Wednesday night's Top Chef Finale- Part 1 couldn't have been any better, it had the perfect mix of competition, consternation and camaraderie. We had the return of our Last Chance Kitchen winner (Which I'm still mad at Tom for not revealing it in the actual LCK episode. Thanks, Tom.), some great friendly banter and the ever intimidating Tom expediting the kitchen.
Rather than do a full recap, which every other blog does, I'm just going to lay down my thoughts and tidbits. Let's do this!
Click below for the reveal of the LCK winner and eliminated contestant.
And she's baaack! Yes, my Top Chef crush has cooked her way back to the kitchen much to the chagrin of CJ. Which, let me tell you, this third competition entitled Save a Chef was absolutely ludicrous. You lost in Top Chef, you lost in Last Chance Kitchen but you can get voted back into the game? Enough already! Tom, are you going to have a fourth competition next year, vote for your favorite Broke Ass Chef who definitely doesn't have the skill to cook against the finale competitors, but we're just doing it for some publicity? Come on now, Bravo. Enough.
And so Kristen came back with her knives sharpened, a simpler take on culinary competition and a shorter hair do'. Oh, and lets acknowledge Josh's new affinity to Jillian Michaels DVDs. Homeboy lost some weight and looks great!
Ok, so what was with the ridiculously long montage from Last Chance Kitchen? Really? Top Chef, you wasted time showing me what I've already watched only to not have a quickfire competition! Why not? I love me some quickfires, it's a chance for the Chefs to showcase their crazy, imaginary culinary skills without the risk of being sent home. Not cool, Padma, not cool.
And getting to Padma, how gorgeous was she last night? She's always so good at dressing for a challenge and is willing to dive into a burger in full elegant attire. (Or maybe I'm just thinking of the Carls Jr. commercial?). I loved her conservative outfit contrasted with a Bam! pink color. And the sleeked back hair, impeccable makeup all to be topped off with a Gladiator necklace. Love.
On to the meat of show, or the dessert of the show. I was excited to see there was a requisite dessert course in this episode. I LOVE dessert, it's my favorite meal of the day. We didn't see a lot of sweet this season so I was eager to say what they were going to throw down. It seemed to throw all three for a loop as Sheldon mentioned, he had a dessert dish that he brought with him but was planning to use it in the finale. And Kristen kept saying she was going to make a chocolate dish, but didn't know what.
Despite the mixed response of the judges, and even Kristen's own admittance that she couldn't believe she plated chocolate in a bowl for the judges, I so badly want a scoop! Cashews in chocolate? Yum! I won't lie, I've opened up a cup of Jello chocolate pudding and threw in some cashews and it was one of my better culinary creations. The curry powder thrown in there is a little odd, and I vehemently oppose curry powder since it's just a conglomeration of every spice Christopher Columbus was searching for, but the thought of Indian spices mixed with chocolate intrigues me and then throw in my favorite food group, cashews, I'm there!
Not only did Tom show his irritation for the lack of effort in Kristen's dessert, but how obnoxious was Tom as the expediter? If he rolled his eyes anymore I was convinced they were going to get stuck in an awkward position like my mother always told me. I understand that the kitchen can get gruesome, but he was fierce. And then I wondered if this was all for the show? Who was expediting while Tom was huddled in a corner scarfing down the dishes carefully not letting any sweetbread juice dribble down his crisp, white coat?
And in the end it was Sheldon that was sent home. He tried to prove that he could cook mainstream, continental cuisine and it backfired on him. While they thought the food was cooked well, it lacked Tom's favorite words, a flavor profile. As much as I love Sheldy Bear, what was he thinking with that dessert? Even I could have told him that those big twigs of fennel thrown on some steamed apples weren't going to work. As much I was rooting for Sheldon to make it to the end, I desperately want to see a woman win. In the 13 seasons of Top Chef, Stephanie Izzard of Top Chef: Chicago is the only female to wear that crown!
While I love both Kristen and Brooke, I'm predicting it's going to be Brooke who wins. She has much more experience, owns two restaurants, the chef elite of Los Angeles are all familiar with her and lets be honest, this really does play a role in who the judges choose, or so I believe. Kristen has proven to be a great chef, but she's only a sous chef (Probably not for long). Brooke just has a maturity that Kristen does not have and so while Kristen is a great chef, she did not handle expediting her restaurant well, which is why she was sent home. Brooke runs two restaurants, expediting service is her niche, thus I think she has one up on Kristen.
And lets now properly bid adieu to Sheldon. Sorry buddy, you should have listened to Brooke and wear the blue hat instead of the red, I think it would have brought you better luck. I hope to see you in Maui, now I know to eat at Star Noodle rather than Maui Tacos when I come to Lahaina!
Is it me, or did the previews to part two of the finale look similar to Iron Chef?