Top Chef: Finale
March 17, 2016 6:59 PM - Season 13, Episode 15 - Subscribe

To kick things off in the finale, Tom Colicchio shows off his cooking chops (just because he can). Then, the cheftestants' mentors show up to assist them in the final challenge: a four-course meal with a different key ingredient highlighted in each course. Familiar faces from earlier in the season return to pitch in as well.
posted by duffell (16 comments total)
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posted by duffell at 6:59 PM on March 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Ugh. Boo.
posted by Burn.Don't.Freeze at 7:42 PM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I sure hope Jeremy uses his winnings to open a rooftop brewpub with tacos and Hooters waitresses and risotto made with water.
posted by one_bean at 10:03 PM on March 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

I don't get all the Jeremy hate.

He won the first challenge, hugely common among winners, and in the early going (through Restaurant Wars) he had 2 wins and 2 'tops', more than anyone else except Amar. He didn't do as well later in the season, it's true. But he didn't play it safe, and he sure as hell didn't coast in. He's no 'Josea'.

Is it just the Bro thing people object to?

To be clear, I would have rather seen Amar win. But Jeremy deserved it, and fought hard for it
posted by Frayed Knot at 10:07 PM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's not just the bro thing for me. I really didn't like the moment when he said that he teaches his daughter that second place is first loser. Or when his daughter said over the phone that she did something at school well and he said it was because he made her read all those books over the summer. And even in this episode, he said something about how he wanted to win Top Chef to show his daughter why he had to miss her birthday parties. Those comments all skeeved me out.
posted by joan cusack the second at 10:37 PM on March 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

I thought it was interesting and ultimately telling how Amar's mentor seemed so uncomfortable and choosing his words very carefully. And, of course, calling him an asshole. I dunno. I didn't really like either of these guys - team Marjorie!
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:34 AM on March 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

I don't hate Jeremy, he was just my least favorite of the final 4 people. I think if Amar had listened to Marjorie he might have won. She suggested that the cake was kind of a hybrid cake, and if he had just described his cake differently, his dessert would have been perceived as much more successful.

I was also extremely surprised that Charlie Palmer would agree to come and help Amar given that his current feelings about him were clearly very mixed. I thought it was amazing to see that kind of candor.
posted by bove at 10:00 AM on March 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I speculate that Amar might have won if he had showcased his classical skills and relied less on his cultural heritage. Easy on the coconut, Chef.
On the surface, it looks like the judges valued style and technique.
This show is my guilty pleasure and I really enjoyed this season. Diverse characters and a focus on cooking, no bullshit challenges.
It would be fun to watch a documentary on past Top Chefs and what happened to them after the competition.
posted by Jode at 11:58 AM on March 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

As with many 'contestant reality' shows, I found the finale disappointing compared with the previous episodes. I'd have preferred Amar to win, purely because I found him less objectionable than Jeremy. I didn't particularly warm to either of them and wasn't blown away by what they cooked for the meal.

I really wanted an Isaac/Marjorie finale, but that's the way it goes. At least Isaac won fan favourite.
posted by essexjan at 12:32 PM on March 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh boy, did I ever feel for Amar when he revealed that he had a bad history with Charlie Palmer. When Jeremy was explaining his courses to his team, he spoke directly to Jean-Georges the whole time; when Amar was explaining his courses, he was visibly afraid to look over at Charlie even once. Charlie talking about Amar being an asshole is the first time I've thought that Amar might have that kind of side to him. Maybe he does, but I don't know... Charlie seems prickly. Everyone has at least one bad boss or prof or authority figure in their past that they'd never like to see again. Someone who still causes the occasional nightmare. Imagine if whoever that person is for you showed up in the middle of huge public challenge you were taking part in. Ugh. I wonder if Tom or Padma or very many others knew about the bad blood? It seems like something Amar might have been hiding, getting benefits from the association without revealing the breakup.

The ebulliant respect between Jean-Georges and Jeremy endeared Jeremy to me. Jeremy's pretty clearly the dumbest Top Chef we've had yet, but I also think he's kind of a sweet guy. He's just a big dumb dog crammed into a human-shaped sausage casing. He's obviously incredibly talented. Those pillowed potatoes a couple of episodes back were especially neat. I think he rightfully won the season.

I liked that Tom cooked for once (wearing his glasses!). Tom has said in interviews that this is the season that might have had the best food, and I think it looked that way. Any of the final six chefs could have won... they were all great. And they all respected one another. The season was full of positivity once Phillip left and they had no one to pile on.

Tom's also said that he imagines they could keep going until they hit Top Chef 20. I hope that happens and that they don't recast anyone: I'd really like to see a judges' table with only people between 50 and 70. It struck me when watching the restaurant scenes in this episode that this is one of the few shows on TV in which age is celebrated. Age equals talent and experience; older people are looked up to and feel distinguished. (And everyone at the judges' table feels older than they actually are, except for Richard, who decided to dress like Richie Rich.)

It's interesting that Angelina kept getting chosen for sous-chef duties over every other chef. The show didn't really make her out to be unbelievable at prep, but all the chefs clearly think that she is.
posted by painquale at 2:29 PM on March 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

I also was bummed about Jeremy. I just thought that Amar really showcased himself and his heritage with bright flavorful dishes. That felt like he was telling a better story than Jeremy, who had ingenuity and technical chops but no heart in his cooking.

Nonetheless, I really respect the show and the amazing talents who come on and act as supports and judges. Because of my trust in them, I ultimately feel that they call them as they see (and taste!) them, as opposed to so many other reality shows that seem so rigged.

Does anyone know anything about the Top Chef Mexico show they ran some plugs for?
posted by jasper411 at 9:41 PM on March 18, 2016

Top Chef México
posted by heyho at 8:36 AM on March 19, 2016

If anyone hasn't heard, they just announced Charleston SC as the location for the next season.
posted by Clustercuss at 10:18 AM on March 19, 2016

Charleston! Huh. My wife and I were saying the other day that it's weird that they've only had one season of Top Chef in the American South: New Orleans (unless you count Miami or DC, neither of which is really "the South"...of course, you could argue New Orleans is really a separate culture too, but it's undeniably in the Southern milieu).

Anyway, we were sure they'd do a season in Atlanta in the next year or two--but okay, Charleston, sure.
posted by duffell at 11:36 AM on March 19, 2016

They're gonna run out of culinary hotspots at some point. I'm looking forward to Top Chef: Newark.
posted by painquale at 12:40 PM on March 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I wonder who Marjorie's mentor would have been? According to her bio she worked with some pretty big names like Thomas Keller, Jose Andres and Marcus Samuelsson, but not sure who gave her the first job.

I guess Isaac's would have been Emeril, and then he wouldn't have been a judge.
posted by smackfu at 9:30 AM on April 4, 2016

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