought this was a great episode all around. I was surprised by some of the flavors they were attempting to pair with white truffle though, Gregory specifically seemed to be pulling what Brian often does, and just do his own thing with enough of the hook tied in to be safe.
posted by Carillon at 4:06 PM on June 7, 2020

Sign on if you too have been a gay man placed in a shared bedroom with a lesbian lady because the straight people organizing the event figured "well no hijinks going on in that room" and didn't pay for an extra bedroom. I wish Gregory and Melissa had made a joke about it, that would have at least been funny.

Also sad to see Gregory go, he's been my boyfriend this whole season. But he sure seemed to be having a hard time and his heart wasn't in it. Back pain is fucking terrible and I'm sad to see it in a man who's so relatively young and fit. Bad luck. Also boar with chocolate as a foil for delicate white truffles? Even I know that's a bad idea.

It's remarkable they've fully embraced Tuscany and have a bunch of local Italian fans and food experts speaking Italian to each other. And of course Padma gets to show off yet another world skill, she really is a wellspring of capabilities and talents.

Hoping for Melissa to win, betting on Brian being the dark horse. Can barely stand to watch Kevin on screen although I don't know if that's fair. Stephanie's alright.
posted by Nelson at 5:56 PM on June 7, 2020

Overall really enjoyed this one too. It was obvious that Gregory was in pain throughout – his cadence and pace in the talking head segments was notably different, way less animated. The poor guy.

Also really loved the judges' no-nonsense attitude towards these dishes. It was notably different than TC judges from America! In short, they all messed up.

I'd like Melissa or Stephanie to win. I'm not on Team Kevin, not at all. Melissa's edits are telling a good story going from lack of confidence to a sense of strength that I truly like. Stephanie is getting a similar treatment, with more emphasis on the uncertainty. Feels like Kevin and Brian are hanging back in the mix a bit.
posted by hijinx at 9:54 AM on June 8, 2020

I'm on Melissa to win, but some of the editing in this episode and a few previous ones made me think they are tee-ing up Kevin for the win.

I was really impressed with Gregory's final statement. To paraphrase, "you can't will it into happening." That's so refreshing after hearing 90% of reality TV competitors saying "I think I will win because I want it the most." Kevin had a new twist on it this episode: "It's my responsibility to win."
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:25 AM on June 9, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh, LCK was definitely contrived to back up a Kevin victory. It's rarely felt quite so artificial to me. But I hold out hope for Melissa. Go team Melissa!!!
posted by praemunire at 12:47 PM on June 9, 2020

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