Top Chef Season 12 Recap: Who Is the First Finalist?

By Kathleen Villaruben | 3 years ago
Top Chef Season 12 Recap: Who Is the First Finalist?
PHOTOGRAPH: Wikimedia Commons/Bravo Canada |

Get to know the first finalist in the new episode of “Top Chef” Season 12 Episode 11 “Sous Your Daddy,” which aired last Jan. 14, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. on Bravo.

The episode kicks off with Padma introducing the guest judge Ashley Christensen. She announces that there is no quickfire challenge for the week, and nobody is going to be eliminated. The challenge will just identify the first finalist.

The next announcement of Padma is more exciting — a family member will help the chefs cook. The guest cooks are George’s father “Mister Tony,” Gregory’s sister Jessica, Mei’s brother Harley and Melissa’s mother Alice. However, they will only have two hours to complete their entrées and appetizers.

The chefs and their family helpers go to Island Creek Oyster Farm to search for oysters, clams and seaweed. The chefs are making the entrées while the helpers focus on appetizers. The challenging part is the chefs must not physically assist their helpers. The additional challenge proves to be chaotic for everybody because George struggles in coaching his stubborn father, Mei gets impatient with Harley’s clumsiness that leads to burnt mushrooms, Melissa and Alice are stressed with the complicated chawanmushi dish and Gregory forgets his own dish because of novice Jessica.

It is time for the judges Kerry Heffernan, Adam Evans, Rick Moonen, Ashley, Richard, Padma and Tom to taste the dishes. Despite Jessica’s beginner struggles in the kitchen, her tomato-watermelon soup with pickled cucumber and sautéed shrimp receives positive comments from the judges. However, Gregory’s lack of focus on his own halibut with oysters and mussels in a gray dashin dish takes a toll when the judges give tough criticisms about the execution.

Mister Tony’s grilled oysters with razor clams, cucumber, garlic and shallots pleases the judges. Despite some positive comments for George’s butter-poached lobster with brown-butter-roasted sunchokes and vadouvan, Rick thinks it needs more salt.

Harley’s effort in cooking and receiving Mei’s tough coaching pays off when his oyster with soy-yuzu vinaigrette garnished with sea bream and radish puts a smile on the judges’ faces. As usual, Mei’s cooking has an excellent impression on the judges with her surf clam and lobster with a tomato coconut broth.

Alice is an aerospace engineer, but she cooks egg custard with shiitake mushrooms, lobster and clams like a pro. All the judges commend her perfect execution for such a very complicated dish. “Like mother, like daughter” indeed when Melissa amazes the judges with her slow-poached lobster paired with an onion soubise, pea purée, asparagus, fiddlehead ferns, onions, hazelnuts and caramelized sunchokes. Ashley thinks it is the most perfectly cooked lobster. Padma considers the vegetables as the stars of the dish.

In the end, Melissa is the first chef to go to the finals.

Who is the next finalist? Catch the next episode on Jan. 21, 2015.

There you have it for the recap on “Top Chef” Season 12 Episode 11 “Sous Your Daddy,” which aired last Jan. 14, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. on Bravo. For more updates about this show, including spoilers and recaps, follow Movie News Guide (MNG).

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Bravo Canada

About the author

Things I can't get enough of: writing, books, music, social media, reality TV, anti-cliché TV shows, and certified "fresh" movies.