home Cooking Top Chef: Texas/Vancouver – Ep15 – Top Chef Laff-a-Lympics

Top Chef: Texas/Vancouver – Ep15 – Top Chef Laff-a-Lympics

Seriously, what’s going on with Top Chef? This week’s challenge made the Pee Wee bike race seem like a normal day in the kitchen. In fact, the Pee Wee challenge actually had a kitchen. This week, the chefs barely even saw a kitchen – two of them never did. If the challenges were taking on an Amazing Race feel before, it is full on physical challenge now. In addition, is it me or has the Texas season lasted for about six years now? I mean this is Episode 15! And they implied that we have two more to come…plus a reunion, I am sure.

So, the Final Four leave the 110 degree heat of Texas for the frozen tundra of British Columbia. Of course, there were many weeks in between their appearance in both locations – but not that the show addressed that at all. In fact, I am sure that the late episode niceties between the ladies was directly related to the episodes they saw before the finale. If we can assume that this was no different than any other season, the finale tapes after several episodes have already aired. Sarah and Lindsey of the Corn had to have witnessed some of the bad behavior shown towards Beverly – even if it was only the early battles with Heather. Because I am certain that in the real world, the women all got together quite well – and have implied as much on Twitter. They must have known how badly they were coming across. The last scenes between the women were very nice, and I would like to take that as the lasting memory of the Everybody Hates Beverly vibe that was way to prevelant this season.

One thing that we have guaranteed now – a woman will be cooking for the championship this season. Amazingly, that hasn’t happened since Carla took some poor advice (from another female finalist) and lost the Season 5 crown to Hosea. That said, this is still Qui-Gon’s season to lose, and if the first leg of this week’s challenge was any indication, the man can be thrown off of his game.

I have said it before – I am torn on these bizarre challenges. While it is fun to throw some of these crazy tasks at them, and it makes for some really good TV, it is also difficult to gauge who the is the best chef. Just take the second leg as the perfect example – Qui-Gon’s strength was clearly an advantage as he was able to smash the ice blocks and chip away at them at a faster pace than the two women. It is not going out too far on a limb to say that he had a leg up based solely on the concept. These challenges are straight out of The Amazing Race, or even Survivor. I mean, can you imagine a similar challenge on Project Runway? These fabrics have been frozen in ice…

But the funny thing is, as I sit to write this column, it is really hard to say much about it. Other than the niceties that developed between the women – except for Sarah’s rudely placed tree observation in the car – nothing really happened other than, well, the actual challenges. So, here we go…

It’s the Laff-a-Lympics – or at least the Top Chef Olympics. You see, the finale is in Vancouver, or in this case, Whistler, Canada. If you recall, there was a Winter Olympics there in 2010. The four finalists show up in some nice Bravo-approved winterwear. Sarah sporting a new hairdo, and claiming to have learned much about herself and that she needed to be calm and nice. Yep. Oh, and Qui-Gon had a fun, cool hat. They drive up the mountain to meet Padma and Tom – and I half expect to see James Bond ski by as part of a giant chase scene as he tries to protect some European princess and recover lost microfilm.

These are the culinary games – three legs, the winner of each leg earns a berth in the Final Three and thus not required to cook in subsequent legs, and $10,000 cash money. The first challenge was the goofiest, and in my opinion, the best one of the three, as it actually contained aspects of it that related to being a good chef.