'Top Chef' Finale, Finally
All Top Chef roads eventually end up at the fork that is the finale. Sometimes the winner is predictable, as we thought it might be with this season's three manly cheftestants. However, that was not the case and we were as shocked as Tiger Woods' neighbor was when he found the golf star snoring in his front yard. In fact, the one and only word we uttered at the television as we threw the remote was, "Lame."
While you may disagree or concur, Michael Voltaggio was crowned by a very pregnant and busty Padma Lakshmi as the next Top Chef. With Mom there to hold Bryan's hand and offer her congratulations to the younger, vegetable-hating (in his much younger days) Michael, the shocking result seemed to come out of left field.
Taking a cue from Chopped, the Top Chef producers threw in a "mystery box," with ingredients that were a myriad of seafood heaven: rockfish, Dungeness crab, meyer lemons, squash and some sort of crazy-sounding mushroom--which we will just refer to as the mushroom of death for Kevin's chances at winning.
Amidst the four course meal, the boys were thrown a signature Top Chef curve ball: an appetizer based on a childhood meal in honor of their moms, who were flown in for the episode. We're imagining the wives were pretty pissed about this decision, by the way. Kevin's seemed to truly wow the judges with his take on chicken and fixins while Bryan's underseasoned version of tuna noodle casserole made with sardines and panko and Michael's crazy fried broccoli and shrimp underwhelmed the judges.
That start seemed strong for Kevin, and we remained confident in our prediction from last week. That was all over when the mystery box dish was served and the chewy mushroom emerged from the plate. It was all downhill from there as his pork belly continued the mediocre trend and his bacon chocolate banana dessert seemed the most amateur of the three. Good thing his mommy was there to catch his tears as Boobs McGee (Padma) gave him the "You are not the next Top Chef."
Bryan seemed to be the next logical choice for the title winner with his impeccable venison dish and refined dessert, while Michael's courses just seemed a notch above Kevin's effort, hence our disappointment. Perhaps Bryan's lack of seasoning in the first few courses weren't enough to overcome.
As we're getting over the shock and learning to love the newest member of the Top Chef elite, we'll make our reservations at Kevin's restaurant in Atlanta. Until next season, we will pack our knives and go.