‘Top Chef: Seattle’ review: Highs and lows

Top Chef: SeattleWhile there were some great moments in Wednesday night’s new episode of “Top Chef: Seattle,” did anyone else feel as though it put out the worst overall product of the season? We’re not enormous fans of challenges where the chefs are really just recreating another chef’s menu, largely because it is so hard to see not only the creativity, but feel the excitement that so many of the judges are feeling when tasting some of these dishes.

The quickfire won by John (who is living up at times to his “Most Hated” moniker) was really the highlight of the episode, mostly in that we had the opportunity to see how all of the chefs would individually tackle creating a beef dish using whatever they could from a whole side. It’s always fascinating to see how different backgrounds and cultures impact what each chefs wants to do given a limited amount of time, and this to us is a greater representation of what a true top chef should be.

As for recreating a classic menu from 1950, that’s a little hit or miss. The food wasn’t so outlandishly dated that it was cool, especially when some of the weaker dishes were really such familiar things as French onion soup or a salad that just had too much dressing on it. The eliminations in both Carla and Chrissy were each hardly surprising in their own right. In the case of the former, we had a chef who really just struggled to both cut and prepare squab correctly (though the customers complaining about her meet being a bit too rare may have actually screwed her). Meanwhile, the latter simply failed to impress with the aforementioned salad.

Now, we turn to the part of this episode that truly irked us: the revelation that the “Last Chance Kitchen” is not only back, but that the winner goes straight through to the finale. We’re a big believer that once you lose on a show, you love, and you should not have to have a finalist whose story is largely dependent on a web show. How this was handled last year was perfect in that Beverly still had to come back and prove herself in the actual competition, rather than just making it to the last episode.

What did you think about this episode, and do you think that we are making too big of a deal out of a few concerns? We want to hear some of your thoughts below!

Photo: Bravo

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