If you missed the first installment of our Top Chef series, go here.
It Ain’t Over ’til the Fat Lady Sings
Ok, no. The season is not over yet, but two episodes ago Tracey Bloom sang her swan song and we said farewell to the fun loving, large, and, according to her, clairvoyant chef. I didn’t seem to care when Jacqueline was given the boot, but the elimination of Tracey, similar to that of John, struck my heartstrings. Tracey was far from the best chef in the competition, as a matter of fact, she was the one that knew she was never going to win and openly admitted it in some form or another. After being asked to “pack her knives and go,” Tracey actually tells the camera that she thought it was fair she was being sent home. Quite frankly, we should be giving her props for being one in a million to exit without tears and admitting her fate.
Above all, Tracey was “the fun one.” She was cracking jokes since the premiere and hasn’t let one loss spoil her sense of humor. She had a hearty laugh about everything from her secret desire to share an apron with Angelo (despite her claim of a girlfriend that she left behind), to asking if it was possible to “turn the grill down” in the challenge for which she was eliminated.
When you’re in the stew room, what else are you going to do but stew? Not Tracey. She whips out a crystal ball (probably from her pants that could fit a family of five), and starts out on a Miss Cleo rant. Again, we gotta give it to her. She seems to have some talent here. Perhaps she has discovered her new calling. If so, I only wish her the best.
Top Chef: Can Two Play At That Game?
As for this past week’s most recent episode, I have seen it getting a great deal of flack on the blogs. From expecting cooks to be able to make baby food to the double elimination, viewers were not happy. While I agree that the baby food was a little out of line, and pretentious on Tom and Padma’s part, I beg to differ with anyone that thinks double eliminations are unfair.
Does it totally suck to have to go home for something that was not directly your fault? Sure. But part of being a top chef means knowing how to work with others. In real kitchens, head chefs have teams behind them at all times. And what’s more? They are responsible for every single person on that team. When one person chiffonades parsley instead of cilantro, it is a direct reflection of the chef in charge. So when people argue that it’s not fair for the whole team to go home for one person’s mistake, I come to you with this. Is it fair that both members of the winning teams get credit for winning? Of course it is. Win together, lose together, you are a TEAM. And above all, a Top Chef needs to know how to be a team player.
It may surprise you, but I had a fondness for both Lynne and Arnold. It is apparent that they are both quite talented, despite the fact that grilling clogs Arnold’s pores and Lynne thinks fresh pasta cooks in .34 seconds. But at the end of the day, I think they both deserved to go home. If you don’t agree with me, reference past seasons. All of those named top chef led a team to victory in at least one challenge.