Top Chef Chicago: Week Eight Reflections

It was the best of times . . . It was the worst of times. Actually, in this episode there was more that I loved than hated. For the first time this season, the Quick Fire Challenge lasted more than 10 minutes and the contestants came off as human beings. For the most part, that is.

I loved – L-O-V-E-D – that guest judge Art Smith actually gave criticism while tasting. It was a very real moment for the show this season. On the other hand, I was disgusted (this should be a big surprise…really) by Andrew’s reaction to having a $10 budget. Plenty of Americans feed families larger than four people on less than $10 a meal. Seriously. And obviously, if they were all able to finish the challenge, they were able to follow that one guideline.

Really touching though was Antonia talking about her daughter, and then talking to her daughter. It was a shining moment for her. And when Richard said that seeing Antonio cry made him want to have babies . . . well, maybe he’s not so bad.

I imagine the episodes were all cut in advance, but it almost feels like Top Chef listened this week. We got more human contestants, a longer quick fire and more Tom Colicchio. Yay!

As for Mark going home: although I liked him, I was ambivalent about seeing him go . . .

. . . Next week on Top Chef: Weddings!

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