Top Chef Recap

With departure of John Tesar, Top Chef loses only reason to watch

With John Tesar gone, Top Chef loses only reason to watch

John Tesar, Top Chef
Tesar is out. Photo by Paul Cheney/Bravo

All things must come to an end, and for Dallas viewers, the end came on episode 12 of Top Chef, the reality TV show on Bravo. After hanging on through the entire season, our reason for watching, chef John Tesar, was eliminated in the first part of a two-part finale; the show will end next week.

Tesar departed without drama, a quiet capper on an episode — and entire season, for that matter — that felt anticlimactic. This season's cast was congenial and competent — good skills for a chef, not so much for reality TV.

Before Tesar left, the show did its best to orchestrate dissent between him and his helper, Katsuji Tanabe. At one point, they showed Katsuji saying, "F--- you, John." But the two chefs worked together compatibly, doing shots from the sponsoring Patron tequila while collaborating on Tesar's (losing) dish.

The quickfire required the chefs to cook goat in the middle of a giant, empty stadium, none of which made sense. There were countless shots of host Padma Lakshmi's bosoms, heaving through her spaghetti strap camisole. Never have tits become more tiresome as they did on Season 14 of Top Chef. We get it, Padma has an amayzing rack; can someone please hand her a shirt.

Brooke won with goat ribs, which no chef had ever dreamed of doing before. Her reward was the right to choose her backup chef first — she chose Casey Thompson — then partner her competitors with their backup chefs. The ultimate Top Chef soldier, she knew instinctively as if the producers were radioing in her ear to pair Tesar with his nemesis Katsuji; later, she dutifully tried to cast shade on their harmony, but tequila shots.

In the Patron-themed elimination, sponsored by Patron tequila, they had to create a margarita with Patron tequila, and a dish to pair with their Patron margarita. Tesar lost because his straightforward margarita neutralized his chicken soup.

Brooke did two cold, uncooked dishes including an avocado soup. Two cold dishes, what? A tiny nub of drama.

Are you okay with doing two cold dishes?, asked chef judge Richard Blais. Yes, because my dishes are so perfect, she said. Congratulations for standing firm, said judge Tom Colicchio.

She won. Her prize: an insanely expensive bottle of Patron, from which she instantly chugged a sip. "That sip was like $1700," she effused. She'll compete in the final finale against Sheldon and Shirley, and then, thankfully, it will be done.