Team Top Chef's editor thinks it was actually the best challenge of its kind yet.

Oct 21, 2009

It's the episode the chefs have all been waiting for -- Restaurant Wars! And what a crazy episode it was. Let's start from the beginning, my little pear pithiviers. In the Quickfire Challenge, we had our first ever tag team challenge! The chefs broke into teams and had to work together to create one dish. First stringers Jennifer and Eli had different approaches in that Jennifer created a flavor profile for her team, while Eli wanted to leave that open. I was personally getting frustrated that no one knew that Jennifer wanted to poach her fish, until Laurine came along. But even after that, Kevin still decided to cook it in a pan. In the end, his team still won. Although they earned $10K, they had the option to let it ride. If they won the Elimination Challenge, they would each get $10K. And so they let it ride.

The Elimination Challenge? Restaurant Wars!!! Probably the biggest differences in this year's version of the challenge were the exclusion of the decor aspect of the challenge and the fact that the person who opted to do front-of-the-house had to be responsible for one of his/her own dishes. Let's start with Revolt. First of all, how funny is that name? Come on guys! It would have been so much easier to change your name to Revolution, so as not to conjure up thoughts of, well, vomiting. Thankfully they made their restaurant name ironic: First up were Michael's chicken and calamari dish and Eli's arctic char. Eli's dish wasn't memorable, but it wasn't bad, and his fine job in front made up for it. Michael's dish, on the other hand, had Tom asking for more. Next up was Bryan's duo of beef and Michael's cod dish. Some patrons complained about the temperature of Bryan's food, but Toby seemed to enjoy it enough to make a positive comment about it during Judges' Table. Michael's cod dish was another winner. In preparation of the croquettes for that dish, we see Michael yell at Bryan and tell him not to touch them; he'll fry them himself. Their relationship is so interesting to me because Bryan is older, yet it seems that Michael is the one that does the pushing around. G-d knows it wouldn't be like that if it were my older sister and I in the kitchen; I guess that's why I relate to Bryan. Finally, we have dessert. Bryan executed his previously-unsuccessful ganache, now complete with delicious mint ice cream! Robin rocked an Asian pear pithivier, which originates in the twon of Pithiviers, France (Thanks, Wikipedia!) The big drama on Team Revolt was in the kitchen between Robin and Michael. Watch the fight:


Eh, I don't know who was right, but it seemed like Michael was micromanaging, which can be annoying. Sure, Robin shouldn't have cursed, but I think at this point she is just so fed up. Also, at Judges' Table they seemed to disagree on how much Michael "helped," and i honestly have no idea. On a total sidenote: does anyone else notice how often Robin uses the word "station?" I'm not questioning her, but it's almost like she uses it like it's a big word that makes it sound like she knows more about cooking. Or am i just buying too much into the other chefs' opinion of her? That's probably it. Anyway, Team Revolt was named Best Restaurant Wars Restaurant EVER by Tom Colicchio. That's pretty amazing. You can rate the rest of the restaurants in the gallery  HERE.