Top Chef Last Chance Kitchen gets a new twist no one expected

Tom Colicchio with Soo Ahn on Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen Season 13
Tom Colicchio with Soo Ahn on Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen Season 13 / Bravo

Any Top Chef fan knows that Last Chance Kitchen is more than just a second chance opportunity for a cheftestant to cook their way back into the competition. It is almost a culinary bootcamp to hone their critical thinking to help them once the opening to rejoin the main season becomes available. Kristen Kish, Brooke Williamson, and Joe Flamm may have packed their knives at one point in the competition, but they rose to the occasion and earned the coveted culinary title. In the latest Last Chance Kitchen season, a new twist could throw Top Chef Season 21 for a loop.

As seen in the first episode of Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen Season 13, a new chef, Chef Soo Ahn joined the Wisconsin based cast. While the 16th chef did not have an opportunity to compete in the main competition, he could earn his way into Season 21, if he wins five cooks in a row. It might be a daunting task, but drive and determination could serve him well.

Adding this new element to the Last Chance Kitchen Season is a smart move for the Bravo/Peacock series. Not only does it give another chef an opportunity to earn a fan following, the idea engages viewers to watch the Peacock based series. Sometimes rooting for the underdog is more fun than cheering on a favorite.

In addition, the idea that a totally new chef could join Top Chef Season during the competition might cause the other chefs off their game. As seen in previous seasons, the group becomes close knit and acclimates to each other in the kitchen. A new presence throws everything off balance. Whether or not this scenario happens remains to be seen. Chef Ahn has several more wins in Last Chance Kitchen to achieve before that situation could occur.

One of the reasons why Last Chance Kitchen works so well in the Top Chef format is that it offers real insight into how the chefs approach a challenge. Even though some of the concepts give the eliminated chefs an opportunity to redo an error that caused their demise, other ideas push their adaptability.

A great chef should know how to cook simply in one moment and complex in another. No matter the ingredients, parameters, or complications, executing a delicious dish needs to be in their repertoire. If they cannot master that idea, they should not have applied for this culinary competition.

Joe Flamm might have said in a recent Top Chef Wisconsin episode that there are no bad chefs in this group and that sentiment is true. Luckily, with Last Chance Kitchen, a bad day can have a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately, two bad cooks can sideline a chef’s chances at culinary glory.

Could the twist of a 16th chef rising from Last Chance Kitchen to earn Top Chef glory be the crowning achievement of Top Chef Season 21? Be sure to watch new episodes of Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen on Peacock or wherever viewers stream Top Chef. New episodes air after the latest Bravo episodes run on Wednesday nights.