Full disclosure: Top Chef Seattle is driving me a little bit batty this season. I don’t feel as though I’m getting to know several of the contestants — and I know some others too well. We’re barely seeing Bart, Brooke, Eliza, or Chrissy. This episode featured a lot of two cheftestants who could have gone home but didn’t. Given this disconnect, I wish they’d lower the field to 10 from the get-go so that we could really get to know competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and personalities. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox and on to the pertinent points.
1. On last week’s episode, the talented Kuniko went home for undersalting a batch of potatoes. They were more like scalloped potatoes, so it’s not something you can adjust after it’s baked. While Josie of the raw turkey should have gone home, she had immunity, so they sent Kuniko packing. But — rejoice! She is back in Last Chance Kitchen. I’m pulling for you, Kuniko!
2. His fellow cheftestants believe that John Tesar is living up to his reputation as Dallas’s (and now Top Chef’s) most hated chef. He’s got an ego and a lot of opinions as a chef of his age and experience might have, but I think they need to be less sensitive to what he says in the break room. Jeez.
3. Speaking of hating John, in addition to Josh not being a fan, from almost the first frame of last night’s show, CJ makes it clear that he’s gunning for John.
4. His gun must have jammed as John Tesar, and not CJ, walked away with the QFC win — and immunity.
5. Naomi Pomeroy from Beast likes her red meat slightly more well done than you might think.
6. Canlis restaurant, host to the Elimination Challenge, is 62 gorgeous years old. The founder’s grandsons are enthusiastically dedicated to the business, true fans of food, and are, rightfully, very proud of their family’s living culinary legacy. Also, that building is a mid-century dream.
7. One item from 1950 that remains on the Canlis menu to this day is their signature Canlis salad.
8. Expediting is really, really hard, and John Tesar is really, really not that great at it.
9. Almost everyone does a shockingly good job, especially Lizzie, Kristen, Tyler (Redemption!), and Stefan, but Kristen and her perfectly executed veg walk away with the big W.
10. I was a bit surprised that Chrissy went home for the salad, only because she had the toughest task of recreating an actual item still served at Canlis. But they sent her on her way, along with Carla, who probably will not be missed by a few of her castmates, particularly Stefan.
Next week: Another double elimination! Methinks they’re really trying to ratchet up the drama over seasons past.