Now, let's get into the episode. For the Quickfire Challenge, the chefs had to go head-to-head and create dishes from items in boxes. Suvir Saran cracked me up with his comment about the Quickfire, and about his looks. I have a feeling he'll have some awesome quotes as the season progresses (I honestly don't know, but that's the impression I get!) All the combinations were fairly odd, and I got a good chuckle out of one of the chefs saying he hated Marmite. The conspiracy theorist in me thought, "Did you tell the producers that?!" Anyway, a bunch of chefs didn't plate their dishes, which probably served as a wakeup call for everyone! The other chefs did the best they could, with Traci Des Jardins taking the win with her two salads.
Then, Curtis drops the bomb that the first challenge is Restaurant Wars. Uh, what?! This challenge is always dubbed the most anticipated, yet feared challenge of hte entire season, so to start the season with it seems, well, insane. And since all of these chefs either run their own kitchens or own their own restaurants, there are a lot of egos to manage. I have to say I was fairly impressed with how respectful everyone was. It truly shows their level of professionalism, something we don't always see on Top Chef proper. Hugh made a comment that he was a "white swan." I'm starting to think they all are.
Although they probably had the best front-of-house experience, Mosaic, led by Traci, ended up on the bottom, but many of the dishes were well-received. George Mendes', particularly, caught my eye. And, as my faithful readers know, I don't love salmon. But, I would eat George's. It looked gorgeous! Did we mention that George just won a Best New Chef Award? Mazel to George! He has also already won my Cute Chef Award for this season. Who's with me?! I also want to eat Floyd's oat risotto. While judges actually preferred Mosaic, the diners preferred Leela, which I think is fairly interesting. Since it was up to the diners, Leela won.
Leela got off to a bad start with a long wait for the judges at the maitre d' stand, seating all the diners at once, which was a little odd for a restaurant with that many tables, but the food won the day in the end with their American cuisine. Alex's fricasee won as well.