Crudo Is The New Pork Belly or Not Another Team Crudo
This week on Top Chef, it was part two of Restaurant Wars, meaning someone was going to win, and someone was going to get sent home. Hurrah for closure! Unfortunately, this also meant Padma got to put away her low-cut, just-keeping-the-viewers-from-flipping-the-channel dress from last week. Oh, how I will miss that dress.
Now, I know that Restaurant Wars is the most famous challenge in all of Top Chef and all, but do we really care about how well these people can, say, run a dining room or manage a wait staff? I understand the cooking part of the challenge. Being able to not just cook something yummy, but prepare that same yummy thing consistently, and timed to go with the rest of a course, over and over for an entire evening, that part I get. That’s part of being a chef (and probably a big part of what separates your average home cook jackass like you or me from a true pro). The other stuff, not so much.
Mostly, I come for the cooking and the hilariously specific chef burns (“Nice crudite, bro. 1998 called, they want their truffled sunchokes back”). If I wanted to watch people dressed down over customer service, I’d watch Kitchen Nightmares or Bar Rescue or one of the other thousand shows where some awful unbearable loudmouth dresses down a room full of minimum-wage earners (note to food show producers: Can we get a version of Bar Rescue without Jon Taffer? That guy is almost as hard to listen to as he is to look at. I honestly don’t think listening to a jowely psycho scream is the reason most people tune in. Anyway.)
That said, the front-of-the-house part of the challenge was valuable for getting Phillip in front of a captive audience, which allowed Phillip to be his most Phillip this week, explaining to the guests his sick neck tats and describing the concepts behind his many Los Angeles-area restaurants (does he have one where all the food comes plated on dirty things he just found lying around the parking lot, I wonder? “Hi, waiter? Yes, I will have the seared foie gras a la crack pipe, si vous plait.”)
Phillip eventually managed to annoy everyone, starting with his wait staff. This guy should win an Emmy for reaction shot face.
Was Phillip created in a lab by reality show producers? He’s perfect. He’s like the Ivan Drago of not being here to make friends.
Additionally, this week’s episode included a badly-cooked risotto, an unnecessary foam, and not one, but TWO crudos. If you were playing the Top Chef drinking game, rest in peace because you are dead. Anyway, this week was a big shake-up, so the rankings are a bit of a mess.