Not a Brook fan. There is something about her, not sure what
I like the blind tasting too. It’s a bit of a twist of the blind ingredient challenges they’ve had in the past, so this kind of changes it up a bit. I personally have always enjoyed those mise-en-place relay races in past seasons.
I thought it was odd to throw Brooke in there though. If you needed an even number of contestants for this game, why not just run it when you have 6 chefs still active?
To some extent this is already the case with challenges like Restaurant Wars (at least in prior seasons, not this one with the Chef’s Table format).
That said, while blind tasting might reduce bias, it would also eliminate the ability of the chefs to present and explain their dishes to the judges. While it might seem trivial, I think this is actually critical because knowing why a certain ingredient is plated, or not plated, or what is in a reduction or a puree, can provide a completely different palate upon which a dish is judged.
And I think in a series-long contest like Top Chef, bias is important. While each episode has the contestants competing against one another, invariably the judging is based in part on the progression, style and evolution of each chef during the season and competition as a whole.
In other words, the judges are not just judging each chef against one another but against each chef themselves cum chef-testant. This is really epitomized by those elimination challenges where a chef is asked to make a dish that reflects their heritage, family, upbringing, etc.