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Top Chef: Seattle, Finale Recap

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I’m pretty happy. Are you happy? I probably don’t even need to write this recap, because all this last episode did was prove the bada**ery that is Kristen Kish (aka Asian model/Stefan’s wannabe girlfriend/and now superstar chef).

But let’s get on with it.

Top Chef decided to go all out on this finale episode. I mean, a stadium, really? 300 people, really? Cooking for five picky judges is hard enough, but to invite the old TC winners, friends, family, and the entire population of a small city made the final two contestants, Brooke and Kristen, throw up in their mouths. Can’t blame ‘em. “I did not expect a f***ing stadium,” says Brooke.

Brooke’s cooking team consists of Stefan, CJ, and Kuniko. Solid choices. Kristen’s, on the other hand, is filled with last three chefs to get eliminated: Josh, Sheldon, and Lizzie. Hmm. I’m sensing some unevenness? I wish they would’ve allowed  us to see how the teams were picked.

Padma announces how the game is played: there are five rounds (five courses), and whoever wins the first three becomes the new Top Chef. Easy peasy. Except, not really.

Round 1: Kristen wins with her chicken liver mousse and frisee. Brook’s cirspy pig ear was burnt, thanks to a bumbling CJ. Padma states the obvious, “Brooke, you need to catch up.”

Round 2: Brooke takes the cake with her seared scallops over salt cod puree, but Kristen came close. She cured hers in citrus and lavendar.

Round 3: Brooke makes a huge mistake with her vadouvan fried chicken wings. Judges clearly do not like to see chicken wings at the finale. Kristen wins for her celery root puree with bone marrow.

(Kristen: 2, Brooke: 1. It’s down to the wire.) Before Round 4, Padma makes a real a** of herself when she goes to the previous Top Chef winners’ table and asks Ilan Hall what it was like to watch himself on tv. He says he looked fat and his hair was always oily. Padma, the nicest person in the world, goes, “Nothing has changed then.” Ouch.

Round 4:  Kristen cooks a red snapper with leeks and uni, while Brooke does a braised pork cheek with crispy red snapper lying on top. It’s a tough choice, but the judges go with Kristen.

AND THAT’S HOW KRISTEN KISH BECAME THE SECOND FEMALE TOP CHEF.

“I’m proud that I got to make them (my family and friends) proud,” she says. Kish plans to use the money for a trip to Korea, where she hopes to find her birth parents. She definitely deserves it.