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Top Chef recap: Drama Clogs the Arteries

A retrospective challenge brought up ten seasons’ worth of drama. Plus, knives!

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Top Chef

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons
Reality TV

We still haven’t gotten the stink of last week’s bizarre shouting match between Micah and insufferable Josie out of our noses. This week, the drama didn’t quite eclipse the food or the challenges, which were pretty delightful, but it was fitting that the episode began with a Quickfire Challenge that had the chef-testants literally sharpening their knives. (Was that too subtle?)

An unassuming silver-haired man who looked like an architect walked into the Top Chef Kitchen. Despite his average dad-like appearance, I found myself immediately intrigued by him — and it was soon clear why: He’s Bob Kramer, one of the country’s 120 master bladesmiths, which is perhaps the sexiest profession one can have. His custom knives sell for $500 … per inch. Even Padma caught a whiff of Bob’s undeniable sexual magnetism, purring, “Bob, why don’t you show us how sharp your knives are?” Bob demonstrated his knives’ cutting prowess, hacking a thick rope with one commanding stroke. “Can I hug you right now?” Sheldon panted. I get it, too — I’m fanning myself as we speak.

Once they stopped drooling over the prospect of winning a $4000 knife, the chefs broke into teams of three for a three-round blade-work challenge. For the first round, they had to whet their blades to a sharp enough point to easily cut through paper. You might think cutting paper with a knife is easy, but the edge needs to be wicked sharp for that to happen, which John was too arrogant to understand. He rushed his teammates Josie and Kristen. Kristen wasn’t ready, but she’s so inherently awesome that her knife cut through the paper like butter. John’s edge broke the paper’s fibers but not smoothly enough for Bob’s liking — don’t you dare question the Master Bladesmith! — but luckily for John, Brooke sucked at sharpening even more, eliminating the Green Team.

NEXT: Purging bad memories, one Healthy Choice meal at a time