December 09, 2009 09:24 PM by DA Southern
Top Chef ends with three on the best chefs who have ever performed in the finale. The brothers Voltaggio,Â Michael andÂ Bryan, andÂ Kevin face off and, unlike many of the previous editions ofÂ Top Chef, it really will be a cook-off to the end with no clear-cut chef leading the pack. Kevin has had flashes of brilliance as have the brothers and it will come down to a purely subjective judge’s pallet in the end. Whatever happens, you get a sense that you are seeing three chefs who will definitely leave their mark on the world of cooking.
The final three had a sit-down and Kevin was sizing up his competition in the brothers. Kevin said that he has won more challenges than anyone, but acknowledged that the brothers have won their fare share and that they would be “Bringing it.”
The Final Elimination Challenge
Host Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio announced that they would all be cooking a three-course meal, with the last course being a dessert, the bane of many a chef onÂ Top Chef chefs in seasons past. All the eliminated chefs appeared and the three had to draw knifes to see who would be their souse chefs.
Michael had chef’s Eli and Jesse, Kevin was saddled with Ash and Preeti, who he though was basically worthless and only let cut veggies; Bryan chose Ashley and Jennifer and seemed to be the most pleased with his picks.
The chefs moms came in to encourage the chefs and Bravo got a two-for-one deal with the brothers as they had only one mom to send in but the chefs were definitely on edge as they went into the final prep stage for the three course meals. Tom Colicchio then told the three chefs that they were now doing four courses, the last course as a tribute to their mom. Oh boy, what will the brothers do?
Michael’ new first course was a broccoli dish to pay tribute to his mom; Kevin’s was a chicken finger dish and Bryan’s tribute dish was a kind of noodle/sardine dish of some kind. For their main dishes, Michael was into fish; Kevin was doing his signature pork and Bryan was doing a venison dish.
The first course went out and even the mothers were sitting in on the meals at the judge’s table but I don’t think it was great to have them judge their own son’s dishes unless they were a doing a blind taste test, which they have done from time to time.
Some heavy hitters were at the judge’s table and it looked as though they pulled out all the stops. The first courses were out and Kevin seemed to shine a bit more at the end of the first course. After the first course, the moms were summarily dismissed and the second courses were out.
Kevin fell down a bit at the second course but Bryan really seemed to falter but Michael’s fish dish was the star from the comments of the judges. The third course Bryan stepped it up and seemed to really shine with his dish and Kevin’s signature pork was a bit of a let down. Michael’s dish was called “Gimmicky” by judge Gail.
The dessert course was all over the place with the judges and I could not tell who had come out on top at the end. Based on the limited judge’s comments we saw, I would have to say that Michael fared better than brother Bryan and Kevin see-sawed between the top and the middle with his dishes.
The biggest comment against Bryan was the lack of seasoning aspect of his dishes and it was clear that his cooking expertise was not in question. Michael’s over-the-top style was plainly evident and Kevin was consistent, if nothing else, but would it be enough to sway the judges.
Toby thought that Bryan was “Restrained” by some of his dishes, but the judges seemed to overall love his execution. Kevin’s squash dish was hailed but his pork dish was not, which seemed to upset him a bit. Michael was told that he “Nailed” his fish entrÃ©e by judge Toby Young but his dessert was a bit of a let down. Dang it, I still don’t know who they were the most impressed with, but by the comments, it seems that Michael had the upper hand overall.
When asked why each should winÂ Top Chef, Michael had the best line when he said that “I just don’t want to see Bryan win.” It seemed as Toby Young and Gail Simmons went back and forth over the brothers with Toby liking Bryan and Michael being preferred by Gail. Overall, Kevin was called a “Future culinary superstar” by Toby Young but “Just had a bad night.” Uhh oh, not so good for Kevin.
When called in, the litany of the ups and downs of each of their dishes were recapped by Tom Colicchio and then Padma announced that Kevin was not theÂ Top Chef, leaving one of the brothers to claim the title of Top Chef. Padma then announced thatÂ Michael V was theÂ Top Chef.
Michael was quite magnanimous when he said that it was more of a thrill to be standing next to his brother at the end than actually winning the title and I was just happy to finally be able to tell the brothers apart.
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Photo Credit: Bravo