Top Chef: Parma
June 11, 2020 9:41 PM - Season 17, Episode 13 - Subscribe

The chefs are treated to a culinary dream trip to Parma, the legendary home of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Prosciutto di Parma ham; the chefs must feature the ingredients in two courses and serve their dishes to a table of 16 Michelin stars.

An entirely correct and gratifying resolution.
posted by praemunire (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Completely the right result.

I've been trying for weeks to put my finger on what's been wrong with Bryan's food and the Italian chefs at the table spotted it straight away - the food is technically adroit, but lacks passion or soul. The two chefs who were top this week cooked from the heart, and it showed on the plate.

I really enjoyed seeing the chefs shopping for ingredients at local markets. I wish there was more of this, although I'm sure Whole Foods provides a chunk of the show's budget.
posted by essexjan at 9:05 AM on June 12, 2020 [4 favorites]

Also, I hope Bryan doesn't take this as a last-minute wake-up call and decide to put his heart and soul into his finale dishes, thus depriving a more deserving contestant of the win.
posted by essexjan at 9:06 AM on June 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

One more thing, Kevin must have said "cut the cheese" about ten times and sniggered every time. It cheered me no end that nobody else took the bait and that they all acted as if he'd said nothing.
posted by essexjan at 10:11 AM on June 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, I hope Bryan doesn't take this as a last-minute wake-up call and decide to put his heart and soul into his finale dishes, thus depriving a more deserving contestant of the win.

This feels like a weird take, hoping that he won't take the judges' critiques, especially after that wrecking ball of Padma relaying what a table full of Italian chefs said about his dish. I don't think he'd be able to pivot his style so completely and quickly (and convincingly) but it would speak to his skill if he did, if he married technical precision with emotion and creativity.

That said, Melissa and Stephanie seem to be much more at the stages of their careers to really capitalize on the prize and transform the food landscape with it. For Bryan, (a) it's his third go, and (b) it feels more like a feather in his cap. If that's what's behind "deserving" I guess I agree with the sentiment, but I don't get the impression that factors into judging the way it does on, e.g., Project Runway.

Unrelatedly, Jesus fuck the clip of Malarkey in the car with Stephanie calling her the dark horse. What did the power ranking he outlined look like again?
posted by supercres at 11:24 AM on June 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

(My prediction for the finale is that Bryan tries to cook with his heart, at least talks a lot about it in the interview segments, but it doesn't pan out super well.)
posted by supercres at 11:26 AM on June 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm recalling Hung from a few years ago who cooked like a machine, turning out technically perfect but sterile dishes, but in the finale came out with some bullshit story about his family which was enough to get him the win.
posted by essexjan at 2:25 PM on June 12, 2020

Talk about two amazing ingredients, I was so happy to even be along as they went to the producers, I can only imagine how cool it was in person.
posted by Carillon at 5:57 PM on June 12, 2020

Great and enjoyable ep and happy with the results. I will cease my “Don’t want Kevin to win” campaign now. (But man, that whole “I have a responsibility to win Top Chef” thing, just ugh.)

The food from both Stephanie and Melissa looked incredible. The comments about Bryan’s work not having soul? Painful.

Mostly seeing this as Melissa’s to lose. But would be super pleased with Stephanie winning.
posted by hijinx at 9:50 PM on June 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

Bryan reaaaally took that comment hard, and yeah I can see it being a very painful thing to hear.
posted by Carillon at 11:56 PM on June 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Assuming that no one makes technical mistakes, there is no way Bryan could beat Melissa. She will try something new and surprise the judges, and he won't. Stephanie has been more variable, so her performance will probably depend how much into her own head she gets.

With the exception of the double pork dish, everything in this episode looked amazing. I was gasping as the food was brought out.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:27 PM on June 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I loved this episode. I felt like the Italian chefs were calling out things that have been obvious to the viewers all season but never echoed at judge’s table, especially about Kevin, who’s gotten so caught up in his persona and ego. I’m glad to see him go (again).
posted by sallybrown at 6:24 PM on June 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

As a result of this episode, I've started calling him Bryan "No Soul" Voltaggio, so we'll see if he can tie a yellow ribbon 'round the finale...
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:02 AM on June 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

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