Well, oh well, oh well. We finally made it to the end. Did the right cheftestant win? What did you think of the challenge and didn't you just want to reach right into your TV screens and eat some of those dishes?!? To check out what happened in the finale,
When the episode begins, the cheftestants are presented lift tickets and are whisked away to the top of the mountain where Padma and Tom are waiting for them. At this point they're told to use the protein and produce provided and create the best meal they have ever cooked in their lives. Oh and the twist? They're all going to be cooking at the same time, in the same kitchen. They're also going to serve at the same time.
They're given 35 minutes to prepare their menus — which I'm surprised they didn't already have planned — and then they draw knives to determine their sous chefs. Everyone assumes it will be former cheftestants, so they're ecstatic to find out that their sous chefs are actually famous chefs. Hung is paired with Rocco DiSpirito, Casey is paired with Michelle Bernstein and Dale is paired with Todd English.
With their sous chefs in order, they head straight to the kitchen. From my point of view, it seemed like the cheftestants were a bit star struck at first, but then buckled down and got to work. The celebrity sous chefs do as they're told, but you can tell they don't always agree. After three hours of chopping and prepping, the cheftestants say farewell to their sous chefs and call it a night.
The next day they're on their own as they finish up the meal. They have two hours to get their three dishes ready and are halfway through when Tom tells them to stop what they're doing and come outside. Peeved, they all head outside only to find out that they each need to do a fourth dish. They also learn that they'll have some assistance from former cheftestants. Hung is paired with Sara, Dale is paired with CJ and Casey is paired with Howie.
Once they get back into the kitchen, the chefs get down to business and prepare their four dishes. Each course is presented to the eight judges — the four main judges, the three celebrity sous chefs and former contestant Brian — and it's clear that some of the dishes are really blowing others out of the water. Courses one and three are awarded to Hung — they even thought his duck was "three star Michelin" caliber — while courses two and four go to Dale. Unfortunately there can only be one winner and after much deliberation — according to Rocco's blog, the judges debated for nine hours — Hung is declared the next Top Chef!
Now for some things to ponder:
- Did you think Hung was going to win? Do you agree with it?
- Which dish did you want to eat the most? Personally I wanted that duck!
- People have been complaining that this season lacked personality compared to the last two. After the finale, do you still think that's true?
- Which celebrity sous chef would you want to work with?
- Were you surprised that Hung went with a chocolate cake? Especially in the high altitude?
- Did you notice that the judges were wearing the same clothing during both the Aspen panel and the live panel?
- Dale said the scallop dish was a 50/50 collaboration with CJ. Do you think this was true?
- Overall, what did you think of this season?