I learned from the TV listing that Restaurant Wars will be men versus women. Do we even need to watch? Clearly women simply can’t work together. We learned that last week when Tanya went home. We were pretty evenly divided over whether Tanya or Claudette should have gone but when Tanya was a bit snippy with the judges, her fate was sealed. Do we really think the group of women will work together well? On the other side, We have the three bears (with Mustache Joe) somehow taking over Brother Luck’s spot. Christopher seems to feel a bit ostracized by the guys and the girls, which is hard to process since he is such a fan favorite. For the ladies restaurant we have Carrie, Fatima, Claudette and Adrienne. Adrienne has been in the bottom two before with Claudette threw her under the bus. So there is bad blood there. I am going to guess Bruce takes lead for the guys. Not sure who will lead the women.
We start with a rehash of the situation between Claudette and Tanya last week. A lot is said about how this is the second time Claudette has thrown someone under the bus at judges table. Claudette says she was simply telling the truth. The other three women seem to be on Tanya’s side.
Brothers Eric and Bruce Bromberg will be the guest judges. They draw knives for Team Captains and Christopher and Carrie pull the captains knives. Carrie picks first. She picks Bruce? WTF the TV listing says is women against men. Christopher picks Mustache Joe. Carrie picks Joseph! Chris picks Fatima. Carrie picks Adrienne and Chris is stuck with Claudette.
Bruce has a cute scene video chatting with Baby Jude.
This year they will have to do nine dishes, three entrees, three apps and three dreaded desserts. That is insane. Then each team gets to pick one eliminated chef to help them Carrie picks Tyler. She did not pick a single female chef until there was no other option to do so. Chef picks Brother Luck (Over Tanya).
The teams have ONE HOUR to spend 4K in Whole Foods. How is that even possible? I keep thinking it is suddenly going to be a last-minute team switch up but that doesn’t seem likely. Eventually I realize that there is an episode called Restaurant Wars every season and I pulled up a different season.
Chris, Mustache Joe, Fatima and Claudette first choose their name, Commonplace and design their food around that. Fatima is not thrilled Claudette is on the team. They are doing an “unexpected” theme whatever that means. Chris choose to expedite. He wants Claudette as the executive chef. Um really? Then again if the kitchen doesn’t do well then Claudette will get the blame. Fatima is FOH so she is only doing one dish,
For the first course, Mustache Joe is making oysters with a pea foam. He is also making chicken purse. Fatima is making a beef tartare. For their second course, Christopher is doing a braised pork with greens, Joe is doing ricotta dumplings and Claudette is doing shrimp and bone marrow. For the third course, Christopher is doing a chocolate and beet donut, and Claudia is doing two dishes, a panna cotta with SKYR and a sundae. Because being executive chef on her team doesn’t take up all of her time, Claudette starts showing her ugly attitude trash talking Adrienne and Carrie in her interviews. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that really happen before on Top Chef. It happens a lot on Project Runway, but not so much on Top Chef were everyone is busy cooking.
Carrie, Bruce, Joseph, and Adrienne name their place Conifer. They think each course should have a vegan option. They going with sort of a Colorado theme. Carrie offers to do FOH but Joseph says he wants to do it. Bruce is going to be executive chef, and Adrienne and Carrie will cook. Since Joesph is FOH he is going to do two raw dishes. Adrienne barely opened her mouth during the planning meeting.
They are focusing dishes that are prep intensive so that basically they can get all the set ups out of the way. For the first course, Joe is doing a Hiramasa crudo, Bruce is doing a pork meatball, and Carrie is doing kale and beet salad. The second course Joe will make a duck dish (wasn’t he doing two raw dishes?) Adrienne will do a Colorado sea bass and Bruce will do a pasta with lamb sausage. For the third course, Bruce is making apple bacon upside down cake. Adrienne is making a toasted white chocolate buttermilk cake and Carrie is making a lemon curd tart. She has some problems with her tart right off the bat. I had forgotten about the altitude issues when it comes to baking.
It’s time to open the doors.
