Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone revels in Chris cosentino and Kerry Heffernan's finale dishes.

on Sep 26, 20120

This season’s finale was truly an embarrassment of riches. Two extraordinarily talented chefs with wildly different cooking styles put all they had into the last Elimination Challenge. I loved this final challenge because being a chef is more than just understanding flavor profiles and acidity. At its core, it’s about communication. With every plate, a chef’s vision is sent out onto the table for someone to literally consume. It’s one of the reasons being critiqued is so difficult. Sure chefs have egos—you need one to be so ballsy as to send your vision out to 200 diners on a Saturday night. But they also have imagination and heart, and the food expresses those in a pretty raw way. So to be judged poorly can feel intense, whether the criticism was about execution, technique or concept. 

Consider that for a moment when you remember that 12 of the country’s best critics were the diners for this finale, and they were judging dishes that were so personal and intimate. If this was a straightforward challenge to create four spectacular Top Chef Masters dishes with limited time to shop, prep, cook and plate, it would have been difficult. But to have to make each of these dishes a revelation really made it worthy of the finale. Chris is a passionate and emotional chef on any day. But for Kerry, a chef who prefers to express himself with spot-on technique rather than personality, this final showdown had to be extra tough.


What a shame that Kerry or Loreena did not win.   While Chris is obviously has  a good heart, and is passionate about his cooking....his extreme "raw animal flesh" cooking style seems over the top, almost barbaric, in this day and age  (and personally repulsive to me, a pesco vegetarian person).  

Kerry seemed to have the finesse, skill, and delicate and subtle touch of complex artisanry-  Loreena had the passion and spiciness.  Why did the Top Chef titlte go to Chris?

Really not understanding the judge's assessment of a Top Chef.  Seems like the judging was made from a heady, metaphorical, judgement- rather than what tasted the most sublime (which would be Kerry's food).



The finale was fantastic!!  No way could I have chosen one over the other.  They both deserved to be "Top Chef".   I have a question for Curtis...  Why don't you have ordinary guest judges?  Ya know people who are not classically trained but love to eat and cook?  We are the one's who frequent their restaurants aren't we?  Why don't you shuffle in "normal" pallets along with the "chef'  or "critic" judges?  I'd love to be one of those.