Top Chef Finale

By Jason Lee

September 20, 2010

His restaurant is called Rat. Maybe Remy works there.

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So, it’s been a few of days since the Top Chef finale actually aired. I wasn’t able to actually watch the finale last Wednesday, so I’ve been on guard all week, doing my best to avoid any chance of someone mentioning to me who won. But lo and behold, here I am, about to start the finale, and frankly, I have no idea who should be favored for this title. If last year’s finale was unpredictable because every chef was insanely amazing, this finale is unpredictable because everyone is pretty good.

So who do we have? We have Hot Angelo, who seems to have lost the momentum he had during the first half of the season. We have Kevin, who’s been solid the entire way through, even if he hadn’t won many challenges. And we have Ed, who, for my taste, has somehow transformed himself into the villain of the season. The way he played mind games with Angelo during the entire first part of the finale really grated on my nerves.

But the finale is here and all the speculation is about to end. The three finalists had barely finished congratulating each other for making it to the very end, when Padma comes out and asks them all to come back before Judges Table. They walk back out and spot the knife block. Everyone knows what’s coming.

Padma tells them that the judges would like to give the chefs as much time as possible to plan their meal, so they’re going to announce the challenge right now. The chefs will be competing head to head, creating the best four course meal they’ve ever cooked. The first course will be a vegetable course, the second fish, the third meat and the fourth is a required dessert. And of course, they’ve flown in some extra hands to help out.

It’s too bad the Top Chef producers spoiled the surprise by featuring the sous-chefs in the promo last week, but yes, as everyone knows, we have Hung, Ilan and Michael V. coming back as sous-chefs.


Incidentally, I love how supportive all the past winners are of the show. It’s not like American Idol, where the winners immediately distance themselves. I think the Top Chef winners all genuinely like and appreciate what the show did for their lives and for the culinary arts.

In any case, the chefs draw knives to see who they’re paired with. Ed wants Michael V. because he rocked it last year. Kevin wants Michael V. because he worked for him years ago. Angelo wants Hung because he wants to sleep with him. I mean, he wants an Asian chef because Angelo cooks Asian food and they’re in Asia.

Ed draws Ilan, Kevin draws Michael and Angelo ends up with Hung. There are two very happy chefs right now.

All six go back to the loft to get to know each other, but Angelo cuts out early because he’s not feeling well. Meanwhile, Ilan gives the chefs what I think is really sound advice: don’t try and do anything new, cook from who you are. Amen.

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