‘Top Chef Seattle,’ Ep. 11: Outlaw Josie Wails

David Moir/Bravo – Did Tom see anything that indicated Josie, center, undermined Kristen during Restaurant Wars?


By Carol Blymire

Welcome back to “Top Chef Seattle,” my lovelies. Last week, Kristen and Sheldon’s restaurant concepts were chosen to be featured in this week’s episode, the conclusion of Restaurant Wars. Let’s just hope Part Deux isn’t Part Dud.

 The show kicks off in the chefpartment where the teams — Kristen, BrookeJosieLizzieand Sheldon, StefanJosh — begin planning the concepts and menus. As soon as Kristen says of her Atelier Kwan concept, “my whole idea is, like, just taking the beautiful, classical French flavors and just <twisty-hand-clapping-motion> flipping them around,” I start to worry. That sounds a) stupid, b) dumb, and c) stupid and dumb.

Flavors could be brighter in this handsome U Street corridor addition from the Hilton brothers.

Sheldon’s modern Filipino menu at Urbano will be “sour, sour, sour,” says Sheldon . . .who is backed by two cheftestants who have never cooked Filipino food. As long as he can teach and lead and cook his flavors well, he could win this challenge.

They get to their raw restaurant space and outdoor patio, where they find they have to build not just the front-of-house area, but also their kitchens. Kristen and Lizzie head out to buy the food, while Brooke gets saddled with Josie, “helping” her pick up the linens and other rented equipment. Josh and Sheldon go to the Asian market for their ingredients. Stefan heads to the flower market. Ugh. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing worse than flowers in restaurants. Their scent interferes with the ability to taste food, and great restaurants don’t need flowers. Not at all.

The equipment arrives, build-out begins, and Kristen and Sheldon start planning how they want their operations to run in front and back of house. Their teams start the prep work to prepare for the competition the next day. Lizzie is organized and has thought out her dishes, as well as how she can support Kristen. Brooke is taking a lead in helping plan the seating area. Kristen just isn’t a very commanding leader, as Josie just decides she’ll do what she wants, prep-wise, when she decides she wants to do it. This is not going to end well.

After a night of planning, they head back to the Restaurant Wars space to kick into high gear for the competition service. Everyone is working hard and moving fast. Except Josie. Which I know must shock you, right? Seriously, how does this woman skate by with her less-than-mediocre “talent” every flippin’ week?

Stefan and Brooke take on front-of-house duties in their respective restaurants. Some Seattle chefs from previous episodes along with other guests begin arriving, and the food starts to flow. The judges — Padma,GailEmerilTom and Danny Meyer — arrive and Brooke is there to greet them. Finally! Someone in Restaurant Wars who understands how to run front of house. Here’s what’s on the menu at Kristen’s restaurant, Atelier Kwan:

Charcuterie (Lizzie): rabbit, pickled turnips and yellow beets in chicken and rabbit broth.

Then … a big break in service time because Josie is slower than a sloth in plating her bouillabaisse, and there are issues with the sauce not working because the prep work didn’t happen when it was supposed to.

Courtesy: The Washington Post