Top Chef: Restaurant Wars
May 26, 2023 11:44 AM - Season 20, Episode 9 - Subscribe

It's Restaurant Wars, and this season, the perennial favorite is back with a twist. The chefs split into two teams of four and are tasked with creating a restaurant concept and tasting menu. To add to the pressure, they must debut their restaurants at three Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth, and the judges will have a full view of the kitchen. Unbeknown to the chefs, Jimi Famurewa, the Chief Restaurant Critic for the Evening Standard, is seated in the dining room and later joins Padma, Tom and Gail at the judges' table.

Summary from IMDB.

The two teams In order of picking:
Victoire (team picker), Tom (acting in charge guy), Nicole and Gabri - Root
Buddha (team picker, in charge), Ali, Amar, ("well, they come as a bundle"), Sara - United Kitchen

It's an incredibly straightforward version of Restaurant Wars, with Core's staff on hand to take care of service, and it's also a pretty obvious result. I did like the critic in the dining room.

UK has a concept - takes on British classics; they have information for the servers when they show up; they don't forget a bunch of vegetables at the store; they don't schedule diners so they're in the weeds from the drop. Buddha gets the win with his take on strawberries and cream.

Root just picks the most mealy-mouthed "well, we all have culinary roots" as their concept -- come on guys, just add root vegetables to every dish or something! Nicole's mediocre seafood tortellini leads to her packing her knives.
posted by Superilla (6 comments total)
One interesting contrast to me is Buddha, who seemingly took charge in this one from the drop; last time in Restaurant Wars, practically the very first words out of his mouth were that he saw the other three chefs had similar styles of cooking (all Black chefs with links to the South) and he wanted to take a backseat and do front-of-house to support them.

But I think both cases are him being a student of the show and knowing the importance of a concept.
posted by Superilla at 11:49 AM on May 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

I was shocked that Victoire chose Tom. He has had really inconsistent performance throughout.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:15 PM on May 26, 2023

That is a very, very beige restaurant.
posted by sixswitch at 4:39 PM on May 26, 2023 [2 favorites]

I am so glad they didn't have to deal with FOH like they usually do. It always feels like a poor spot to put someone in, and semi-unrealistic. I hope this translates back to next season of Top Chef.
posted by hydra77 at 4:41 PM on May 26, 2023 [3 favorites]

They've been pairing back Restaurant Wars season after season. Remember when they used to have to design and decorate a space? This season was just cooking and nothing more and I suppose it makes sense. Too bad though, I like seeing front of house and expediting highlighted as skills that are also important to a successful high end restaurant. But this is Top Chef, not Top MaƮtre, so fair enough.
posted by Nelson at 11:19 AM on May 27, 2023 [1 favorite]

Well apparently it's fairly evenly split who goes home, not.the big disadvantage as I was about to write.
posted by Carillon at 2:37 PM on May 27, 2023

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