Top Chef: Seattle Recap

By David Mumpower

February 20, 2013

At least he can say he knew how to make fried chicken.

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Previously on Top Chef, Lizzie was finally eliminated from the competition. The South African woman delivered an unusual performance. She was rarely in the bottom group yet she never won a single challenge the entire season. Such a turn of events is statistically improbable.

Once the number of participants dwindled to half a dozen, Lizzie had multiple opportunities at 16.7% odds or better each week. In the most recent episode, the odds were 25%...twice. As much as I like the sexily accented chef, Lizzie never managed to insert herself into the competition as the strongest contender. She did, however, earn the respect of her peers as well as the viewers. Also, as far as consolation prizes go, Lizzie does have a decent chance to be named most popular chef of season 10 at the reunion show. Everybody likes her. None of that consoles her for the loss, though.

In Lizzie’s absence, three chefs remain in the competition. Brooke is outnumbered two to one, yet she is cooking as if she is the mother teaching her young boys how to boil water. I like Sheldon and Josh, but they really need to step it up if they are to have any hope of challenging her. With only the three of them remaining, every little mistake will be blown way out of proportion. This is problematic for the fellas because they make oh so many more mistakes than her. I will be surprised if the episode ends with Brooke’s elimination. She is just too good.


The start of the episode features the trio relaxing at their temporary Alaskan home. All of them are feeling the pressure of advancing this far in Top Chef. Nobody wants to go home now. Despite this concern, the conversation lacks tension. All of these people very much like one another and will be friends for life. I always enjoy when reality shows end with situations such as this wherein affable people battle one another to determine who the best of the best is. Most of the time, a jerk (or two) claws their way to the end. Sarah did exactly this last season. I love that all of the people sitting in this living room would be exemplary winners of Top Chef.

Josh has the weight of the world weighing on him this day. His wife still has not given birth to their child yet. He is stunned by the timing of the matter. Becoming Top Chef would fundamentally change his life yet there is nothing more important in the world than parenting. He is forced to be away from his spouse during her time of need. Due to her being several days past the expected delivery date, he is distracted from the crucial upcoming challenges because of his familial obligation. After a couple of episodes where Josh had seemed completely liberated and carefree, the enormity of the situation has finally overwhelmed his conscious thoughts. In such a competitive environment, this disadvantage may be enough to set Josh.

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