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.

Comments (61)
  1. I don’t know about anyone else, but I just had to go buy a Toyota Sienna after last night’s show for some reason.

  2. I was rooting for Kenny (mainly because I thought he was the only one who could take down Oilface McTempertantrum), but his little rant about Alex made him look totally classless. It left a bad taste in my mouth about Kenny, much like the taste of soapy goat cheese.

    A rare miss, Mr. Beast.

  3. Pelosi fit it into her schedule because she must be fed every 45 minutes… but NEVER after midnight.

    • I read an article once about how Nancy’s staff almost never sees her eat. When they do its in the form of a pint of Edy’s ice cream that she is casually holding as she walks through the door in the morning. The staff is all like, “Nancy, you are like 70 years old and at any moment you could be Prez so why don’t you put down the Edy’s before you get an ice cream headache at 7am.” Then Nancy will oblige and put it in the freezer only to ask where its at a few hours later.

      I don’t know how exaggerated that article was but it makes me question her Top Chef judging credentials and we all know how meticulous Bravo is about who they have on as judges…

      • It makes me question her credentials as an effective policy maker and Speaker of the House, but call me old fashion. Also the way she is holding the fork and putting the food in her mouth creeped me out, but I guess it makes a lot more sense now.

      • It isn’t Edy’s in San Francisco; maybe she’s storing it up because she misses it when she comes back to us.

      • She was really impressed that the chefs cooked angel hair pasta “al dente”. She must be a really bad cook.

  4. The question is what does Pelosi have to do with food, this is a food show right not a politics show, a politics reality show would be so boring

  5. From the screenshot, I was hoping that they had to do all the chopping and cooking blindfolded. I could get interested about this show (I only read these amazing recaps) if it was just these jerks slicing the fingers and leaning on hot stoves.

  6. How about the part when Angelo said something about having too much confidence is never a good thing HAHAHAHAHAHAHA what a stupid asshole.

  7. Losing LOST and GossipGirl in the same span of a few months has really left me in the cold… I don’t watch anything you guys watch anymore. Hey Gabe! You want to start doing recaps of the first season of Damages? I’ll be done with that in 4 episodes! #pleasenospoilerz

  8. “The diners don’t care what happens in the back of the house”

    “Let’s give Kenny some credit for doing a great job in the back of the house”

    I am glad no one listens to her.

  9. True Story (also, I didn’t watch Top Chef last night): I had a dream last night that I went on a road trip with my mom on the back of her motorcycle that she bought in a middle-age freakout, and we stopped to use a bathroom at some nice old lady’s house, and in the backyard there was a beautiful lush everglade landscape with soybeans and corn growing everywhere. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw one of my cats, and then I saw my other cat, and then I was on the phone talking to family and learned that they had ANGELO over for dinner and that the cats must’ve hopped in his car without anyone noticing, and I was like, “ANGELO FROM TOP CHEF?” Then some other stuff about owls and cats and children and death-threats. WEIRD RIGHT?

  10. Let me reiterate:

    Worst season of Top Chef ever.

  11. Congrats Top Chef on choosing winners and losers based on the quality of the food and not on who makes good television and who are compelling people to watch.

    However, I don’t get to eat the food, or even smell the food. I only get to watch your show while eating Kashi crackers, so while I admire your honesty, I have to say, “Ugh, Kenny was the best.”

  12. Yeah, this season of Top Chef is pants. Still rooting for Tiffany though!

    Now who wants to talk about Work of Art? That finale made this soulless robot TEARY-EYED.

    • I think Nicole should have won.

      • For real? Huh. I would have said Perregrine. But who can deny Abdi his happiness?

        • I was amazed Miles did so poorly. I guess he needed Nicole for good art inspiration.

          • I thought Miles’s piece was completely pretentious and kind of incomplete for $5,000 and two months. It didn’t make any sense unless it was explained and it seemed like one piece instead of an actual show. He was almost too arty for this show. I’m glad Abdi won. I mean this is a TV and all.

    • Hahahahaha, Simon had to go to the Midwest! And of course he’d previously visited Minnesota … because he loves Prince!

      ABA (Always Be Amazzzzzzzzing)

    • I thought the WorkoFart finale was a little boring but then again, the finales of these shows (Top Chef, PR) usually are anti-climatic.

      Clearly it was between Abdi and Perregrine as to who should have won. The tough part was that they are such opposites that the judges (and producers) were left with a decision that seemed to place judgement on which type of art they can make more money off of; that was clearly Abdi. His work is very technically proficient and easily consumable. This is not to say it lacks depth or meaning, rather, it is easy to enjoy on a very basic level. On the other hand, Perregrine’s work was more artistic. It existed of and for Perregrine and while I would say it is “better” or possibly “higher” art than Abdi can give us, I don’t disagree that Abdi deserved to win.

      Plus, Perregrine is clearly married to Brian Posehn so she isn’t in need of money.

    • I liked seeing Abdi win because it showed that you don’t always have to be a heartless, calculating, disaster of a human to win a reality show. Abdi seemed universally liked, had a deep respect for his fellow artists, took everyone’s suggestions to heart, loves his mom, and said things like “Shoot!” and “Dang!”

      Also, his childlike sense of wonderment! *insert gif of Abdi dramatically overreacting to a mundane announcement*

    • The unborn fauns made David LaChapelle cry!

    • Though my wife and I disagreed on who did better last night between Abdi and Perregrine, we agreed that they both did really well. Abdi’s paintings were really well done and Perregrine’s fauns and baby heads were really great too, so basically we all won last night. Also, we both liked how nice the last three were to each other. Kindness is cool.

      I was suprised that Miles didn’t do better. It was just sort of “eh”. I thought both Abdi and Perregrin really brought it and though I think both could have done things differently or better, I am happy for all of them.

      Humanity has a fighting chance!

      • Yeah, I would have been fine with either Perregrine or Abdi winning. And I also found it charming that the final three liked each other so much. Miles was a surprise — I had kind of assumed he was going to end up winning the whole thing, but I also always found his work to be cool but lacking emotion.

        Finally, I wish Simon would come to my house and encourage me in my work.

      • A few of Abdi’s pieces were good, but others looked really unfinished and extra trite. I think he won on the basis of LaChappelle’s tears at the sight of a body bag called home.

    • worth noting: Simon de Pury is a Prince fan?

      • Also, recommended reading: write up. the one is sure to be good too when it goes up. These are funny and condescending blogs about art (at least as far as this show is concerned).

  13. So, Abdie?!?

  14. I will miss Kenny, and the entirety of “Work of Art.”

    • I will also miss Jerry Saltz’s recaps on Vulture where he always recounts how embarrassed he is to be on Work of Art and how all his art buddies make fun of him.

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