Top Chef : It’s Over

Jump for the recap. I don’t want to write too much here for people who haven’t watched.

Wow. Wow wow wow is all I can say today. Last night I was just too confused to type anything. From the very beginning of last night’s episode they made the competition all about Hosea and Stefan. I don’t know if it was just editing or not. But they would show Hosea talking about beating Stefan, and Stefan talking about beating Hosea, but neither one ever mentioned anything about Carla. Did they really discount her so much? Or was that just Bravo trying to make it a more dramatic, “face-off” type ending? Either way, it rubbed me wrong from the beginning…

So here we are in New Orleans again. Padma tells the chefs that for the finale they will be cooking the best three course meal of their lives. At Commander’s Palace. 12 judges and guests. Then they bring in Casey, Richard, and Marcel. We knew Casey would be there, and I was hoping for Richard, but Marcel was a surprise to me. They draw knives, and Hosea gets to pick first. He picks Richard, and Stefan picks Marcel, which makes  me kinda go “awwww” for Casey, but then I think, “Oh wait! Casey and Carla together will rock!” (insert premonition here). So the group heads over to the Audobon Tea Room to cook. Hosea and Stefan fight over foie gras and caviar (Hosea has some, Stefan wants some). This is where we see Casey suggest sous vide to Carla. Carla likes the idea. Hosea is confused. Why would Carla do something she’d never done before? We’re all confused, Hosea.

Here comes the twist: the chefs must prepare appetizers before the meal. Whoever finds the baby in the King Cake gets to choose his ingredient (either crab, alligator or redfish) and assign ingredients to the others. Hosea is the winner and gives Stefan alligator. He is very mad. Hosea takes redfish and Carla gets crab. Cooking begins. Menus start coming together. Carla is doing red snapper, meat and potatoes (sous vide), and a cheese course. Hosea is doing sashimi, foie gras and scallop, and venison. Stefan is doing halibut and salmon carpaccio, squab, and a dessert with banana lollipops.

Judges show up. Susan Spicer from Bayona, John Besh from August, Rocco (?), Hubert Keller, Fabio?? And OMG, Toby is back AGAIN, and Gail is there too. Appetizers come and go and everyone likes everyone’s pretty much, even the stinky alligator soup Stefan had to make looks delish. Then the first courses come out, all together. Besh and Branford Marsalis (!) like Carla’s, Fabio thinks Hosea’s is missing seasoning, and Hubert likes Stefan’s. But Carla wins that round someone says. Second course: disaster. Everyone agrees that Carla’s is too tough. It’s the last thing they would expect to see her make, etc. At this point don’t we kind of know it’s over for her? They loved Stefan’s squab, like, they all really couldn’t get enough. And Gail “can’t stop eating” Hosea’s foie and scallop. We head back to the kitchen and see Carla’s souffles are curdled. She forgot to turn the temp down on the oven. They are unservable. So she should probably just go home now. Third courses come out and everyone thinks Stefan’s dessert is totally 80′s! But in a bad way. They fall all over themselves for Hosea’s venison and the winner is becoming more clear.

Judge’s table. They loved the sauce on Carla’s steak but Toby called the meat itself “anemic.” They told her Casey had too much influence. They loved everything about Hosea’s everything. Stefan’s carpaccio was watered down because he froze it before slicing and they just hate the dessert. It’s time for the decision. Stefan says, “I deserve it.” Hosea says, “I’ve got bold flavors.” Carla gets a little weepy and Stefan wants to hug her. She says she “has a lot of heart and flavor” but we all know she’s not winning.

Hosea wins. He kisses Leah on the mouth. Judging by the poll on Bravo, very few people thought he would win (and 66% thought Carla should win). I didn’t care for Stefan’s personality but thought he was very technically good and so confident in the kitchen. Carla stole my heart with her kooky personality and made me excited to watch the show again. Hosea…didn’t inspire much.

Commenters, say what you will. But I don’t think Carla’s loss was Casey’s fault. Yes, Casey made suggestions and Carla took them. But that’s what they wore: suggestions. Carla should have known better than to make something she wasn’t comfortable with for the finale. Or ever. Hosea made the best meal of the three last night and due to the flawed system in place at Bravo, that’s all that counts.

4 comments on “ Top Chef : It’s Over

  1. You pointed it out, Carla didn’t have to take Casey’s suggestions, but she changed two courses to something she’s never done before (sous vide) and to something she didn’t plan on (souffle), terrible decision on her part.

    Of course the editors are going to highlight the Hosea/Stefan “rivalry” because that’s what it came down to in the end. If Carla would have done better, i imagine that they would have included more of that commentary in the first half of the show.

    Toby was clearly pulling for Stefan. He kept driving home the point of the “complete” meal.

    I can’t recall, but have they ever had the “4th place” chef back for the finale?

    It was disappointing to see Carla fail due to Casey’s suggestions, but I’m glad that Stefan didn’t win, his personality killed me.

    One other thing, is Gail pregnant? Or did her dress just show Giada type clevage for the finale?

  2. Neither Carla, Hosea or Stefan won Season #5. Fabio did. IMHO it will be a much greater career enhancer than for the other three. He has the head chef skills and a personality to make many maitres envy him.

    Business is up 40% in his CA restaurant since the series started, he has a cookbook coming out and you can expect to see more of him on TV in the future.