As we move into Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen episode 2, it’s a story of redemption. It’s also a chance to see the veterans continue to battle it out.
Entering the kitchen tonight was Natalie Maronski, an accomplished chef who had a really interesting trajectory this season. She won the first elimination challenge; yet, things really started to fall apart in the second. Her lemon-themed dessert struggled to lift off just because of the fact that she didn’t have enough ingredients — especially lemon. (There is still a part of us that thinks that Eddie should have fallen on his own sword because him spending so much on the lamb.)
Unfortunately for Natalie, she was not in for anywhere close to a cakewalk going into Last Chance Kitchen — after all, she had to face off against Brother Luck, Jim Smith, and Carrie Baird. These are three former contestants who are extremely talented and willing to push the envelope. That was good given that the entire challenge was all about lemons. They had to make a lemon-forward dishes … but only using one lemon. That’s not a whole lot to work with and because of that, it’s likely going to challenge the contestants.
Of the group, everyone had their own idea, but Natalie tried to do something akin to a side dish rather than a main — it was her idea to be able to push the lemon forward a little bit. Meanwhile, Jim and Brother both decided to do something with raw salmon, which was a huge risk given that the similar preparations could cause some problems for them in standing out.
In the end, it was Jim that was eliminated, which makes him the first veteran chef this season to get the boot from the competition. In a way, it’s certainly sad given that he’s a talented guy who loves this show and really wanted to be there until the end. Unfortunately, sometimes things just don’t go quite the way that you want, even if you prepare for this show to the best of your ability.
So as a result of all of this, Natalie becomes the first season 16 contestant to stay alive in Last Chance Kitchen. Yet, she does still need to up her game. Carrie has won the first two showdowns and she’s a serious threat moving forward. Brother, meanwhile, has placed second twice. These two are both extremely talented cooks and we think it’s going to take a Herculean effort for almost anyone out there among the field to topple them.
What do you think about Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen episode 2? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments. (Photo: Bravo.)