Note: SPOILERS lie ahead for those who have not yet seen last night's 'Restaurant Wars' episode of Bravo's "Top Chef: Seattle."
The signature challenge of the elite cooking competition had some unforeseen surprises, not the least of which was a shocker of an elimination.
Season long frontrunner Kristen Kish was sent packing when her French restaurant theme, 'Atelier Kwan', ended up the big loser in the restaurant challenge. Kish spoke with Entertainment Weekly about her reaction to the elimination.
"I was definitely surprised, but not at the same time. A part of me was expecting it," Kish told EW. "I’m sure I could have said more [to convince the judges] — whether or not it would have changed the result, I’m not sure. It’s kind of that weird gamble. You don’t want to say a lot when you don’t think the fight is going to end well. I think it would have kept going on and on and on, and it wouldn’t have gone anywhere."
Some viewers feel that chef Josie, who has been barely avoiding elimination these past few weeks, may have played something of a saboteur knowing that Kish's restaurant concept made her vulnerable. Kish herself is doubtful, stating, "That’s hard to say. I can go only go off what I saw in the past. I knew she had struggled through the whole season. That being said, I’m not there every single time the judges are at her station or giving her feedback. I had no idea she was that kind of... I had no idea she was struggling that much."
Ultimately, the chef feels the reason behind her elimination lies squarely on her shoulders. "I think my biggest mistake that I made was trying to do too much: trying to see every plate that went out, trying to do everything. Where I work now, I’m used to doing everything from peeling the first carrot to putting on finishing touches before the plate goes out," Kish said. "That being said, there’s usually ten people I’m serving. I think my biggest mistake is not adapting to the volume I needed to produce."
The season hasn't been a total loss, as the competitor racked up the wins and a sizable bank roll in past challenges, money she hopes will fund a future trip to her native Korea. "...it’s definitely in my near future, for sure. I kind of gotta put together a game plan first. So maybe a little bit of that money will go to accelerated advanced Korean language learning thing. Or maybe I’ll just point at things!" she joked.
What did you think of Kristen's elimination last night?