Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reactions to Top Chef Seattle Episode 2

On the first real episode of the season (I don't count last week's episode as anything but filler), we start off with two team challenges. In the Quickfire, the chefs must get into teams of three and cook some local Pacific Northwest shellfish for special guest judges Josie Smith-Malave, Stefan Richter, and CJ Jacobsen, all of whom had competed on Top Chef in the past.

Some teams get along better than others, and the team that seems to have the most similar styles and the most respect for each other - the blue team of John, Kuniko, and Sheldon - get the win for their geoduck sashimi. They draw knives to decide which of the three gets immunity, and that goes to the most hated chef in Dallas (as he is sure to remind us repeatedly through the season), John Tesar.

Before the Elimination Challenge begins, there's a twist. A big one.

Suddenly, the former cheftestants are new cheftestants, as Josie, Stefan, and CJ don Top Chef jackets and join the scrum. What the what?

Amid speculation that these three had an unfair advantage, the chefs are told that they will be cooking for Seattle superstar Tom Douglas on the top of the Space Needle. Each team of three - including the newbies - will get 47 minutes to make a dish using ingredients scrounged from the Top Chef pantry.

Two teams work at a time and present their dishes to the judging panel, which includes Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Tom Douglas, and of course Tom and Padma. All the dishes are pretty impressive, but the team win goes once again to the Blue Team of Kuniko, John, and Sheldon. Since it was Kuniko's clever idea to poach their fish in chile oil, she gets the individual win.

Less-impressive dishes were created by the Gray Team and the Team of Old Timers. Stefan had overcooked their quail, and Jeffrey had overcooked his team's cod. It was looking like Stefan would get the boot, but the judges decided that Jeffrey's sin was the more egregious.

So...what did you think of the twist? Is it fair? Please leave a comment.

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kittychatalot said...

I think it is really silly to bring back previous chefs. obviously the show producers felt they needed the guarantee of having people feel invested in the characters to get viewers- sad for the new contestants!

Analía said...

I saw Season 9 a few weeks ago. It was very hard and disappointing to me. Bulling makes me feel very sad, and hurt. So I didnt want to see the new season. But knowing that Stefan is back, change my mood. Despite his arrogance, I love Stefan. I think his knowledge and sense of humor guarantee good times. The new contestants know that anything could happen and this twist should give them more encouragement to reach their goal. Sorry for my English. Congratulations for your work in this blog.