Tonight, “Top Chef” gave you Restaurant Wars, and it was definitely emotional. Like we noted before the episode aired, Katsuji and John are two of the most hot-and-cold chefs on the season. If they’re getting along, they’re getting along great and they’re liable to dominate in the kitchen. If they’re not, it’s basically chaos.
At the end of the day, it was chaos at the judges’ table in particular tonight, and we saw Katsuji go home after he took on way too much and ended up taking the fall for it. In his own words, he got a little too cocky for his own good thinking that he could continue to do really well. Given that he was a lightning rod on the show (and very entertaining some of the time), the show will not be the same without him … provided that he is truly gone. This is what “Last Chance Kitchen” is ultimately all about.
The theme for this episode was certainly interesting, mostly because Tom Colicchio really played to Katsuji’s weakness: Editing. They only had five ingredients to work with, and had to make a great dish in a limited period of time. Jamie got to choose the ingredients, which he wisely used as an opportunity to play to his strengths and against Katsuji’s. Watching the chefs prepare and cook this time around was different than most other “Last Chance Kitchen” episodes, mostly because of the fact that it seemed like Katsuji never really got comfortable through almost the entire challenge. Jamie was more in his element, meanwhile, and felt like he had a great idea for his dish well before time started to tick away. It took Katsuji a little longer.
In the end, Jamie won this showdown, and Katsuji is officially out. We figured that he wasn’t going to win, but we’re glad that he made it this far just for the sake of stirring things up this season. As for Jamie, we do hope he makes it back just so that he gets true redemption over the way he went home. Episode Grade: B+.
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