Yes! I very much enjoyed learning about new categories of food, and for the most part, Eric's food was very well received in both seasons. I really want West African cuisine and, for that matter, Haitian cuisine, to be held in high regard in restaurants, like French or Italian food, and not relegated to food you eat at your friend's aunt's house.
I didn't get the sense that Eric's restaurant would have literal shackles and other reminders of the slave trade, but rather colours that tied back to the theme, and would be pitched as food of the African diaspora (basically, food of everywhere in the Americas). I do think the name, Middle Passage, will disappear somewhere in the development of his restaurant. He'll be talked out of it.
Honestly, I was more skeeved out by the Caucasian Brian Malarkey's concept of marrying food from the Baja (Mexican) with Asian cuisine -- all I could think was, yes, go ahead and marry up the cuisine of two oppressed California peoples and act like you invented it.
Padma's "FFS" expression whenever Malarkey gets going is priceless. Also loved Leanne's Brad Pitt in "Se7en" impression: "What's in the booooooox?"