‘Top Chef: Charleston’ episode 9 review: Childhood memories — plus erasing bad ones

Top Chef -Last week, “Top Chef: Charleston” had an epic elimination for the ages as John Tesar and Katsuji Tanabe going head to head following a contentious Restaurant Wars.

With that, the latest edition of the show on Thursday night was really more about John trying to put his best foot forward for an Elimination Challenge themed around adding a twist to some old childhood memories. It seemed like he did that, but he was far from the only person who succeeded.

There was so much to love about what we ended up seeing in this challenge, given that so many of the chefs made the food that we would love to eat at a party — provided that we did not have to pay $500 in order to do it. Sylva won for his take on a beef patty that was turned into a lollipop. We’ve got a soft spot in our heart for this food, and looked delicious. The same goes for Brooke and Sheldon’s dishes, and they were also in the top.

Everything from the challenge to the dishes by and large were fun to watch this week. The one part of the story that started to slip ever so slightly was when we got to the end result.

Unfortunately, there was just something about the edit tonight that made us think that Emily was going to be going home. Maybe it was that she had struggled at various times with confidence and she’d been in the bottom before; or, maybe it was because they weren’t showing her struggle as much in the “coming up” previews, but we knew that she was having some issues getting her cake together. For the record, this is the sort of stuff that we would’ve eaten in a heartbeat — we love desserts, and anything that has chocolate thrown in there. Unfortunately, we’re not a judge on this show. We expected her to go home sooner rather than later, but at the same time we were rather sad that it was now given that she was such an underdog — there aren’t exactly many newbies left at this stage. As a matter of fact, Syvla is now the only one.

Taking a step back – We don’t want to completely ignore the Quickfire Challenge, even if Brooke’s win in it was fairly inconsequential since there was no immunity and her prize effectively was just winning wine. Still, the palette test portion of it proved to be rather entertaining, and this reminded us a lot of some of the challenges of this variety we tend to get on “Hell’s Kitchen.” It’s really one of the only challenges on that show that are still worth watching.

Overall – This episode was a hoot, and one that brought lots of good stuff to the table in between creativity, comedy, and really tasty-looking food. It’s too bad that the predictable end of it takes away from the fun slightly. Grade: B.

What do you think about tonight’s “Top Chef” episode, and do you think the right person went home? Share in the comments, and head over here for some other news, including the latest results from “Last Chance Kitchen.” (Photo: Bravo.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!