Restaurant Wars brings out the best (and the worst) in Top Chef’s final eight

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

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Let’s begin by addressing a huge development that I overlooked last week: #BeshGate. Southern celebrity chef (and noted culinary hunk) John Besh, a fixture of the Top Chef universe, was outed last year as a total scumbag (Tom wrote a response to both it and the other chef-related scandals that you should read). By that point, however, the show had already filmed his cameo for this current season, which was as a judge at last week’s Olympics challenge. Guys, he was there the whole time, which makes rewatching kind of uncanny. Someone on Reddit even captured all the teensy moments when he (or his hand/shoulder) could be seen, and it’s kinda look spotting a ghost. I remember Tom discussing Besh’s appearance on Twitter after the allegations surfaced, saying that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add some kind of statement before the episode addressing the situation. Bravo, though, chose to ignore it and excise him completely, as if he no longer exists. Whether or not that’s the right route is certainly not for me, a Top Chef critic, to say, but it certainly taps into a larger question pervading culture right now: What, exactly, is the best way to respond for those who vaunted these people?

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