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'Top Chef' recap: You've got to be kidding me

January 17, 2013|By Jenn Harris
  • From left, Kristen Kish and Josie Smith-Malave, contestants on "Top Chef" Season 10.
From left, Kristen Kish and Josie Smith-Malave, contestants on "Top… (Bravo; Jason Kempin / Getty…)

I'm still reeling from Wednesday night's "Top Chef" elimination. I ended up yelling at the TV, cursing the show and nursing a stress tummy ache when it ended. The restaurant wars raged and the wrong chef fell. How is it possible that Kristen "Twiggy" Kish was sent home and bootleg to no end Josie Smith-Malave is still in the competition? Let's take a look at what happened.

Kristen and Sheldon Simeon fought an amazing battle. The two chefs managed to open a working restaurant from scratch in 48 hours. They even had to build their own kitchens! Sheldon went with his Urbano concept with modern Filipino food and a restaurant named after his grandfather and Kristen created Atelier Kwan, a concept based on classic French flavors with a twist. Stefan Richter acted as front-of-the-house man for Sheldon and Brooke Williamson took care of front-of-the-house duties for Kristen.

From the beginning you could pick out the problem child on both teams. Josie was a train wreck from the start, suggesting pre-plating and falling behind on her bouillabaisse stock. Kristen even commented, "I would prefer one of the dishwashers instead of Josie." Stefan's attitude and arrogance came out in full force in the way he condescendingly addressed the wait staff and later the judges. All the hotness he had earned in the previous episodes faded with each shot of him in that horrid blue velvet suit!

The standout dish on Kristen's team was Elizabeth Binder's charcuterie rabbit soup, and Sheldon wowed with his miki prawns and fresh tapioca pasta and adobo pork belly. Sheldon ended up winning  the war and a brand new Toyota Avalon, but the judges had a hell of a time deciding which was worse, Stefan's poor service or Josie's dry, flat bouillabaisse. Clearly they made the right decision keeping Stefan, who although arrogant at times is clearly talented and hard to hate.

I was in utter agony watching the judges decide whether Kristen or Josie should go home. Sure Kristen was the executive chef, but Josie's poor time management was clearly the reason that bouillabaisse stock failed. While the judges debated, all I could think was if I had to hear Josie's laugh or see an ugly headband with her name on it in one more episode I was going scream. And what does Kristen do? After Josie throws her under the bus, instead of stooping to her level, Kristen retains her class and takes responsibility for her team's failure and is sent home. No! Devastation! Wait! No! I have to mentally brace myself for another episode with Josie.

Worst moments:

Watching Josie royally screw up her dish then make excuses with "Patience, I don't rush things, that's not how I cook." Look, lazy, this is a competition with a time component, so you need to get your act together. Kristen couldn't put her gelatin in the stock because you didn't finish it on time!

Stefan excusing his poor service with "I'm a chef and not a server." Obviously dude, but you need to burn that attitude.

Judges Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons arguing over who should go home. Gail rightfully brought up how Josie seems to skate by every episode on someone else's failure while Padma argued that it was Kristen's team and she should have been on Josie about her stock. Really Padma? If Stefan was the problem on Sheldon's team, and Kristen won, would you have sent Sheldon home because everything was supposed to be under his supervision? How was Kristen supposed to physically make Josie go any faster? So over you right now, Padma.


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