Top Chef Power Rankings, Week 8: Restaurant Wars And Petty Squabbles

This week on Top Chef, it was the episode you’ve all been waiting for! That is, the episode that those five or six of you who wait for Top Chef episodes have been waiting for! That’s right, Restaurant Wars! That’s when the cheftestants separate into two equal groups, take aim with muskets, and fight to the death. Sometimes, atrocities are committed. And at the end, the winner gets to write the episode. Restaurant Wars is hell, friends.

With Midnight Oil freshly eliminated (thanks to last week’s idiotic and, as far as I know, unprecedented abdication of immunity), eight chefs were left. They broke into teams consisting of:

RED. Brooke, Shirley (Hotpot), Sylva, Emily (Avril Terrine).

BLUE. John (Bangles), Katsuji, Sheldon (Shel Chillverstein), Casey.

The red team, captained by Hotpot, named their restaurant “Latitude,” a seafood concept with a brilliantly broad genre that allowed everyone to cook their own style. Meanwhile the Blue team, lead (sort of) by Bangles, branded themselves “Southern Belle,” a restrictive theme limiting them to cooking a style based on a region none of them are even from (unless you count Casey, from Texas, which I kinda don’t).

Classic Top Chef pitfall! The perils of imperfect nomenclature!

See, if you say you’re going to cook Eskimo food and then you don’t give Tom Colicchio seal blubber, or say whatever region and fail to serve whatever stereotypical definition of the cuisine of that region (see: the great biscuit debacle of episode 2), you know he’s going to put on his best Andy Rooney voice and go “ehhh, this is great, but whale tartar just doesn’t scream ‘Eskimo’ to me.”

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. First, Padma’s dress.

Good ol’ Padma. She always has that smirk on her face, like she knows full well everyone in a 10-block radius is now distracted.


8. (-4) ((Eliminated)), Katsuji Tanabe, AKA Draymond, aka Professor Katz, aka Sooj Knight

I’m torn between thinking Katsuji got a raw deal and thinking he’s an idiot for not knowing better. BUT FIRST! Hands down the best part of this episode was this waiter’s reaction to Katsuji’s beef tongue dish: