Top Chef Recap: The Finale – But Not Really


The “finale” of Top Chef aired last night (actually the second-to-last episode) and the cheftestants have made it to Aspen, Colorado, presumably for the Food and Wine Classic, but clearly just an excuse to unleash Cowgirl Padma.

For the Quickfire, the nervous chefs were given fresh-caught trout and had to gut and prepare the fish themselves, and cook a meal on a campfire stove for Eric Ripert of Le Bernadine. Kinda boring challenge – they all screwed up, and Casey won again.

For the cowboy-themed elimination challenge, the cheftestants all had to work with elk, which turned out to Dale’s advantage, as he apparently has a big game when it comes to cooking game, and won his first elimination challenge at a pretty damn good time.

I have to say, even though Casey makes some awesome stuff sometimes, this was another episode where it appeared she made the worst dish but didn’t go home. The judges hated her mushroom-crusted elk, which Ripert kept calling “black and blue.” I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that, but it sounds pretty nasty. They did rave about her smoked tomato sauce, which appears to have saved her.

Hung meanwhile, keeps getting crap from the judges for being an excellent but uninspired chef. It’s a good point – he could be a sous chef at any five star restaurant in the world, but would he really open a brilliant place himself? It will be interesting to see if he can respond to that in the real finale and mix it up a bit.

Brian, for his part, made a whiskey braised elk shank that everyone seemed to love. I thought Bravo, having settled on the hot girl, the friendly gay and the plucky immigrant for the finale, were looking for a reason to boot Brian. His dish looked pretty amazing and the only criticism they could come up with was that it took him too long to say all the great things that were in it, and that giving guests two choices of cheese was a bad idea. But who can criticize too much cheese? Anyway, as predicted, Brian goes home.

Alright, well you all should now have plenty of ideas for how to prepare your elk for dinner tonight. Lemme know tomorrow what you come up with.

Photo: Premier Model Management

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  • gansie September 27, 2007  

    Dale is fucking hysterical. I was pissing after one of his quotes that he never cooked for cowboys, but he’s fucked them. Or something like that. Much more funny when he said it. And, Dale’s “Why I should be the Top Chef” speech clearly kicked everyone else’s attempt out of the water. Brian’s was shit, and I think that extra sunk him. I still want Casey to win, but I hope Dale squashes that terdface, Hung.

  • JoeHoya September 27, 2007  

    FYI – ‘Black and blue’ is an insider’s term for a preparation that indicates an interior whose level of doneness is below rare.

    The “black” is the exterior, which is charred or quickly seared over high heat.

    The “blue” is the interior, which is nearly raw (picture chopped steak tartare for a good idea of texture). It’s definitely an acquired taste, and it’s not really a great showcase for the chef’s talent.

  • BS September 27, 2007  

    thanks for the clarification, j-ho!

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