Top Chef: Trouble Brewing
April 9, 2021 9:48 AM - Season 18, Episode 2 - Subscribe

The Chefs are in for a rude awakening when they enter the kitchen to find Padma and seven hungry all-star chefs

– Amar Santana, Melissa King, Kwame Onwuachi, Dale Talde, Gregory Gourdet, Carrie Baird and Richard Blais. In this Quickfire the chefs will have just 30 minutes to serve eight plates of breakfast. And if that didn’t get them buzzing, for their Elimination Challenge, they’ll have to create dishes based on two popular Portland brews – Beer or Coffee. Tom shows up with a twist, leaving the chefs to rethink their dishes hours before service. Amar Santana and Dale Talde join Padma, Tom and Gail at judges’ table. (summary via
posted by everybody had matching towels (4 comments total)
er, summary via
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:48 AM on April 9

I saw the bottom team coming but I did NOT clock the elimination ahead of time. Thought for sure it was Brittany. Sasha seems solid; AVClub had her at the top of their power ranking. Who knows, maybe a deep LCK run.

Shota and Avishar were a fun team. Dawn and Portland Gabe were headed for the rocks, but the dish sounded and looked great when it made it to the plate. Portland Gabe is an 🙄 inducing machine.
posted by supercres at 7:51 PM on April 9

I'm so glad this series is back, and it's nice to see former alumni as judges - Amar was always a favourite of mine and Melissa can do no wrong. As always with this type of series, it's hard to work out who is who in the earlier episodes, but I really like Shota and Maria so far.

What I liked about the first few series of Top Chef was how they'd show much more of the stew room, and there was more mystery about who was top/bottom because four chefs would be called out to see the judges and they didn't know if they were top or bottom. (If they were bottom, they'd be critiqued, but sent back in to call out the top four, and the loser wouldn't be told to PPYK&G until the very end, in front of all the contestants.) They'd then cut to the stew room where, especially if it was a team challenge, there'd often be lots of drama or recriminations. I wish they'd go back to that format, as it made for a much more interesting dynamic for the viewers.
posted by essexjan at 1:15 PM on April 10

So far this is a little too "Remember us from Top Chef?" for me but on the other hand I am happy to see Kwame, Amar and of course Melissa again. I really didn't need more Richard Blais after his very first season so it's irritating that he's always back now.

Remember when the stew room used to be just some back storage room where the chefs sat around drinking beer? Times have changed!

Dawn's ribs looked incredible. Gabe is lucky she ignored his criticism. I was really hoping the judges would comment on how there was the perfect amount of pepper in the rub.

It's disconcerting to see everyone doing Top Chef as usual and then you catch sight of a server or kitchen worker, all masked up. I hope they kept those people protected!

Am I correct that there are 3 Latin@ chefs? Are they all Mexican? Has a Mexican or Latin@ ever won before?
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:21 AM on April 11

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