On Wednesday night’s episode of “Top Chef: New Orleans,” we had what can only be described as one of the worst culinary catastrophes that we have ever seen on the show. Basically, we had a showdown between Sara Johannes and Justin Devillier over the way in which their Restaurant Wars kitchen should be handled, and there were so many breakdowns that we had an establishment that was unprofessional, with poor food, and with simple mistakes that any seasoned “Top Chef” viewer would know. (You should always introduce all of the dishes!)
Even after this entire mess went down and Sara found herself eliminated from the competition, she had an opportunity to redeem herself in “Last Chance Kitchen.” The challenge here was, ironically, to use something that she forgot to plate during Restaurant Wars in marscarpone; then, it was about communicating to an instantly-appointed sous chef (Janine for Sara, Jason for Louis) just what else to do during a ten minute break where they had to sit there with a blindfold.
The reason why this was probably the best version of the web series all season long is really pretty simple in that this is the first time that we didn’t feel like the winner was obvious. Typically, the cocky chef is the one who is sent home, and Louis was probably the cockier of the two chefs. Yet, he won with a dish that Tom Colicchio thought was more innovative. This was also probably a nice win for Jason, who really didn’t seem to be as bad of an overall chef as his performance in this competition showed. He fared well in his huge “Last Chance Kitchen” duel, and was really eliminated for just not preparing an outdoor meal to-order.
Can Louis run the table? It’s doubtful, but he has it within him to win a few more battles from here on out if he keeps cooking like this. As for Sara, she can leave with her head held high for at least making a solid polenta that Tom seemed to enjoy. Grade: A-.
Just in case you didn’t catch our take on the actual “Top Chef: New Orleans’ episode that aired tonight, click here to read it in full.