Spoiler warning for the most recent episode of High Chef: Colorado, titled “This Is Not Glamping,” so please head to a different considered one of our nice articles if you have not but watched.
High Chef: Colorado just lately reached Peak Franchise Gimmick by tying into the freshman spinoff High Chef Junior, however the tiny-tool mayhem hit the again burner as soon as we discovered a giant twist was coming to Final Likelihood Kitchen, the place contestants from years past have been additionally trying to return. “This Is Not Glamping” rehashed the most recent LCK, wherein Season 15’s Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins confronted off in opposition to Season 13’s Kwame Onwuachi and Season 1’s Lee Anne Wong, and the genuinely huge shock got here when each Claudette and Lee Anne have been chosen to return to the competition. However the disappointment set in as soon as it was revealed Final Likelihood Kitchen one way or the other nonetheless is not even over but. Let’s focus on.
Final Likelihood Kitchen already launched an gratifying new spin on issues every time past-season contestants have been introduced again for a brand new shot at capturing the High Chef title, so it was superior to see Kwame and the quasi-legendary Lee Anne again and sweating it out on the present’s kitchen set. Claudette, who was eliminated in Episode 2, hadn’t had a lot of an opportunity to point out off her expertise, so she was a nice current-season chef to spherical issues out. Everybody had to make use of animal innards for the meal problem, so the taking part in discipline was comparatively even, and all three cooks put out spectacular dishes. Nonetheless, Final Likelihood Kitchen host Tom Colicchio determined pretty rapidly that Kwame’s rooster hearts made for the weakest plate of the three.
Then, as a substitute of asking a second contestant to step apart to permit a single winner to have a good time his or her new shot at profitable, Tom declared that he was unable to choose a winner, and that it was a tie, with each Lee Anne and Claudette being allowed to hop again into the flagship collection. Padma Lakshmi was standing by Tom’s aspect holding a single High Chef chef’s coat, relatively than two, which supported the audible-ness of all of it. As nicely, each Padma and Tom declared that the tie end result wasn’t deliberate, making it all of the extra thrilling.
So not solely was this a enjoyable solution to throw a brand new hurdle at different rivals, but it surely additionally lastly gave High Chef followers an opportunity to see Lee Anne again on the onscreen-cooking aspect of issues. (She served as a culinary producer for 4 High Chef seasons after that inaugural competitors.) Making issues extra sophisticated was the truth that Lee Anne was three months pregnant for her first youngster in the course of the taping, which made the episode’s snow-covered tenting problem all of the extra hectic. Plus, that is all on high of viewers attending to see much more of what Claudette can do together with her taste profiles, although it additionally would have been nice to see Kwame return. In any case, had that each one been your entire objective of this season’s Final Likelihood Kitchen, then it might have been a splendid and well-conceived transfer. Nonetheless…
By the point “This Is Not Glamping” got here to an finish, chef Tu David Phu had been requested to pack his knives, together with his Rabbit Three Methods camp meal not pleasing sufficient of the judges to persuade them to decide on another person. As genial and outgoing as Tu had been within the early episodes, his meals commonly had their share of issues, so this positively wasn’t a difficulty of the wrong person being eliminated, and it appeared like a wonderfully nice week for Tu to go dwelling. However one may need thought he’d have to really keep dwelling, since Lee Anne and Claudette returning earlier within the episode supplied the obscure implication that Final Likelihood Kitchen was over with for the season. However no, it is not, and that is simply aggravating on high of being disappointing.
Whereas it is unclear whether or not or not Final Likelihood Kitchen will proceed to throw left-field surprises at viewers and contestants, I can not consider we are going to sooner or later be seeing YET ANOTHER eradicated High Chef contestant returning to the Colorado-set season. That continued culinary coddling fully cheapens your entire LCK idea, to not point out the season as a complete. Already, the thought of “final probabilities” was thrown into query every time any Season 1 contestant may very well be introduced again into it, after which by calling a tie and permitting greater than a single contestant again in, High Chef additional ran the danger of alienating viewers. However even with all that, High Chef producers nonetheless selected to maintain this season’s LCK going? Why not simply carry everybody again for a metal cage match subsequent, or give all of the cooks $10,000 each meal to prepare dinner no matter they need with zero restrictions?
Clearly, I would not need any of that to really occur, since High Chef stays a cherished slice of unscripted TV that viewers can nonetheless be taught issues from on a weekly foundation. And it is exactly that small display screen pedigree that retains followers optimistic about High Chef eternally retaining a food-first edge that does not depend on schlocky patience-testing gimmicks that flood Meals Community’s Cutthroat Kitchen and its ilk. After we watch High Chef, a part of the enjoyable is in understanding that actually, actually proficient cooks can discover themselves kicked to the curb for the smallest of points, making the competitors a lot extra fierce than it will get on exhibits like The Voice and America’s Obtained Expertise, the place real contestant errors are far much less widespread, and out of doors recognition helps simply as a lot as talent. However when even High Chef cannot chorus from Tom-foolery that offers so many cooks one other probability to reverse their eliminations, then the place are we supposed to show?
With presumably extra twists, turns and cold-weather messiness on the best way, High Chef airs Thursday nights on Bravo at 10:00 p.m. ET. Tell us within the feedback if you happen to guys thought this twist was strong or horrible. And to see what different exhibits are on the best way within the close to future, prepare dinner your self a James Beard-worthy plate of meals and head to our midseason premiere guide.