Top Chef: Restaurant Wars
May 24, 2021 5:19 AM - Season 18, Episode 8 - Subscribe

With the top eight chefs remaining, it’s time for the perennial favorite - Restaurant Wars. This year, the chefs are split into teams and tasked with creating a Chef’s Table restaurant concept where they will serve a seven course high-end tasting menu to the judges and All-Star panel. Gregory Gourdet and Kristen Kish join Padma, Tom and Gail at the judges’ table.

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posted by everybody had matching towels (10 comments total)
All my favourite people on the same team! Kokosan did great. So happy for Maria! Penny was just bewildering — let's have no collaboration? Let's not have anyone do front-of-house?
posted by sixswitch at 7:30 AM on May 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

Oh, that hot pot looked just fantastic.

I think the format switch hosed Sarah here. In the ordinary scheme of things, Gabriel would've slithered his way to executive chef and lost for it.
posted by praemunire at 9:35 AM on May 24, 2021 [3 favorites]

Yeah I was really surprised Sara got the boot given how strong she's been up until now. Also it sorta felt pro-forma that Tom said they BOTH raised the bar for restaurant wars. Kokosan did, but I don't think Penny was any near that level.
posted by Carillon at 10:34 AM on May 24, 2021

Kokosan looked stunning but this was a very different RW than before, feels like an unfair comparison. I also think that was an absolutely stacked team for having an interesting concept-- East Asian-Latin is a really interesting fusion. Also stacked on talent (why were they saying they were at a disadvantage?!).. and charisma, which is no small part of RW.

Not have an executive chef for either seemed like a result of (a) no "captain" guiding the concept after a successful pitch, (b) having a smaller service, making a whole hierarchy unnecessary. Penny could have used it for sure.

Was surprised Sarah went before Chris, but glad she still has a chance. Poor Sasha had to be eliminated three times.
posted by supercres at 1:02 PM on May 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

I don't think it was necessary to have an EC under the circumstances, just that ordinarily when RW takes out a top competitor, it's because they were EC of the losing team, going big and going home.
posted by praemunire at 3:31 PM on May 24, 2021

(Would someone please fix Sasha's foundation, that cannot be anywhere near her normal skin color and it's creeping me out.)
posted by praemunire at 3:32 PM on May 24, 2021

Agreed, I think that it's such a different challenge than the usual restaurant wars that calling it RW is a bit of a stretch. Do we have any idea what the cast and crew numbers are for this years show as compared to other years? I'd be curious to know how much they had to pare down.
posted by Carillon at 3:53 PM on May 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm confused. I don't remember who Sasha is for some reason.

I feel bad for Sarah. She was the person warning about the problems that put them on the bottom. If you're going to worry about your performance and not the team's performance, you have to be as good as Dawn is to get away with it I think.

This was very different from RW. When Tom said they raised the bar... yeah if you're going to do all Chef Table style going forward! It did seem to promote teamwork to be on display like that. I've never gotten this much sense of group effort/cohesion in past seasons. This season has really stands apart in how successful team or partner challenges have been, where the dish is better because of the team element and rather than just "this team didn't mess up".

Love to see Maria get the win. It is endearing that she cries no matter what.
posted by Emmy Rae at 11:47 AM on May 29, 2021

Sasha is the red-head who keeps getting brought back in LCK.
posted by praemunire at 8:49 PM on May 29, 2021

Sarah's dishes just weren't good. Unfortunately, with Restaurant Wars and other team challenges, those people who 'try to be nice' just get shit upon. It really only comes down to your dish. Service could be crap--they won't send someone home for poor service. They'll send home the team member who gave the worst dish. The judges give lip service to being a team player, but in the end, they don't care.
posted by hydra77 at 8:24 AM on June 1, 2021

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