'Top Chef': Restaurant Wars
The judges said it was the best Restaurant Wars they've seen in "Top Chef" history, and I have to agree. The pairing of high-caliber talent with the elimination of the chefs (who had to take care of the decor and design of a restaurant as well) really let the contestants showcase what the show is about: cooking.
That rang true until Laureen got the boot. It seemed blatantly obvious to everyone that Jen's two fish dishes and broken sauces were the weakest link. Tom even went so far as to say that her mentor, Eric Ripert, would not be happy with her after that challenge. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to run into him tomorrow at my lunch at Le Bernardin (so excited!). I'd like to ask him how he feels about Jen's fishy missteps, given his perfection of the art of poisson.
Laureen was working the front of the house -- she wasn't even the one to cook the underdone, Jell-O-like lamb dish that got her eliminated. Kevin, the king of everything carnivorous, was the one responsible for cooking the dish. After Laureen was thrown off, Kevin looked as guilty and crestfallen as Balloon Boy. He took the high road though, and opted to plead the 5th when it came to commenting on the situation. Granted, Jen is the stronger chef, but since judging is meant to be on a case-by-case basis, this episode seemed slightly faulty.
After Tom's comment that this was the "best-ever Restaurant Wars" and Toby's hypothetical three stars for Michael V., I have a feeling Michael is going to have a hard time fitting his head into that ugly baseball cap he's always wearing. Even Padma got all giggly when awarding him his 10 grand for the win.
Something tells me all this attention might make him even more overbearing in the kitchen. I guess you don't end up on top by being a softie, though. But on the bright side, at least one of our baseball-cap-wearing Angelenos could pull through in a high-pressure situation last night ...
-- Krista Simmons
Photo credit: NBC UMV