Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Liveblogging the "Top Chef" Season Finale

9:53 - I'm set up in bed with my laptop, the TV, TiVo remote (for prime rewinding capabilities), and some laundry to fold if I get bored or have a break during commercials.

9:56 - Ugh. Just watched Antonia get knifed again.

10:00 - Here we go!!! The obligatory recap of the season, showing Dale punching a locker ad Lisa yelling about rice.

10:01 - Stephanie brilliantly says - "this is it." Richard interviews that his entire future is at stake. He complains about Lisa being there, cut to Lisa worrying about sucking it up.

10:02 - 3 guest chefs! April Blumenfield, Dan Barber, Eric Ripert (!!! - so cute!!!). Tom gives the challenge - 4 courses in the traditional progression (fish, poultry, meat, dessert). Choose a guest chef to be your sous chef! Each sous chef has a different selection of proteins!! (drool) lump crab and Wagu beef!

10:04 - Stephanie and Richard have to choose knives to see who chooses first - Stephanie = Ripert, Richard = Barber, Lisa = April. Really, there are no losers here. 3 hours to prep today and 4 hours the next day to cook for a black tie affair!

Lisa - flavors of Thailand and Vietnam. April doesn't cook Asian food. Uh oh.
Richard - his journey (classic through molecular) - still waiting for the lightening bolt. Dan seems confused!
Stephanie - different flavor combos and well-balanced, simple. Eric seems impressed. Then she offends him by hovering over his filleting!! Ha! You don't tell Eric how to fillet a fish, bitch!

10:09 - Time's running out on the 3 hour prep. Richard uses his secret weapon - liquid nitrogen, to make Tabasco Sauce ice cream (bleargh). Lisa talks smack about molecular gastronomy, which sadly, I kind of agree with. Eric wins me over by wanting to learn about liquid nitrogen!!

I TOTALLY agree with Stephanie - Lisa getting along with someone IS weird.

5 minutes of prep left - cooking montage. Gladware plug (last of the season???). Richard still interviews that he has no plan. Um, WTF? Dude. You need to have some kind of've been there this long, you really have no concept of what you want to cook as your "meal of a lifetime?"

(Glad and Puerto Rico sponsored commercial break)

10:14 - back to the kitchen. No sous chefs? Only Tom!! Oh comes the twist. The sous chefs aren't coming in because the judge's wanted to make sure the contestants were cooking "by their own hand." WTF? So now they have to do crappy, quick work because they got screwed over? I get that this is what happens in restaurants all the time, but, come on. This isn't a restaurant. It's the FINALE!! And the dessert, too? I'm not such a fan.

10:17 - I'm ashamed to admit that Lisa's dishes sounds delicious! Ooh! Richard! Bacon ice cream!

Sniff and Sneer - Richard's menu is "abstract." Stephanie - Tom seems angered by her cake. Lisa - laughs at her being so calm.

Gratuitous shot of the timer with Glad Forceflex in the background.

10:20 - Stephanie is worried about her cake and Richard & Lisa tell her it's fine and to stop doubting herself. So, everyone should act like you, Lisa? Good Lord. What a debacle that would be.

Everyone looks so fancy at the black tie dinner! I like Padma's red dress!

10:26 - Padma tries to get the dirt on working with the chefs. They come out of the kitchen to meet the judges and guests (ugh, Zagat). Yay! Ted Allen!

Richard: Personal Journey
Lisa: Vietnamese/Thai
Stephanie: Simple, clean, multiple proteins, fruit, all flavor points

First Courses:
Lisa - Grilled Prawns - chili basil sauce, potato chips
Steph - Red snapper, asparagus
Richard - scallop with mango and pinapple vinegar (yum-O)

The judges like Stephaie's best (?)

Second Courses:
Lisa - soup dumpling, coconut soup (hell's yeah!!)
Stephanie - seared quail, mango lobster sauce
Richard - Guinea Hen and fois gras, spring vegetables (isn't it Fall??)

