‘Top Chef: Seattle’ review: Restaurant wars with a twist

Top Chef: SeattleRestaurant wars is in some ways an acquired taste on “Top Chef.” At first, we actually did not really care for this episode every year because it often caused so much compromise between the chefs that it was hard to really differentiate who did what, and who actually deserved to go home. However, this week we actually had the best twist to this challenge ever on the show, and while we’re starting to get a little distressed about the returning player dilemma with only seven contestants left in the game, the stage is set next week for an awesome clash of the titans as two restaurants face off.

We can’t completely forget about this week’s quickfire challenge since Brooke won it and has immunity, but it was a boring idea that screamed of desperate product placement for Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Moving on….

The challenge this week was to create a concept and a sample dish from your menu, and then the two top dishes would be the captains and the “owners” of the restaurants to compete next week during the actual competition. What was very interesting about this was seeing just how much creative vision some of these chefs really had. For a number of them, they saw this as an opportunity to really just touch back in with their roots, as Sheldon (Filipino cuisine), Josh (meat and potatoes), and Josie (Cuban) all went this route. Meanwhile, there were some other chefs that really got creative with this. Stefon tried out a German / That “fusion” that really didn’t have much German in it, and Brooke’s attempt to roughen up Jewish food was actually our favorite concept of the entire episode (even if the food was not as impressive).

In the end, we were left with two restaurants that will be facing off next week:

-Sheldon, who has quite a challenge in teaching Josh and Stefon how to make food that is from a different part of the word than them.

-Kristen, who has accumulated so much money this season already ($45,000) that even if she does lose with her classic French restaurant (which is formal and thus different than any other concept), she will be fine. Her team consists of Josie, Brooke, and Lizzie.

As for who is missing here, it’s Micah. The judges for whatever reason seemed to think that he was just some hipster flying by the seat of his pants when he wanted to make a raw food restaurant, and while we probably would have sent Josie home instead for being consistently weak lately, his decision to slice his raw fish the night before was a major “Top Chef” no-no.

Now, let’s touch back on the returning player problem. We have two people in Stefan and Josie who have been here before, and CJ is still mowing down people in “Last Chance Kitchen.” If he does beat Micah, then this creates an even greater possibility that he’ll be back in the competition. (We’ll have more on that soon.) We just would prefer so much having new chefs all at this stage since this is not an all-star kitchen, especially since it almost feels like these returning players now are hanging on for dear life. We’d be shocked if the final three is anyone other than Brooke, Kristen, and Sheldon, and we could actually see both Josh and Lizzie making it further than either Josie or Stefan (who we do admittedly love still for entertainment alone).

Do you think that the judges sent the right person home this week? We want to hear some of your thoughts below!

Photo: Bravo

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