In some ways, we’re still trying to figure out whether or not tonight’s episode of “Top Chef: New Orleans” was actually something that LSU would be proud of. We learned that their university is apparently a good time, but also in the process that they have a very bizarre kitchen that does not have a very large blender, and a tiger mascot that apparently runs amok and tries to harass people. (Of course, this probably was just a random stunt, and we’re sure that there were a ton of students who came out just because they wanted to be on TV.)
But following a pretty entertaining quickfire challenge that was really all about making the best kind of drumstick possible for Questlove of The Roots, we were then taken into LSU in order to see the chefs try to cook for a whopping 500 people. That’s not easy.
But the main event before the judging even took place was Carlos Gaytan throwing Nicholas Elmi under the bus for “stealing” his oven. We don’t really think that he was trying to be a malicious jerk to the other contestants (some people take this stuff too seriously), but the guy gets too frustrated with things and handles it badly. He definitely didn’t make himself likable this week, even if he is a very good chef who was in the top 3. He, Brian Huskey, and Shirley Chung were in the top 3 on the night, with Shirley winning the product-placement Toyota thanks to figuring out how to use a pizza oven for something other than pizza.
As for the bottom three, Nina Compton found herself in real danger for the first time in quite a while, and she was in danger along with Stephanie Cmar and Justin Devillier. Personally, it just felt like it was time for Justin to go back to his Big Easy kitchen. He’s been in danger a lot lately, and it doesn’t take a superstar chef to realize that if you are cooking for college students, you should probably cook something that they are going to like. In the end, we were right, and the right person was sent packing this week. This was still a mostly-entertaining episode, but we would’ve liked a better challenge and a more unpredictable result. Grade: B.