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Wow! Hello, everyone, and please excuse me if I sound extra-hyper tonight. I'll take a deep breath so I avoid too many run-on sentences! (Might be too late on the exclamation point front.)
My heart is beating so quickly it's as if I have been transported back to the taping of this week's final challenge and eaten all twelve desserts the final three chefs prepared so lovingly for us. But this time the palpitations are not from the sugar rush, but rather a result of the sheer thrill of watching our season finale, of finally being able to talk to the world about what happened that night, and of re-living the moment when Yigit Pura became the first ever Top Chef: Just Desserts.
First, I want to thank you all so, so much for watching each week, for reading our blogs, for getting into the show and all its twists and turns, and for all your passionate feedback. It is so nice of you to have taken this wild ride with us, and I am personally so grateful to have gotten to know you a little bit.
The final challenge had all the right components, I think. I liked that the chefs were given carte blanche and very few parameters when told they were to prepare a four-course, progressive dessert tasting. They could interpret that and tackle it however they thought best, and that allowed them to really make what they put on the plates a representation of themselves, their cooking and their visions.
Danielle, Morgan, and Yigit being assisted on the prep day by three of the most famous pastry chefs in the country, Elizabeth Faulkner, Claudia Fleming, and Sherry Yard brought the real world back into the kitchen and reminded the cheftestants of the magnitude of this challenge, that the biggest names in the industry were watching, and that they were representing the hopes and dreams of pastry chefs around the country. Yigit and Sherry seemed to combine fun and productivity in just the right way, and he used her most wisely. It was clear Danielle worshipped Elizabeth and made that clear to her, which I'm sure felt great about, but it was a little jarring to see someone of Elizabeth's caliber spending all that time shelling pistachios.
Thank for this blog, Dannielle. I really enjoyed TCJD and look forward to the next season. Fwiw, I don't see how Morgan's comments about Zak could be misconstrued. He comes off as a truly hateful person. Congrats to Yigit!
From beginning to end the 3 finalists stayed true to their personalities and technical skills: Danielle was goofy and weird. Her plates were childlike and yesteryear. Morgan was foulmouthed, cynical, and disrespectful. His desserts may have been concise, but that macaron was a replay (maybe the 4th time). For that rerun entry, I'm glad he lost. Yigit was focused, articulate and respectful of those who assisted him. His offerings were focused and beautiful. His win restored my faith in the judging system. Thank you for crowning him the first winner. I'm sure he was most appreciative of the honor.
Appreciate your comments here. Loved the first season. I wish there could be a way to not have so much sugar/dessert and yet keep the general concept. Maybe Top Chef Fruits and Nuts. Loved Danielle for being true to herself. Wish we could have enjoyed a first-season female winner. I would have loved to taste her offerings--very appealing!
I don't see how Morgan could have won given his unfortunate comments throughout the episodes. Wouldn't it have reflected poorly on the show if he were its representative? It's sad too, because when he was talking about his son he became attractive and sympathetic.
The diva moments throughout the season revealed considerable lack of judgment from several contestants. Surely they realize the world is watching and judging them on their personalities and graciousness (or lack of) as well as their talent and skill? Surely character counts when advancing a career.
Yigit's offerings didn't catch my fancy, but I'm happy that he was rewarded for his obvious talents.
I was so happy for Yigit and happy for Danielle for shining in the finale. Her baked Alaska looked yummy. I had hoped Erika would have made it through--she seemed so very talented. I also really liked Eric--but will console myself by visiting Baked in Red Hook (area of Brooklyn for those not familiar with it). I'm sad for Morgan because I do think that he truly loves his son and maybe just doesn't realize how his smarmy comments will no doubt get his son teased for having a jerk of a father. He seems to hate women and gays--perhaps it's himself who he is most angry with? He seems to be a very talented chef--hopefully he can work on his personality/anger issues.
I really enjoyed Top Chef Just Desserts. I have to admit, I kept expecting you guys to ask them to create an entree--as having to create dessert seems to really mess up the normal Top Chef contestants. I hope there will be a season 2!!
Dannielle, I really enjoyed your blog and insights on the show! You seem like a very friendly person but very astute with a good head on her shoulders. Sometimes I feel like Gail rattles off whatever comes to her head and it comes off as petulant. But your judging seemed very sincere and with earnest, and I loved reading your blog the best. Please come back next season!
Why knock Danielle for using her sous chef as a sous chef? How may Top Chef finalists have we seen "worship" their sous chefs, only to have that come back to bite them in the butt by allowing their sous chefs too much sway over their decison-making processes?
I was taken aback by the way Morgan's sous chef acted - how very unprofessional!
Yay for Yigit!!!!!
Glad to see Danielle pull off some great dishes in the end!!!!
Morgan, you most certainly deserved to be in the final 3 but your attitude has got to change buddy.
Overall excellent comments, Dannielle, but "I have to hope I was misunderstanding Morgan's crazy comments about Zac or that they were taken out of context somehow"? Did you not watch any of the other episodes? Morgan at the beginning consistently acted like a six-year-old, and then got more vicious (and, I might add, homophobic) as the season went on. Don't you remember last week when Morgan was shown making a LONG comment about how Zac would absolutely sabotage him, when the only real saboteur we've seen on the program has been Morgan himself?
Funny, but he was much better behaved on the Food Network Challenge he was on -- no pouting or sniping, and even a fairly gracious loser. I think Bravo might have edited the show differently if the Top Chef franchise doesn't always have to have a villain.
I have enjoyed the inaugural season of Just Desserts very much. I know it seems odd to have Elizabeth shell the nuts, but who else was there?
I am so happy for Yigit. He absolutely deserved every penny of the show. Morgan, Heather and Zack are also very talented. However, Daniella surprised most of us. We couldn't see any sophisticated desert she made. But, she was so much attractive as American actresses.
I enjoyed the season to a great degree.
And, to be honest I was really hoping Morgan would have won --- very solid, artistic technician/technically mastered artist. I was surprised at the degrees of animosity leveled towards him on the show, and even in the blogs, e.g. when Johnny referred to him as 'the bully' awhile back; and when he was referred to by one of the judges in the finale as a 'typical male pastry chef' (or something very similar).
That kind of on-air sniping gave the impression, validly so given Johnny mentioning him in his blog as a bully, of an anti-Morgan cabal; especially too when Heather did nothing to stop his coagulated pearls after Yigit explained that she would have been entirely capable of doing so.
But I did enjoy the season, and I am glad to have learned a great deal more about what goes on behind the scenes in all of our favorite restaurants.
Thank you all!
morgan you're my winner. you owned everybody all season. and rocked it once again the finale. morgan you da man. keep doin it how you do it.
I'm really glad for Yigit,he did a great job! I hope one day I can eat some of his food,he sure know how to tempt the eyes.My mouth would like to be tempted too! (smile)! Good Luck Yigit!
I truly enjoy watching the show, but like always, all good things come to an end and raise again with a little baking powder and baking soda a dash of this and a dash of that...:)