And Then There Were Five...

Kelly Wearstler blogs about the Chef Table challenge.

Now all the contestants fit into one car. Andrea, Carisa, Goil, Matt, and Michael's tasty task this week was to create a Chef's Table adjacent to the kitchen of a fine restaurant.

Our celebrity client and guest judge was hoping for more than a fantastic gastronomic experience for his future guests; he wants to engage all five senses.

Did anyone notice how Andrea was glowing when Todd visited her during the design phase? It was certainly a harbinger of things to come. When you love what you do, it shines through, and not only in Andrea's rich textural room that you simultaneously felt impressed by and yet comfortable with.

Carisa's knowledge of arts and crafts allowed her to hit the sketchpad running. Having a well-rounded base of knowledge will always help you. You never know what situation you might stumble upon and a good designer is an informed designer, and not just in your "style."

Carisa's differing color palette did not exactly work in her favor this week. While her table was gorgeous, it seemed dwarfed next to her oversized banquette. A room of straight lines and a graphic feel requires sumptuous materials to transform it into a lap of luxury.


While Goil did not have a clue this week when it came to flowers (among other things), at least he did not waste the floral consultant's time with excuses or bother trying to cover up the truth.

Could he trust that one type of art feeds another, even if you don't have direct experience with it? I say yes, as his floral chandelier was thoughtful and inventive. Also, Goil was lucky to have a carpenter who, in addition to her skills, brought a behavioral compliment to the table. Matt thought his room was going to be "hot," and his warm walls, tricky leather tile floor, and unique usage of leaves as placemats backed up this claim.


I loved that Michael was moving into "uncharted territory." Trying something he had never really done before? Good for you. Using a variety of dining chairs was going out on a conspicuous limb, but did not, in my opinion, exactly "put the focus on food."

The first thing I noticed about Michael's room was its emptiness. "Simple," to me, is more of a sweeping eurythmic design choice, harmonious repetition for the senses. I love play, I get that, but a warm inviting room would spotlight the food more than white dishes ever could.

On a final note, I must compliment Margaret on her beautiful dress, say that I'm glad Michael feels he learned a lot during his experience on the show, and declare "Cheers!" with Andrea for taking this week's Top Design.

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