Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Top Chef Season 6: Episode 14 [Finale] Live Blogging

So here we are, the Top Chef Season 6 finale. It's been a long season for sure, with some breaks between weeks and that weird reunion/dinner special. For their final challenge, Kevin and the brothers Voltaggio have to create a three course meal: a first course in which all of the chefs will use the same ingredients, a completely open second course, and a dessert for the third course. The top three draw knives to get their sous chefs for the last meal; Kevin gets Preeti and Ash, Bryan gets Ashley and Jen, and Michael grabs Jesse and Eli. Kevin definitely got the short end of the stick on that one, and he certainly puts Preeti in her place by relegating her with simple vegetable chopping, which she still seems to be struggling with. Bryan's team definitely looks to be gelling the best, and that may just give him the edge he needs in what may be the closest finale ever, at least on paper.

The boys are just hanging out in their suite, probably their only down time all weekend, and they get the best surprise ever: moms! Only two are there, though, because, of course, there are brothers in this year's competition, REMEMBER? Well that little party ends quickly, when Tom meets the chefs on their way into the kitchen and surprise, surprise, adds a fourth course, a dish inspired by each contestant's favorite childhood memory, to the meal, which is only three hours away. We get a little surprise when Kevin reveals that he was accepted to MIT (!!!), but he turned it down to be a chef. Wow, who would have guessed? The dish that all of the contestants seem to be having the most trouble with is the mystery box dish, which has to include rock fish. I feel a little better about Kevin's complete misfortune being stuck with Preeti when he praises Ash's help in the kitchen. He basically has one real sous chef and one oversized child trying to imitate what a chef does. As dinner service nears, the music gets super intense; the producers must be trying to warn us that something big is about to happen. No, really?

Well they certainly didn't skimp on the the big names around the final table tonight, but clearly the only ones that matter are Stephen Starr and my future BFF Gail Simmons. For their first childhood inspired course, Kevin whips up a take on fried chicken with squash casserole, Bryan offers a modern interpretation of tuna noodle casserole with sardines and breadcrumbs, and Michael presents a cream of dehydrated broccoli with shrimp. Kevin certainly wins round one, but all of the chefs earn at least some praise from the panel. Umm, WTF, the moms only get to stay for the first course? What's up with that Bravo? Well, here comes the mystery box dish. All of the chefs combined the squash, meyer leon, and rock fish. Here, Michael probably takes the win, but all of the chefs were able to combine these seemingly incongruous ingredients beautifully. Kevin sticks to his favorite meat, pork, for the final round; Bryan tackles venison, and Michael goes for squab. Now, it's Bryan's turn, as his dish earns unanimous praise. Kevin gets a medium reception, and Michael stumbles a bit. As the cheftestants take turns introducing their desserts, all I can see is chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Kevin pairs his with bacon and babana; Michael forms it into a cake with caramel, and Bryan whips up a dulce de leche cheesecake with fig sorbet. Following that whirlwind meal, it's really hard to say who's going to come out on top. All of the men had high points and misfires, but if one really stood out, it's Bryan. Whether or not that will determine tonight's decision remains to be seen.

Final judges' table here we come. Bryan steps into the fire pit first, and although the judges come down on his mystery box dish, they praise his venison as his best showing of the night. Although the judges seem disappointed in pork fanatic Kevin's main course, his first dish earns raves once again. Michael, finally, gets criticism for his dessert, which he readily admits to overcooking, but he definitely had the judges' favorite mystery box interpretation. Basically, we didn't learn anything new from judges' table. At all. I stand by my statement that this is easily the most closely matched finale ever, and without question, the right three men are standing together at the end. For the first time I can remember, I really don't have any idea who will be grabbing the victory after the break.

First of all, reunion next Wednesday. I unfortunately won't be able to blog it, but I'll certainly be tuning in for a rerun, hopefully to see some major Robin bashing. Padma knocks Kevin out first, setting up the ULTIMATE brother showdown between Bryan and Michael for the title. Thankfully, Kevin's lovely mom is there to comfort him, and he was really awesome all season. This year's winner of Top Chef, with a $100,000 prize furnished by the Glad family of products is.....Michael! Although I think Bryan was better overall tonight, Michael was on the cutting edge and at the top all season, and he had a spark that his more reserved older brother didn't necessarily show. I can't say this was my favorite season ever, but those final three, even final four with Jen, were all fantastic chefs, and their performances all seasons certainly made it a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to blog for Penn Appetit! Until next season...

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...