Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Live Blogging - Top Chef Season 5: Episode 14

Although she may not win tonight, Carla is the clear audience favorite, earning 65% of the popular vote. With no separation between Stefan and Carla, Padma anticlimactically names Hosea the winner. He was far from my favorite, but he was easily the best performer tonight, so he fully deserved his victory. So that's that; season five has come to a close. It was one of my favorite seasons so far, and I hope whoever's reading this enjoyed it too. Maybe I'll be back next season!

At judges' table, the judges reiterate their dinner comments about Carla's dishes, praising her first two and coming down on the others. It seems that Carla might have listened to Casey a little too much tonight, spoiling her chance at victory. Hosea's only misstep tonight was a mediocre second dish, but his other three wowed the judges, which may be enough to propel him to victory. Like Carla, Stefan's comments are a bit of a mixed bag, with a popular alligator soup and the judges' favorite dish of the night in his squab. His carpaccio and dessert, however, aren't as impressive. Following the evaluations, Stefan reveals a bit of a heart beneath his stone cold exterior, comforting a clearly distraught Carla, who the judges declare out of the running. Tonight, I think that Hosea was more consistent that Stefan, and he should come away the winner. Padma sneaks in her best comment in weeks, offering "it was pedestrian, at best," when commenting on Stefan's dessert.

Understandably, there seem to be nerves all around in the kitchen, and they only increase for Hosea when he sees the line-up of judges tonight, including Rocco DiSpirito, Hubert Keller, and our very own Fabio. All three appetizers seem to go over well, with Hosea possibly earning top marks for his blackened red fish. Two of the first dishes include raw fish, Hosea's and Stefan's, and two include fennel, Carla's and Hosea's. Carla definitely wins this round, as the judges express minor qualms with both of the male contestants' dishes. If she took round one, Carla loses the second course battle, as her reworked meat and potatoes falls flat, while Stefan's squab and Hosea's scallop soar. Prior to the third round, Carla overcooks her blue cheese souflees, what could prove to be a fatal error, forcing her to send out an incomplete plate. Again, Hosea seems to be number one in the final round with his venison, with Stefan's dessert platter and Carla's apple tart following, in that order. At this point, Hosea looks like the front runner, but the judges have made some strange choices this season, so I wouldn't say anything is definitive just yet.

So that was an super-sized commercial break (7 minutes), and this isn't even a super-sized episode! Tom surprises the chefs by unveiling three traditional New Orleans ingredients, crab, red fish, and alligator, and telling the chefs that they'll each have to prepare an additional appetizer with one of the ingredients. They each grab a slice of king cake, and Hosea finds the lucky baby, meaning that he chooses his ingredient (red fish) and assigns the other two, giving Carla the crab and Stefan the alligator, surprise, surprise. The kitchen preparation is definitely hectic, but thankfully, no major drama goes down, meaning that the outcome will be all about the food tonight.

It's finally here! Tonight the Top Chef judges will crown one of the final three, Stefan, Hosea, and Carla. the season five winner. The season recap highlights the exciting season that most recently saw the departure of Fabio. Before we get into the action, I just want to align myself with Carla, as I have all season. Not only has she cooked consistently delicious food, but she has also been a delight on screen, charming, funny, and sincere. Pre-challenge, there's definitely some bad blood brewing between Stefan and Hosea, which could allow Carla to slip right through to the win, but anything could happen tonight. Tom and Padma present the challenge: cook a three course meal of the chef's choice at the famous Commander's Palace restaurant for a table of twelve distinguished food experts. Each chef will get the aid of a finalist from a previous season as a sous-chef, so Hosea gets Richard, Stefan takes Marcel, and Carla is paired with Casey. The prep at the Audobon tea room is chaotic from the start, as Hosea and Stefan battle for foie gras.


  1. Carla's sous vide/souffle combo seems like a disastrous idea. Hosea's plan to make plain sashimi 1/3 of the best meal of his life seems like one too. I bet Tom will end up feeling the same way about that as he felt about Marcel's green salad in season two.

  2. Casey is evil!!! She messed Carla up and why did Carla let Casey convince her to sous vide (WHY?) and she said let's do a souffle.
    I thought the helpers were much more involved than in previous seasons. Aren't they around to chop onions and stuff? I hate you even more Casey. You ruined Carla's chances. That Carla of all people made a terrible dessert is so so sad.

  3. They've got to be kidding. Stefan deserved that by a long shot

  4. To the guy/gal above: He most certainly did not. He had technique, but no soul.

    I wanted it to go to my girl Carla so bad. She still my, and according to the poll, the fan's, top chef. In my eyes, Hosea is unworthy. He should have gone home on the seafood episode. Hell, he should have gone instead of Arianne for not stepping up ans butchering the lamb.

    Carla was off her game tonight, and let someone push her around - again. I was muttering it when I started seeing Casey meddle: "Girl, don't lose your vision!" She lost it, and it cost her the title. Had she brought what she'd been bringing the past few episodes- that fire, passion, that *care* to her food, she'd be Top Chef. As it was, based on that meal tonight, it couldn't go to her, Stefan too made too many errors, so it had to go to the one who made the least amount of errors. In my mind Hosea kind of gets it by proxy. He didn't truly earn it, not tonight. It also annoyed me that he and Stephan never seemed to consider Carla a threat.

    On a closing note, I liked seeing that the Euro-Bot may actually have a heart. This episode was very anti-climatic, because to me, it didn't feel like a real battle (not like Season 2 between Ilan and Marcel, now THAT was a duel, all they were missing was the pistols) but all things, both good and bad (go away recession!) must come to an end I suppose.

    Oh and I like this blog and would like to see it come back next season, for what it's worth.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...