There is nothing that we love more out of New Orleans than beignets and so his week “Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen” decided to completely torment us by giving us a full ten minutes all about them at a time of night when we really don’t need to be eating any sort of fried food.
But what this battle between Louis Maldonado and Stephanie Cmar showed us, perhaps more than any other singular thing, is that these two are both really amazing cooks. Not only that, but this is the best version of the web series to date in that it actually feels like Bravo worked on trying to trick us with the editing. From the moment that Stephanie walked in with Tom Colicchio reminding her about what happened last year with Kristen Kish, who also went home thanks to factors beyond her control, it felt like it was all being set up for Stephanie to have some sort of redemption story. That was only amplified when Emeril Lagasse, who has been at times her nemesis dating all the way back to last season, stopped in.
Then, the competition started, and Louis managed to edge her out. Could this guy really go all of the way now? It’s certainly possible. He has beaten two people now in Carrie and Stephanie who we felt were going to be huge competition for him, and out of the remaining chefs in the competition, we would be worried about a few of them going up against him. We hope that most of the regular viewers on the show are watching this, since the beauty of his story, like Kristen’s last year, comes from seeing how you recover from early disappointment, and really manage to prove yourself in what has to be one of the biggest pressure-cookers ever.
So long as we are continually surprised by what happens in this kitchen, it is hard to be anything other than thrilled. Grade: A-.
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