Top Chef: Restaurant Wars
January 27, 2018 1:53 PM - Season 15, Episode 8 - Subscribe

"In the most anticipated challenge of the season, the chefs face-off in Restaurant Wars, creating and executing two new restaurant concepts from design to dishes in a matter of days. Culinary icons Bruce and Eric Bromberg of Blue Ribbon join the judges to experience and evaluate each restaurant's successes and failures. Nothing is ever as heated as a kitchen under this kind of pressure. Which chef will crumble under the weight of the challenge?" (description from Bravo)
posted by primalux (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I will say Claudette really left poorly. Not that I expect people to be happy but damn angriest exit I think we've seen yet.
posted by Carillon at 2:43 PM on January 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think Chris was trying to play it safe because he's smart enough to know that EC or FOH typically gets burned first and Claudette was going to be trouble; but when prodded about it by others his values took the best of him when he tried to take responsibility for the whole team. Thankfully, the judges wouldn't let him fall on the sword this time.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief to see Claudette go, because they could have certainly let the reality show drama continue but they didn't. I have a feeling she's a control freak that wants things done her way within her expectations, and while she could tough out LCK solo she certainly isn't a team player. Her personality did cool a bit in her most recent LCK appearance, but still definitely not a fan.
posted by xtine at 3:12 PM on January 27, 2018

Jen Carroll's exit from Top Chef All Stars was WAAAAY angrier (you can see/hear it here at about 40 seconds in if you haven't) but Claudette's was probably the angriest I've seen on regular Top Chef for sure. And I'm not sad to see her leave for good this time. She seems like someone that wants to talk a really big game but then when she fails it's everyone's fault but her own.
posted by primalux at 5:00 PM on January 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also Tanya Holland gave an interview to Food & Wine and in it she said, "Claudette wasn’t a team player at all. She’s pushy and I called her that to her face at Judges Table. She asked for my support, which I gave her, but refused to give any to me."
posted by primalux at 5:06 PM on January 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Jen had a terrible exit from All Stars, but she was mad at the judges (and later said she regretted her angry exit). She didn't snub her fellow cheftestants the way Claudette did, here. nor did she stab them in the back during the competition itself. I think Claudette is the worst exit we've seen since that nasty Irishman in season 1.

I had mad respect for Claudette's badassery during LCK, but as soon as she came back into the kitchen she showed a really unpleasant side. I was glad to see her go, and that she lost to Brother, too. I'm done with her.
posted by Superplin at 8:12 PM on January 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Chris was clever to make Claudette Executive Chef. He recognised she has control issues and wouldn't have played well being a sous-chef under him or one of the others. But her complete denial of what her role was at Judge's Table - saying all she was doing was expediting - showed her in a really poor light.

That being said, their restaurant was doomed to failure from the start, with everyone trying to get 'their voice' into the food, rather than thinking of a cohesive menu that they could have executed well.

The other team barely put a foot wrong. I don't think I've ever seen such a one-sided Restaurant Wars. Not a great episode for me, except for Claudette's departure.
posted by essexjan at 12:41 PM on January 28, 2018

I continue to be impressed with the tricks the editors use to tell the story they want to tell. I mean it's a trick as old as Survivor, it's essential to reality TV, but it works really well here. They set Claudette up to be the heel over the past couple of episodes and gave us a view into her personality flaws. Then she demonstrates those flaws even with the ironic twist of her finally getting to be in charge. And then she flames out on the way out the door. Good stuff. Perhaps real world Claudette isn't such a villain, but TV Claudette was fun to watch.

Painful to watch was how clueless she and her team were about how poorly they were doing. They were just happy food was going out the door at a reasonable pace. Which, hey, that's good. The fact Claudette wasn't tasting things and everyone knew that but didn't do anything about it is pretty shocking.
posted by Nelson at 6:18 AM on January 29, 2018

Watching the Red Team discuss how awesome they did, before the judging, was really painful. Fatima did a good job, but until you footage side by side with Joe, it's hard to explain why she didn't do a GREAT job. It must have been very frustrating for her, since she can't see that footage yet.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:20 AM on January 29, 2018

I'm over Claudette, and glad she's gone (except as a spectator in LCK). The final straw for me was her epic eye-roll when she found out she lost. Not a word to any of the other chefs, either. So mature. Fine. See ya!
posted by dbmcd at 9:28 AM on January 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm rewatching this episode right now because Bravo is replaying it, and it reminded me of a post or comment I read elsewhere where someone was essentially saying that the team that goes second has a much more difficult time turning over tables because people are lingering wanting to see the judges come in. I don't know how true this is, but it totally makes sense and if it's true I feel like it's seriously unfair to judge front of house for that. I don't think FOH is why the losing team lost, but now my mind is going back to seasons past...
posted by primalux at 5:35 PM on February 1, 2018

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