Tonight on “Top Chef: New Orleans,” we basically saw an elimination that was quite a while in the making. Justin Devillier had struggled for a few weeks straight, and he went into this college cook-off using the weird assumption that for whatever reason, college kids really wanted to chow down on food that was for much more sophisticated palettes. This led to him heading over to “Last Chance Kitchen,” where he engaged in a showdown with Louis Maldonado, who has really torn through the competition like nobody’s business so far.
This was our favorite battle of the entire season so far, mostly because we personally found the theme of it to be pretty awesome. Basically, Tom Colicchio turned the tables on Louis and Justin, and forced the two of them to cook food from the other chef’s region. It was slightly slanted still in favor of Justin given that he grew up in California (where Louis is from), but still, this was a cool idea to not make this constantly all about New Orleans, all the time.
We weren’t there to taste the food, so we have to go mostly on our own personal taste when looking at the dishes. Louis to us had the prettier of the two, and it was probably the one that we would much rather eat (in part just because we are not too big of a fan of sardines, which was the star protein for Justin). Both received great reviews from Tom, but Louis stays alive yet again after Justin got a critique that the sardine was a little dry.
In critiquing this episode much like Tom does some of the food on the show, we would say that while we really enjoyed it, there was a tiny flaw in that Justin’s exit was so predictable. It once again validated the theory of “the cockiest chef goes home,” and the one being portrayed as the most likable stays around. Grade: A-.
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