‘Top Chef: California’ episode 6 review: Trouble brews in San Diego

Isaac -

A terribly sad thing happened on Thursday night’s new episode of “Top Chef“: We risked losing someone as glorious as Isaac from the season. After coining the episode title in “Bananaise,” he almost went home after his challenge pairing a dish with a specialty craft beer went south.

As much as we love Isaac and would eat his Cajun-style cuisine any day of the week, this episode still produced a sad result in the end: The exit of Wesley, one of the bigger characters this season who was often either really good, really messy, or both. He overcooked his lamb, knew it, but did so at a point where there was nothing that he could do about it. The reality of “Top Chef” is that with a few exceptions (Richard Blais being one of them), the winners are not always the people with the biggest personalities. As a matter of fact, many of them are a little quieter and more focused on delivering food than making the best TV. Look at Paul, Mei, or Kevin for some evidence of that. Many of these people are still likable, but they don’t bring a lot of drama or confessionals.

We’re feeling that way about many of the top contenders this season, as well. Kwame seems like the nicest guy ever and has done very well, and Karen started to make herself into a contender by winning the craft beer challenge, as well. This was one that was mostly interesting in that it forced chefs to use some ingredients they are not that comfortable with, and some of them were super-strange to begin with. An interesting developing story here is that of Phillip, who seemed to recover nicely from the huge gut-check to his ego last week, but not so much as to think he deserved anything less than first in the Sudden Death Quickfire.

Now, we should mention the elimination of Angelina from that. It was somewhat expected, even though pretty terrible in that Wesley beat her out after she failed to even serve her fish tacos to the judges. She’s got some talent, but really feels like someone better suited for “Top Chef” season 15 when she’s got more experience under her belt.

In the end, this episode was fun! While we don’t necessarily think it goes down as a classic, at least we’ve now seen Isaac go bananas over bananas alongside a dozen or so ways to make a fish taco. Grade: B+.

We’ll have our review of the latest “Last Chance Kitchen” episode up tomorrow over at the link here! Also, sign up right now to secure some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Bravo.)

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