‘Top Chef: Seattle’ review: One awkward Thanksgiving

Top Chef: SeattleSomehow, we have a feeling that there was a pretty funny inside joke going on when “Top Chef: Seattle” was filming a few months back. Why? We were basically watching people cook a Thanksgiving dinner while they were still enjoying the summer sun. We certainly understand Andy Cohen wanting to make this episode feel like it was in the holiday spirit, but it was a little ridiculous watching Padma Lakshmi say “Happy Thanksgiving” knowing full well that they hadn’t even arrived at Halloween.

This episode was notable for a number of reasons, from a great Quickfire won by Josie (which involved each chef having to cook a dumpling from a given part of the world … with some annoying product placement to boot) to the continued effort to show us some great characters in Stefan 2.0, Carla the loudest chef of all time, and the overall likable dude known as Sheldon. We also had quite possibly one of the saddest eliminations we’ve seen in ten seasons so early on the show.

The Thanksgiving challenge was basically structured so that each team was working under a chef (in Tom and Emeril), but they were given enough freedom to make their dish something that still had some essence of creativity to it. For Kuniko Yagi, she made her mission trying to perfect her dish, but while at the same time helping others. This mistake cost her, and eventually hurt her so badly that the mild-mannered and super-sweet chef was sent home despite winning two challenges last week. Her potatoes just weren’t cooked, and it was obvious from the moment that they were sent out from Emeril’s team that she would be packing her knives and going despite wanting to be there so badly.

However, this elimination also once again showed us how important winning the Quickfire really is, even if the challenge simultaneously ticks us off. Josie had no business whatsoever sticking around after violating Thanksgiving Rule #1 in not cooking her turkey properly, and the outside was dark while the inside was raw. Even worse, she seemed completely oblivious to it during the judges’ panel. This is the second straight week that this returning player has lucked out, and she has to be thanking her lucky stars right now that she’s not making an embarrassing early exit.

Are you as sad as we are to see Kuniko go, and who do you think was the rudest this episode: John for insulting her potato technique after she was eliminated, or Stefan for some of his behavior towards Carla and also women in general? If you want to read some more “Top Chef” news, you can do so over at the link here.

Photo: Bravo

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