Top Chef S17 E11 – Champagne Padma and Killer Melissa

This week saw Champagne Padma came out in full force.

Champagne Padma is a queen we do not deserve. When the world is no longer ending, can I fly with you? Please?

Outside of Padma’s drunkenness, In the quickfire challenge, the chef’s had to cook an airplane meal. Melissa won with cold tofu. She’s a wizard. Then in the elimination challenge they had to remake a dish from Michael’s Santa Monica, a famous restaurant known for inventing California Cuisine. Melissa won again with a Quail dish. With that, let’s dive right in!

Knives Packed

Brian Malarkey

Brian Malarkey | Top Chef

A wise man once said:

Courtesy of the Biden Campaign

It is sad to see Malarkey go! After landing in the middle of the quickfire, he got screwed. He got a veal loin/sweetbread dish with truffles. It is not a bad draw but he tried to make it two dishes on one plate. On top of that, his servers brought the food to the wrong table. Malarkey, who always seemed perkier than everyone else, was suddenly flustered.

That led to him losing his cool at judges’ table. He nearly volunteered himself out before Gregory talked him out of it. He knew he was going him, as it would have been unfair to eliminate Gregory because of how good he has been this competition. Since both were basically equally bad, they went with the worst chef, not the worst dish. It is unfortunate but he has been the wild card throughout this competition, so it is not surprising to see him go. It is impressive nearly made it to the finale. Bravo Brian Malarkey, thanks for the fun times.

Power Rankings

5. Stephanie Cmar

Stephanie Cmar | Top Chef

Stephanie had another good week, finishing in the top 2 in the elimination challenge. So why is she so low? This is an incredibly strong group, truly anyone’s game at this point. I have to believe that although she would be the frontrunner in a different season, she is probably the least likely to win.

That being said DO NOT SLEEP ON MY GIRL. She has shown that she has the chops to win. Her take on the asparagus agnolotti with scallops was delightful. This is coming off of her strong showing last week which won her a trip to the olympics.

She also the Champagne Padma quote. That is killer instinct right there! I love Stephanie and will pull for her for fan favorite if she cannot win the competition.

4. Kevin Gillespie

Top Chef's Kevin Gillespie Had Renal Cancer Before Season 17 ...

Kevin was in the top 3 throughout the season before falling on his sword. Getting back through an intense Last Chance Kitchen was impressive. He made a great dish and did what he had to do to move on. I want to put him back a bit just due to his absence from the competition. But again, a strong dish and a strong chef. Should fair well but this is anyone’s ballgame. Even the frontrunners have shown themselves to be vulnerable. This is what Top Chef is all about!

3. Gregory Gourdet

Gregory Gourdet | Top Chef

Gregory was the consensus number one for a bit now. Unfortunately he really dropped the ball this week. If he was in Judges’ Table with any other chef, he might have gone home.

He did not have a tough week last week but he struggled to crack the top for the first time in awhile. He finished in the bottom group for the second straight week. For that reason, he is below daddy Bry.

2. Bryan Voltaggio

TOP CHEF -- "It's Like They Never Left!" Episode 1701 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jennifer Carroll, Melissa King, Joe Sasto, Jamie Lynch, Kevin Gillespie, Bryan Voltaggio -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/Bravo)

Daddy Bry has been on a slow roll this season. But he seems to be finding his groove. Three weeks in a row with one elimination challenge win and one finish in the winner’s circle.

The preview for next week’s episode tried to sell the fact that he would probably be the next to go home. However, knowing what I know now without having watched that, he is a strong chef and heating up at the right time. Daddy Bry might just have a few more tricks up his sleeve.

1. Melissa King

Melissa King | Top Chef

I called her the Ned Stark of the competition. This week, she was unimpeachable. She absolutely killed it in both challenges. What she lacks in competitive fire, she makes up for with pure talent and ease. The coolest customer is moving onto the finale, and is in a great spot to win it all. Just remember to play the game Melissa and this is your season to win!

Fan Favorite Moment

Champagne Padma – Stephanie gets all the credit for coining this.


Until next week!

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