Lisa's seems to go over well. Steph's does, too

Third Courses:
Lisa - Wagu beef with corriander and garlic
Steph - Lamb, mushrooms, pistachios (sounds so, so good)
Richard - Pickled radishes, pork belly (drool...pork belly)

Lisa's beef is not tender and the dish is pedestrian. Steph's is well thought-out.

Fourth Courses:
Lisa - Black Thai Rice Pudding (no, not the rice!!!)
Steph - Ricotta Poundcake
Richard - Banana scallop with bacon ice cream (yawn...)

10:35 - They like Richard's dessert (they should, it's the third time he's made it on the show), but find Stephanie's to be good but un-inventive.

(beth - I, to you, in addition, like his use of "F" as well.)

10:40 - Judge's Table - (GOB - It's the final countdown!!!) Tom wants to find out what the chefs' intentions were.

First Course:
Richard - First course should wake up the palate, the judges think it was underseasoned. Lisa's first course was "assertive" (read: spicy). Stephanie's dish was beautiful and light.

Second course:
Richard - I don't remember what they said about it...and I just watched it...too much wine.
Lisa - great soup
Stephanie - WTF was up with the leeks???

Third course:
Richard - minimalistic dish, but couldn't make the fat crispy...what's better than crispy pork fat?
Lisa - Beef wasn't cooked properly and the sauce was too sweet.
Stephanie - lamb was creative and braised pistachios were delish!

Fourth course:
Richard - called him out on making the dish before!
Lisa - delicious rice
Steph - Tom didn't like the banana cream

Last words - Stephanie says she second guessed herself and that's why her dessert felt flat. Lisa says again that she's confident and that she should be Top Chef.

10:47 - Oh snap!! Richard says he choked!!! WTF??!???!

The vote on each course.
Course 1 - Lisa/Steph
Course 2 - Lisa (?)
Course 3 - Steph
Course 4 - Richard/Lisa (Ben and Jerry's shout-out for you, beth!!!)
(way to pipe in the sound of morning songbirds, Bravo producers)

10:50 - Stew room - Lisa gives two courses to Steph and two to herself. WTF, Richard gets nothing?? Way to be supportive, Lisa...weren't you just complaining about the two of them not supporting you not two days ago? The judges all state that they have a "preference." You can't say "favorite" anymore, guys? Ugh. Lisa's totally going to win.

10:56 - Stephanie wins the poll!

10:57 - Padma restates the prizes and the fact that someone will win. Thanks for the recap, slurry. Tom recaps why the chefs are awesome.

Stephanie is TOP CHEF!!!!!!!!!!!

She didn't really look that excited!! YAY!!! The other contestants come out of hiding to congratulate her. Lisa bitches, big surprise. Richard says that is sucks to los.

10:58 - OOH! Dale looks so sassy and fancy!!!

Stephanie does an adorable jig! I'm so happy!! That was awesome! I'm so glad she won! And, while I'm happy she won, does anyone else feel like this was a slightly underwhelming finale? No real drama. All good food. Whatever. Stephanie won!!!

Well, that's it, everyone...thanks for reading! I'll be back with fantastic recaps of "The Next Food Network Star," and, of course, "Top Chef" season 5!


Beth said...

Yay! Live blogging! I came to the conclusion that one of the reasons I started to like Richard is b/c he uses the F word a lot.

Beth said...

Go, Stephanie, go!

EdT said...

Lisa is a douche-hat. Because I said so. She has douchey spikey hair - that she got from the guy with the flower on shear genius.

Beth said...



EdT said...


Stephanie - you are top chef.

Stephanie (blandly): what. really? oh my god.

P.P.S. fuck you Lisa. You never had a chance, you spikey haired ho.

P.P.P.S - Dale has awesome glasses on.

iko said...

edt - I, to you, in addition, heart Dale's glasses, as well!

beth - YAY Stephanie!!!

Beth said...

Yay Stephanie!
Yay F-word!
Yay Ben and Jerry's!
Yay Bacon!
Yay awesome glasses!
Yay jigging!
Yay monopolizing the comments screen!