Richard Blais

Richard Blais doesn't understand why none of the chefs wanted Stefan on their teams for Restaurant Wars.

on Jan 22, 2009

Now, onto the restaurants. Sunset Lounge is the worst name I've ever heard of, for even a fake restaurant. I imagine giant fish bowls of spiked punch garnished with paper umbrellas. Cigarette smoke. Bill Murray singing the theme to Star Wars. And a few pirates in the kitchen, worrying more about their bet on the game, then the character of their food.

Fabio, actually fits this theme well as the slick host and it was a wise choice to have him at the door. Just please don't ask for spaghetti as a side with your risotto tonight!

Team Sahana had a great idea. A globally influenced restaurant, focusing on spices and comfort. It's right up Steven Starr's alley. But the most experienced chef with spices, Rhadika, opts for the front of the house? Her fate was sealed back in the Top Chef kitchen when she made that choice. The Indian girl, who didn't want to cook the Indian food.

I'm sure someone will raise the question of why it matters for a chef to know anything about their dining room. It's crucial. In a day and age of such competition, as Mr. Starr stated earlier in the episode, it's not just about the food. A chef needs to know how to have random conversation. Be hospitable, smile, and say hello and goodbye. The wallpaper, soundtrack, and valet have just as much to do with if a customer will return.

For what it's worth, Carla would have been my choice for the front on that team. She's energetic, spirited, and automatically makes you feel at ease. Oh well.

I'd be dishonest if I didn't say at this point the Leah and Hosea thing makes me feel icky. I'm not in the camp that thinks this makes it less of a cooking show, though. I actually think it makes it more realistic and has brought an emotion to the series that hasn't been there before. It's raising the issues of morality and it's appropriate IMHO. These things happen in the real world. They happen in kitchens. I met my wife in a kitchen. There were times I had trouble concentrating because I was falling in love. These two seemed so uncomfortable it was creepy. And it affected their work.