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Top Chef D.C. Recap: The Finale

At times, I thought this season might never end. We’ve somehow made it through 13 drama-filled episodes. We cringed when Amanda served sherry to middle-schoolers. We were confused when Ed’s pea puree magically “disappeared.” We cried when our girl Tiffany was sent home too early. Now, we can rejoice because this season is finally over. Read on for the last recap of the season.

The three remaining chefs were immediately called back to the judges’ table. I thought the judges had something up their sleeves but they just wanted to give the chefs a head start on the most important challenge of the season. For the final challenge, the chefs had to – insert drum roll – create a four-course meal. The courses: vegetable, fish, meat, and dessert. That’s right. No one was safe from the curse of the desserts! Padma announced that their sous chefs would be past Top Chef winners.  A knife pull paired Kevin with Michael Voltaggio, Angelo with Hung Huynh, and Ed with Ilan Hall.

The chefs returned to the hotel in order to bond and plan their menus with their sous chefs. Angelo, however, headed to bed because he was feeling under the weather.

When the chefs arrived at the kitchen the following day, Angelo was nowhere to be found. He was still “sick.” The doctor said he wasn’t clear to cook so Hung had to prep the meal all by himself while Angelo barked orders over the phone. Tom and Eric revealed the proteins that the chefs had to work with: red rouget/mullet, cuttlefish, cockles, slippery lobster, pork belly, and a whole duck. Ed and Kevin wanted to incorporate foie gras into their meals, but Angelo (Hung) somehow managed to hog it all.

After getting a shot of antibiotics in the rear, Angelo magically recovered from his illness and was cleared by the doc to cook. He wasn’t 100 percent pleased with Hung’s prep work. Seriously? The man just worked his butt off for you!

Anyways, on to the results. The judges said that Angelo’s vegetable dish needed work. They loved his second dish – the broth was perfect. The guest judge said that it would be remembered. His third course was a hit minus the odd palate cleanser. Tom said it came with too many instructions. They didn’t say much about his dessert other than it was borderline savory.

Kevin made a gutsy move by serving terrine for his first course. One judge thought it needed more heat. He took another risk with his pork belly and squid ink. His duck was cooked perfectly. Most importantly, Kevin’s Singapore Sling officially broke the dessert curse. “He just created our national dessert,” the guest judge remarked.

Eric was a fan of Ed’s vegetable course. They gave him props for creating such a complex second course, but wished he had made the fish stand out more. They liked the layers of flavor in his meat course. But his dessert might have cost him the competition. He assigned the entire to his sous chef who basically made a brownie. The judges thought it was ballsy to serve such a lackluster dessert.

Kevin’s Singapore Sling must have really made an impression because the judges named him Top Chef. “I am?” he said. “He is?” I asked. I didn’t see that one coming. I personally think Hung should have won the title for a second time because he basically prepared Angelo’s entire meal, but I guess that wouldn’t be fair. “Jersey’s taking that belt home,” Kevin said. Watch out, Snookie. It looks like New Jersey is going to have to make some room for yet another reality star.

2 comments on “Top Chef D.C. Recap: The Finale

  1. Didn’t see Kevin’s win coming either but Go Jersey!

    That’s funny you put “sick” in quotation marks because I thought Angelo was far too communicative with Hung to be “sick”. I’ve worked in kitchens when I was on death’s door (sorry public!) and barely coherent and banged out food for the entire shift but I didn’t have to think about it or devise a menu or speak. Angelo needs an acting coach.