Live Blogging Top Chef, Week 9

We'll start the rest of the season with a bang tonight: It's time for Restaurant Wars! Join us as we report on the battle in the comments under this post. It's like we're all embedded journalists!

If you're not familiar with Top Chef traditions, Restaurant Wars is the a challenge where the chefs are split into two teams, each of which must invent a "restaurant," plan and prepare a menu of meals, and serve them to the judges. It is also traditionally fraught with tension, bickering, service disasters, kitchen fires—all that great stuff!

And if you're not familiar with this live blog, it's a commenter-created affair. Just turn on your TV, watch the show (at 9 Eastern on Bravo) and start posting below. You won't want to miss it! I know, because I had to miss last week's party when I was on vacation in the Web-free wilds of Maine. But I read the comments later and pieced together the following highlights about what happened last week:

  • Many commenters noted that food-pilfering Alex—aka "Swiper"—didn't steal anything during the episode, but I think I've found evidence to the contrary: It looks like he swiped some silverware! See for yourself!
  • The Saran-wrap-on-the-potty prank reminded us that Glad no longer sponsors this show. Otherwise, that toilet would be sealed in Glad Wrap and the box would be displayed prominently nearby.
  • When Kevin chose to prepare Indian food, commenter katekate suggested he was just trying to "curry favor" with judge Padma Lakshmi. She probably would've been more impressed, though, by Ed's pot stickers—if he'd left out the stickers.
  • We couldn't tell if the ambassadors who helped judge the food disliked any of it. As missing_piece noted, they were all so damn diplomatic.
  • Tiffany won both challenges, which made us happy because we're all "Team Tiffany" now. Brain Moylan quipped: "I haven't been as excited for a double Tiffany victory since ‘I Think We're Alone Now' and ‘I Saw Him Standing There' were both on the charts."

There were many more amusing comments where that came from. When you get a chance, check out this selection of a few of my favorites. But first, check out these highlights from tonight's episode:

  • The quickfire challenge will be the ever-popular "tag-team cookoff," where two teams each take turns creating a single dish, relay-race style. During Amanda's turn, she'll earn Kenny's approval by dumping some pasta into boiling water. At long last, we've discovered something that Amanda knows how to do!
  • One Restaurant Wars team will uphold this challenge's terrible-restaurant-moniker tradition (remember "Revolt"?) by choosing the name "EVOO," for "extra virgin olive oil." I guess it could have been worse—at least they didn't name it after "pure olive oil."
  • Another Top Chef tradition—fighting and bleep-swearing—will also make a welcome return tonight. Kevin will deliver a curse-laden rant worthy of a fed-up flight attendant. I can't wait!

You can probably tell I'm looking forward to this episode. So is everyone ready to start live-blogging? Good! Put on your pith helmets, and I'll see you down in the commenting trenches!

[Image via Suaphotos/Shutterstock]