Review: Top Chef - 10.04 - "'50s Food Flashback"

We pick up this week with the chefs still gathered and discussing Kuniko's recent elimination. John Tesar lives up to his reputation as "The Most Hated Chef in Texas," as he clashes with several of his competitors over his lack of tact. Tesar's a great addition to the season so far, bringing some much-needed reality-esque drama to spice up the cooking competition.


The Quickfire Challenge is a beefy one, as the chefs have to butcher a GIGANTIC side of beef and create a dish from the vast amount of material to choose from. We get everything from steak tartare to a braised ribeye and I'm left with a rumble in my gut that only red meat could satisfy. Tesar wins immunity once again, and we get some funny eyerolls from his rivals who were really trying to stick it to him.

We get a blast from the past for our Elimination Challenge, as the chefs are tasked with recreating the original menu of Canlis, a fine-dining staple of Seattle since the 1950s. Some of the chefs embrace the simplification and casting off of modernity in their dishes, including the winner Kristin who basically wins with mushrooms and fried onions. It kind of reinforces the 'less is more' throwback aspect of the challenge, and I'm just happy we get another week of the stunning former model flirting with Stefan.

The fiery Carla gets squab, immediately lamenting it since she can only handle preparation while other chefs work the grill to cook it. With several of her dishes getting sent back by diners, it's hardly a surprise when she gets the boot at the judges' table. It also repeats the pattern set last week with the chef who cooked the best dish in one episode is sent home in the next. Joining her in the double elimination is Chrissy, who attempted to recreate the signature Canlis Salad and seemed to serve up a soggy mess.

The episode does a fine job of blending the typical reality TV melodrama of John Tesar snipping with rivals CJ and Josh with the cooking competition. Another top form episode, and I'm not looking forward to Tesar and Stefan going home.

Final Grade: B+

- Top Chef
- Tom Colicchio
- Padma Lakshmi
- Bravo

Written by: kyleiam
Nov 29th, 2012, 4:24 pm

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