In the preview for this week’s episode, everyone gushed about how it was finally “Restaurant Wars,” and how the reason everyone is here is for “Restaurant Wars” and this week Padma says “It wouldn’t be Top Chef without ‘Restaurant Wars’.” Whatever, nerds. In my opinion, Restaurant Wars has always been the nadir of this show. It’s somehow both hectic and boring, and it never has any real reflection on the talent of any of the chefs to do anything. I suppose the one thing it allows is the elimination of a high-functioning competitor, because those are the ones who always take a lead role in the kitchen, and often fall on their knives at the end of the night. It should be called Ego Wars. At the very least, they have finally stopped making everyone decorate an abandoned garage with scented candles and papasan chairs from Pier 1 Imports and pretending like their ability or inability to distract you from your nightmare surroundings has anything to do with their talents as chefs. “Unfortunately, you picked the font on the menu. Please pack your MacPaint and go.”
More on Restaurant Wars in a moment. But first, the Quickfire Challenge!
The relay race! Another classic Top Chef institution. Although, this one is actually kind of interesting and respectable. The chefs split up into two teams of four and must work together to create a dish, but everyone has to wear a blindfold until it is their turn to cook, and then they have to figure out what the dish is and what their role is in moving the process along. The teams are: Kevin, Kenny, Kelly, and Amanda, VS. Ed, Angelo, Tiffany, and Alex. Alex is not so much picked as forced onto a team. He explains that he doesn’t care whether he is picked first or last, it doesn’t matter to him, which is good, because I bet he gets picked last a lot. Also, saying that it doesn’t matter to you whether you get picked first or last means that you’ve never been picked first, right? Like, ever.
And almost immediately, Alex ruins his team’s dish. Oh, it is a wonderful moment. He is only second in line, so he moves some of the ingredients forward, but also salts the fish. Huh? I mean, the fish isn’t going to be cooked until the last minute, and there are two more chefs in front of you. I’m not very smart, but I feel like even I could figure that one out. When it is Ed’s turn, he doesn’t season the fish, because he’s not a moron. But when it is Angelo’s turn, he does season the fish, BECAUSE HE IS SUPPOSED TO. And now the fish is overseasoned. Good job, Alex. Why don’t you climb into a garbage can and take a nap.
The guest judge for this Quickfire Challenge will be Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Huh? Sometimes the line can be a little blurred, but in this case, I am %100 positive that the person THIRD IN LINE FOR THE PRESIDENCY and one of the most powerful people in AMERICA, has better things to do than judge a Quickfire Challenge on Top Chef. “What’s my schedule look like for Thursday?” “Oh, it’s clear. You’ve got absolutely nothing going on. Don’t even bother coming in. Take a Nancy Day.” Give me a break. Give her EYES a break.
So Team Kevin wins, duh. There is no immunity this week, but the winning team splits $10,000. Amanda could really use the money, because she’s broke, because PILLZ. Padma announces that the Elimination Challenge is Restaurant Wars and people lose their shit.
Guys! It’s just an Elimination Challenge on a reality show. Relax! So the teams remain intact for restaurant wars. Both teams have to prepare a three-course meal with two options for each course, everyone is responsible for a dish, and Frank Bruni will be the guest judge. The guys from Terlato wines show up and say some shit and you’re just like “what? What is going on? Who are these guys? Does this matter at all?” but then they leave and it doesn’t matter, so whatever.
Shop shop shop. Plan plan plan. Cook cook cook. Team Kenny is getting very cocky, and if there’s one thing we know about this show, it is that the people who are edited to be made to look very confident and cocky never veer from this course and always come out on top! Congrats, guys! Meanwhile, Alex can’t do anything, so Angelo doesn’t let him do anything, and then he is relegated to the front of the house, and it turns out that in addition to not being able to cook, he’s also a fucking asshole? Cool. Very cool combination. What a snake face.
Team Angelo calls their “restaurant” EVOO. Yuck. Angelo explains that this has something to do with the subtlety of fine ingredients and the reinvigorating youthfulness of a delicious meal made with only the freshest ingredients or something. This guy knows what he’s talking about:
Team Kenny’s restaurant is 2121. As always, the fatal flaw of Top Chef is that all of the food (well, MOST of the food) looks great, but you can’t taste it, so with something like Restaurant Wars, you start to make judgements on other aspects, like Alex’s stupid face, for example, or the way that Alex keeps saying things like “tonight we have a big cock I MEAN LAMB CHOP.” But the truth is, at the end of the night, it will mostly be about the cooking, with only mild critiques of Alex’s face.
Kelly is the hostess at 2121, and explains that she really doesn’t want to go home for something that she never claimed to be an expert in. Which sort of makes sense for a second, until you remember that NO ONE ON THIS SHOW EVER GOES HOME FOR SOMETHING THEY CLAIMED TO BE AN EXPERT IN. They go home because the ridiculous food they made for a ridiculous challenge was slightly more ridiculous than the ridiculous food everyone else made.
Anyway: surprisingly, or maybe not, who knows, EVOO wins Restaurant Wars. Frank Bruni tells them to their face that he hates the name of their restaurant. How is it even possible that it took until Judges’ Table for someone to say something?! But anyway, they win, Ed wins, he gets a big fucking bottle of wine from Pauly Walnuts or whoever that guy was, and a trip to Wine Country. Congratulations, Ed. You’ve already won more novelty-sized bottles of wine then your stupid dad ever won in his wasted life.
Team 2121 is called onto the mat. They hated Kelly’s corn soup. They hated Kenny’s beet salad. They hated Amanda’s beef. They hated Kenny’s fried goat cheese disc on pile of rhubarb “dessert.” Yikes. They did not like eating this food! In a last ditch attempt, Team 2121 tries to throw Alex under the bus, by explaining that everyone was supposed to be responsible for a dish, but no one likes or trusts Alex, and so his food was actually prepared and cooked by Angelo and Ed, and all he did was yell at the waitstaff and drench himself in flop sweat. The judges seem momentarily concerned about this, but they are not concerned. And then, just like that, Kenny is sent home.
So this show is basically over. A dull season comes to a screeching halt midway through. I guess there’s Ed? But mostly there is just Angelo. Congratulations on being this season’s Top Chef, Angelo. And goodbye, Kenny. If it was possible to miss a contestant on a reality show, I would miss you, but it’s not, so I won’t, but good luck.