Top Chef: Restaurant Wars 2
January 8, 2019 5:00 PM - Season 16, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The mayhem and drama continues of the biggest Restaurant Wars in the history of “Top Chef.” Tom’s announcement of a double elimination piles on even more pressure. “Top Chef” alum turned James Beard Award winning Chefs Karen Akunowicz and Nina Compton join the restaurant crawl along with Nilou Motamed and guest judge and James Beard Award winning restaurateur, Caroline Styne.
posted by kanata (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I hope others don't mind I took over posting for this one. I thought it went surprisingly well. They fooled me in the "next episode" part of the first part as I was sure they were all going to mess up. Sad about who went home but do think she totally lost it with training staff. But then again still mad that they left the chefs so unprepared to set up their place. Not fair. Next episode someone comes back to the kitchen which will be interesting as I don't think they've come back so early before.
posted by kanata at 5:03 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Thanks for posting! I was ok with Pablo going but sad Nini went home, but she really didn't do a great job either on the front of house or the dessert. I have generally disliked the trend of the foh going home as I think these shows work best when long terms incentives and episode goals line up and sending the foh home can really mess with that. This one while sad made sense at least.
posted by Carillon at 8:50 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I always dislike when chefs go home for front-of-house or desserts, but the flip side is that's the game and by season 16 they oughtta know it.

I've lost track of how many seasons they've been doing Last Chance Kitchen but they've utterly failed at converting me because I've never watched one despite having watched every episode of Top Chef from the beginning. I even watched every episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts. It's like I have this psychological barrier between TV and Internet and can't cross the streams. Maybe younger viewers don't have that.

The food this season has looked really good. I've seen a lot of dishes I'd love to try.
posted by cribcage at 11:24 PM on January 8


I've lost track of how many seasons they've been doing Last Chance Kitchen but they've utterly failed at converting me because I've never watched one despite having watched every episode of Top Chef from the beginning

I've really enjoyed LCK, especially this year. It's less straight-up gimmicky (except for, uh, needing to use Hidden Valley Ranch in a dish) and is short, tight. The crossovers with the "real" Top Chef eps are generally entertaining.
posted by hijinx at 8:32 AM on January 9 [2 favorites]


It's like I have this psychological barrier between TV and Internet and can't cross the streams. Maybe younger viewers don't have that.

Our (HORRIBLE) cable service carries LCK on on-demand. Just sayin' (also seriously disliked the mandatory use of the Hidden Valley Ranch especially combined with the obviously phoned-in excitement about using it.)
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:40 AM on January 9


Nini noooooooooooooooo.

Ok, I do agree that the decision was fair. Presumably all 3 kitchens got the same caliber waitstaff so there was no reason Nini was unable to instruct hers. And then her dish wasn't even good to make up for it . . .
posted by chainsofreedom at 2:16 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


In LCK Justin was working SO hard to show that he respects Nini and holds no hard feelings! I appreciated that. He's like "producers you are NOT going to use me as the interpersonal drama this season".

I was afraid they were going to pick a losing restaurant and send home 2 from that instead of sending home the 2 worst people, so I am glad they didn't do that.

Still hoping for a Nini comeback.
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:41 AM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I'm hoping for a brother come back just so he'll stop coming back. I'm in a no ego zone these days and just want to watch good people cooking good things and being nice to each other. In LCK at least they show you how the chefs do respect each other.

I'm sad for Nini. Was surprised justin was pretty calm and just really supportive of his team. So that's points against his ego filled comments the first episode. I knew Pablo was going to mess up because he was doing two entrees and just seemed to be in his own way.

I don't think I'll be happy until Eddie goes home. Guess I can carry a grudge. Budget! Stick to the budget and share!
posted by kanata at 11:34 AM on January 10


Yeah, the budget issue was a major one. After Survivor had run for five or ten years, Jeff Probst said at one of the reunion shows he was confounded that contestants kept showing up without knowing how to make fire. How could anyone be that stupid? If you go on Top Chef and you aren't prepared for some of the show's basic, year-after-year pitfalls like trimming your expectations by 15 percent to work comfortably inside a budget, then you deserve to go home. You didn't go your homework.

I've always gotten the sense that Top Chef contestants respect each other as peers. There have been a few exceptions along the way, like Ken from season 1 or the abominable group from season 2, but overall I think it helps that they actually work together in a shared industry. That's unlike most reality competitions. Usually it's amateurs competing from random backgrounds without much in common.
posted by cribcage at 3:07 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Very true. I just binge watched some seasons of Drag Race and Project Runway and they have the same factor. Contestants not knowing how to sew despite some of them saying they grew up on the show. Chefs seem like they try to prepare themselves for restaurant wars but then surprised they have to cook for 200 people or cook outside or budget. That really irritated me probably because it was an easy fix since he checked out first.

I enjoy peers respecting each other or contestants cheering each other on. My preferred reality tv is people making something they are good at (why I couldn't watch Nailed It on Netflix as bad baking and people mocking isn't soothing) but it is very hard to find.
posted by kanata at 3:51 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


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