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Top Chef recap: the Hunger Blame Games

Restaurant Wars pit men against women — and women against women. Sarah becomes even more insufferable.

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Top Chef Sarah G
Vivian Zink/Bravo

Top Chef

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons
Reality TV

Whenever I witness a “battle of the sexes” competition like last night’s Restaurant Wars, I pretty much always root for the women — but given the characters remaining this season, I was conflicted. I’m a fan of all the guys left, but my favorites and my least favorites were all on the women’s team. I decided to root for the men and hope that the judges eliminated either Sarah or Lindsay from the ladies’ team. That ideal situation almost came about, but more on that later.

As soon as Padma announced that this year’s Restaurant Wars would be split along gender lines, I predicted a decisive loss for the women based on previous tensions. Ed was also confident, bluntly claiming that the male chefs were more talented. About Sarah in particular he said, “She knows great flavor but we all know her weakness is barbecuing in the sun.” He clearly meant that comment in a snide way but with his deadpan delivery, it was almost hard to tell. I’m slowly starting to appreciate Ed’s dry bitchiness… I guess because it’s directed at such a deserving person.

In certain seasons past, Restaurant Wars came together in spectacular fashion, but there wasn’t much cohesion in either team’s efforts this year. Of course it’s a pretty staggering challenge to create a three-course meal with two choices in each course for 100 diners. Each team had $7,500 to spend at Sur la Table (Yuppie Cookware Central, as seen in every issue of Details magazine) and Garden Ridge to design their restaurant and cook all their food in just five hours. I expect to see tears (from Sarah) and blood (from Ed’s finger)! But I hope I don’t see Paul “sweating balls.”

The guys chose Ed for the always dreaded front-of-house role, and the girls chose Lindsay because she supposedly stays calm under pressure. Really? I seem to remember she unnecessarily rushed service in the Cattle Baron challenge, causing the steaks to be flashed too early. But she’ll have us know that was prom queen in high school and made good grades in college, so she’ll be perfect, right?

NEXT: The ladies pile up on Beverly once again. Weren’t we past this?