It is that time of the season, folks. The restaurant peace process has failed once again. The Wars have broken out, this time pitting the men against the women. This twist on the Top Chef traditional challenge proves one thing especially – on Top Chef, not all of the challenges are pre-planned. What I mean is, while they planned to do the Wars with eight chefs left, clearly they added the twist once they realized they had four men and four women left. Otherwise, that twist was impossible. I choose not to go back and check, but I wonder if this has been in their back pocket for years and they just never had an even number of each gender at that stage.
Regardless, it was a gender war with the restaurants and the ladies appeared to be the early underdogs. Personally, I have ranked Lindsay of the Corn and Beverly in the bottom of remaining chefs, so I didn’t think they could pull it off. And they almost didn’t thanks to some inane infighting and some truly awful service. But the cooking was there. My gal Grayson really delivered in this challenge putting out two outstanding dishes and providing much needed levity and leadership in a kitchen where tensions were simmering to a boil. I thought she deserved the win just for the perfect reactions to the crazy.
The crazy came in the form of the favorite game played by several of this season’s chefs – Bashing Beverly. If you thought the tiny chef would be free from abuse after the departure of Heather two weeks ago, then you’d be wrong. As the ladies planned, Beverly rattled off several options for her dish, only to have the others, especially Sarah, shoot her down. Time and again. Finally, in what seemed like exasperation, Beverly suggested she do another short rib dish. Again, Sarah scoffed. It seemed as if Beverly could have suggested a dish called “The Greatest Dish In The World,” made from essence of unicorn and fairy dust (and bacon, of course), and Sarah and Lindsay would have shot it down.
Look, Beverly is a bit of a klutz, and she certainly has some social skills issues. But she’s a grown damn woman, and a successful chef (they all are) and should be treated accordingly. She is constantly condescended to by the others. Is she tough to deal with/work with? Possibly. In fact, I’ll say probably rather frustrating because she works in a completely different manner than other chefs. Which leads us to a new segment called – I MAKE AN OFF THE WALL SPORTS ANALOGY AND PANDER TO THE TIM TEBOW PHENOMENON.
Beverly is like Tim Tebow. Stop. Just come with me on this. Tebow is a quarterback who plays with a style and skill set that is unlike anything seen by quarterbacks in the NFL. He plays a college style and is built like a linebacker. He is erratic with passes, but hits on big plays. But he wins and wins regardless of those shortcomings. Beverly is a talented chef who makes really good food. She also cooks in a style that is not common to professional kitchens. She is laid back. Often times, laid back can be confused with lazy or slow. That can be infuriating to people who are used to the bang bang style of cooking found in most kitchens. In fact, some maybe even get a high from the rush. But it works for Beverly. Clearly, she is still employed so it works for her professionally. She wins. Like Tebow. And that’s how you make a bizarre sports-cooking metaphor ripped from the headlines.
Do I think Heather was a word that rhymed with switch? No. She appeared to be one on television. Do I think the same of Sarah? No, but again, she is shown to be one on television. It is hard to avoid it when you are shown being aggressively condescending to a woman much smaller than you, who has admitted to a life of being repressed throughout the season. I like Sarah, and have said so before in these pages, but I didn’t like her much this week. The icing on the cake for that feeling was after Beverly’s win, the scene in the Stew Room where Sarah told Lindsay that she earned the win just as much.
No she didn’t.