Top Chef: Back in the Day
January 21, 2016 7:00 PM - Season 13, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Familiar faces abound! Antonia Lofaso returns to Top Chef to judge the quickfire. The chefs look back 10 years with their main dishes and get emotional. Michael Voltaggio walks around the kitchen with Tom and intimidates the contestants with his calm intensity. Mei Lin makes an appearance at the dinner table.
posted by duffell (10 comments total)
First reactions:
  • I. Love. Antonia. She's one of my favorite Top Chef contestants of all time and I was super excited to see her on the show.
  • I was really glad someone had the foresight to grab salt during that quickfire. My wife was on the couch next to me shouting SALT! SAAAAAALT! Thank you, Jeremy!
  • Phillip is a total dickwad. Shut up, dickwad.
  • Great to see another win for Marjorie. I've been to her restaurant in DC and it was damn good.
  • I like Jason, but I am SO RELIEVED Kwame wasn't sent home. Yay Kwame!
Fun facts:
  • Ten years ago this month, the New Horizons spacecraft was launched!
  • Ten years ago today on Metafilter there was a 9/11 truther conspiracy post on the blue with 256 comments. I did not click on it.

posted by duffell at 7:01 PM on January 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mah babies! The 'backstory' is often a tool of audience manipulation on reality TV, but today, everything felt genuine for the chefs. Unfortunately, that meant people got tripped up by their backstories. This is the most scared I've been in any elimination thus far this season. While I'm sad to see Jason go, he wasn't thriving in this environment; I don't think it was for him. I hope he finds what he's looking for.

Okay, that was a little sentimental. On to making fun of people!

Phillip, Phillip, Phillip. I'd like to thank you for making Tom dislike you. This means that you will soon be gone! I say this in the full confidence that Phillip's mouth will continue to write checks that his talent cannot cash. Also, I learned Carl's name today, so that's a thing. Well done, Chef Formerly Known as "the Skinny One!"

Finally: happy to see Marjorie succeed! Now we know she does sweet and savory very well. We have yet to see her serious weakness, so I have high hopes for a Top 5 finish at the very least.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 7:10 PM on January 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Carl is just kinda there. He has no distinguishing characteristics.
posted by Small Dollar at 9:35 PM on January 21, 2016

The way Phillip is trying to adjust for the judges is obviously doomed, but the judges didn't like his food before he did that, so it's not like it really makes a difference, no matter how much Tom or the Voltaggio sniff at it. Sometimes people just don't work on Top Chef.
posted by smackfu at 5:59 AM on January 22, 2016

Angsty Phillip (Mr. "JEEZ, apparently in this cooking competition I'm supposed to be cooking for the JUDGES") is really beginning to remind me of George Lucas and his scoffing about how The Force Awakens is "a movie for the FANS."
posted by duffell at 10:08 AM on January 22, 2016

God, so many burns there between Tom and Phillip. "We just want GOOD food."

Poor Kwame. I didn't realize how young he was; he was talking about being in his first year of high school when everyone else was getting out of the Navy and culinary school. I hope he gets his mojo back.

Good point with... um... what's his face who got immunity and the continual use of raw meat. Crudo... ceviche... tartare... carpaccio...

And yeah, Jason got the "I feel so alone" edit multiple times this season, but he was clearly at a crossroads in his life and I hope he finds what he is looking for. He seems like a good guy.
posted by St. Hubbins at 10:29 AM on January 22, 2016

With all the raw food, I'm surprised people don't get more burned by ingredient quality. Telling a story about how you had the freshest ceviche ever right off the dock in Mexico and then serving fish from Whole Foods could definitely backfire on you.
posted by smackfu at 12:00 PM on January 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

How do you do a show all about 10 years ago, keep talking about the first Top Chef season -- and then not show a clip or two? Bizarre.

I really, really, REALLY thought Kwame was going home. Over and over again Top Chef makes point that judging is about what's on the plate, not about past performance (or lack there of). Every once and a while we'll get judging that stretches claim to the breaking point, and tonight was one of those times. Kwame's dish looked like dog vomit on a plate with some the leftover veggies from dinner that fell on top. Jason's dish, meanwhile, was called a "bit of a let down" and had a "perfectly poached piece of fish." Maybe they edited out everyone oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over the jerk spices, but it sure felt like Kwame slipped by because of what he's done before, not what he served.

And I totally agree with all the props for Marjorie! Total bad ass, and I'd bet on her making the final four.
posted by Frayed Knot at 3:26 PM on January 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Phillip is a total dickwad. Shut up, dickwad.

Phillip is a total dickwad. Shut up, dickwad.

Phillip is a total dickwad. Shut up, dickwad.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:12 PM on January 22, 2016

Carl is just kinda there. He has no distinguishing characteristics.

He has several. None of them are related to cooking, though.

Grrr why isn't the next episode on the website yet
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:21 AM on January 28, 2016

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