Review: Top Chef - 10.10 - "Battle Before the War"

Last week's "Top Chef" was a bit of a shocker, as John Tesar and his hipster glasses got the boot to Second Chance Kitchen purgatory. Needless to say, the other chefs don't seem to miss him or his attitude. I miss you, John. You brought the drama -- all the cooking and intricate foods is just part of the appeal of "Top Chef," and now it looks like we'll have to depend on ol' Stefan for all the smarmy drama.

Top Chef

The Quickfire is a bit of a bore -- cook something highlighting ginger in fifteen minutes. Snooze. You would think they could come up with a more interesting challenge for a guest judge like Wolfgang Puck. Nevertheless, Brooke takes the win and immunity.

Many fans of "Top Chef" point to the Restaurant Wars episodes as highlights of their respective seasons. Competitors split into two teams and essentially design a restaurant for one night: they pick it's theme, it's dishes, and it's decor. Something about the hustle and bustle of the active restaurant atmosphere and the chefs working under pressure for not only great dishes but great service seems to ignite a certain level of drama that's missing from other episodes.

Which is why I was excited to see that with this season, the Restaurant Wars theme is played out over two episodes. The goal for the Elimination Challenge this week is essentially for each competitor to sell his/her restaurant concept with that restaurant's signature dish, with the two winners in turn getting their restaurant vision brought to life next week. Once again Josie falls behind when it comes to service time and tries (and fails) to charm her way out. Long waits and restaurants don't tend to go together well. Ultimately, Micah goes home with a pretty lazy "Raw" concept that consisted of sashimi and some seasoning. Thankfully this means I no longer have to hear him talk about making his dishes "sing", "pop", "sizzle", or some other onomotopeia-like phrase. 

Kristen and Sheldon will both get to bring their restaurant concept to life next week. There was a nice dichotomy between the two: Sheldon's concept was pretty rustic and homey, while Kristen's French cuisine and concept was more formal. Something tells me we'll actually see some very different, very unique presentations.

Final Grade: B

- Top Chef
- Padma Lakshmi
- Tom Colicchio
- Wolfgang Puck
- Bravo

Written by: kyleiam
Jan 10th, 2013, 9:36 am

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