Bruce is being very picky about the plates going out. The judges like the name Conifer as it has Colorado roots. They love the menus. Bruce is in the weeds right off the bat. They have mixed feelings about Joseph’s crudo. The love Carrie’s salad. They really love Bruce’s meatball and polenta. The judges think Joseph is doing well in the front. They loved Joseph’s second course duck entree. Bruce’s pasta dish is a winner. However, in the kitchen they are having an issue with the plates getting too hot. This has dried out Adrienne’s fish dish and made the foam “god awful” according to Tom. For the third course, the love Bruce’s cake but they love Adrienne’s desserts even more.
Over at commonplace, the FOH is a nightmare with poor service. Food is being sent back for being cold on the first entree. There are people waiting a long time to get a table. By the time the judges arrive there is a very long line. Tom doesn’t all the ferns. He thinks it’s very Cheers circa whenever Cheers was on. Padma likes it. One of the guest judges says he thinks the menu is much more ambitious than Conifer’s. They don’t understand the commonplace concept. Bruce notes that Claudette is not tasting food.
For the first course, Tom hates Fatima’s tartare it needs more of everything and the garlic chip is burnt and inedible. They also hate both of Joe’s dishes. This is not a good start at all. For the second course, Padma loves the presentation of Claudette’s dish but she cooked the bone marrow to the point that there is nothing there. While we are seeing that the judges so far hate everything about this restaurant the chefs are acting like they are sending out French Laundry level dishes They are exceedingly pleased because clearly, none of them have tasted any of the dishes. Joe’s dumplings have burnt mushrooms. They like Christopher’s pork and greens but Tom says they have too much salt. Still it is the only thing they have liked so far. They keep saying that they don’t get the concept of the restaurant. Fatima is not getting good reviews for her FOH assignment. For the third course they don’t like anything. They do says Christopher’s donut has a light, fluffy texture, but there is no beet taste coming through at all. Meanwhile, Mustache Joe, Claudette and Christopher continue the high fiving and celebratory behavior in the kitchen. Joe even says it’s not like on some restaurant wars when one team is great and one team fails miserably as the judges talk about how crappy everything is. Claudette is going home. Christopher was smart after all.
This is going to be epic. They let them know Conifer was the winner. They just gushed over everyone. Joe got the win for his FOH skills. I’m not sure if that has ever happened before. They loved that he greeted every table personally and that it was evident he was having a good time. Also both of his dishes were spectacular. I’m worried about Fatima now. In a surprise announcement, each team member get $10,000 for Craftsy who did the interior designs.
Padma tells Commonplace if she was bringing a friend to their restaurant and the friend asked what kind of restaurant it is, she would not know what to say. Tom tells Fatima that he didn’t see her going around to each table. Fatima says she did and she is surprised he didn’t see that. They told Joe all of his dishes were horrible. They tell Claudette that they didn’t like any of her dishes. Claudette admits she didn’t taste everything on the way out. Christopher tries to defend Claudette saying ultimately it was his team. SHUT YOUR BIG MOUTH CHRISTOPHER! Padma asks him if he wants to go home. He says that he doesn’t. He just wants to be real and to own up to it. Then Fatima jumps in to defend Christopher. She says Christopher has a lot of heart and integrity and that is just who he is. All Christopher had to do was keep his mouth shut! They hated his dishes the least.
While the judges deliberate, the chefs head back to the stew room. Carrie tells Christopher that just because he was the one that pulled the knife doesn’t mean he is the one that goes home. Claudette rolls her eyes. Claudette suddenly says she never wanted to be executive chef in the first place, even though she was thrilled to take the spot. I didn’t hear any of the judges bashing Carrie when she opted to let Bruce take the reins. Why would they fault Christopher for the same thing?
The judges eliminate Claudette. She doesn’t hug anyone goodbye. She is the most disruptive chef left and this was the best decision. The other guys come over to hug Christopher who feels bad. Claudette tells us in a talking head that the judges were wrong and she hopes they all go die in a fire. Just kidding she says she hopes they are all kicking themselves in the ass for this. Really? Such attitude and hubris. She says it is really pathetic because she knows that the flavors she is bringing and her story is unique. If Top Chef wants a vanilla Top Chef they are doing a good job. She is such an arrogant asshole. I hope she doesn’t come back from LCK again.