The narrative of “Top Chef: New Orleans” so far has certainly been predictable, mostly because we have really seen the same sort of culinary battles time and time again. You knew going into this week that Carlos Gaytan and Nicholas Elmi just don’t like each other, and it manifested itself again.
Here is the interesting thing about it: We feel like if we were wanting a chef to cook us something random out of a hat, it would be Nicholas. He is extremely talented, and capable of really doing almost anything you want. He’s got the training for it. However, that is not always what “Top Chef” is. He gets completely stressed out, and this week, he seemed to let everything get in his head so much that he forgot to turn down the oven. We don’t believe he was sabotaged, mostly because there would be evidence and no chef would ever put their life in the competition in that sort of jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Carlos found himself at the top of the pecking order this week behind only the on-the-roll Shirley, while Nicholas found himself in the bottom two. Carlos is a great chef at what he does, and he has been lucky that he has been able to cook largely in his Mexican style. Also, he doesn’t get rattled by circumstance in the same way that Nicholas does. The moment that he doesn’t get to cook in his style, he’s toast; but for now, he’s safe.
As for who was ultimately sent home, Nicholas got lucky in that he at least tried something difficult, since Brian Huskey played it safe with a boneless, skinless chicken breast, and was sent home because of it. We actually liked Brian a lot in that he was the chef we would probably want to hang out with the most, but his edit never really suggested that he’d be the winner. Grade: B+.
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