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The third course gave the chefs an opportunity to really differentiate themselves from one another, as they were able to cook whatever they wanted. Their choices reflected for me so much of what I have learned about them all season long. Kevin gave us a Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Brussels Spouts, Broccoli & Caramelized Ham Jus. In theory, this dish couldn’t have made me happier; the concept exemplified so many of the qualities we have come to love about Kevin’s manner of cooking, specifically his knack for simple and rustic presentations, usually backed by an awe-inspiring punch of flavor. What it lacked was that exact depth we knew he was capable of but, for one reason or another, was not able to muster when he needed it most. The broth was thin in texture and taste, the belly was tougher than it should have been, the broccoli was unimaginative. He knew it. And we did too. On the other hand, the Voltaggios both delivered in a big way. Bryan’s Venison Saddle with Puree of Sunchoke & Orange Juniper Sauce was as pristine as any main course I have seen. Each element complemented and enhanced the next. He showed us multiple preparations using the same ingredients and no bite felt redundant or forced. It was totally beautiful. Michael’s dish was cause for some debate. Although we all agreed that his Fennel Scented Squab Breast was impeccable, I was not crazy about the texture of his Pistachio Cassoulet or that of the molded mushroom mousse he served with it, created more for show than for sustenance. But no one could deny how well the plate was executed and how creative it was.
Then we made them all cook dessert. In finales past, choosing to prepare a dessert has been many a chef’s downfall. But since we have never made them do it, there has been much discussion as to the fairness of how it was judged. By insisting they all give us one sweet course, we were able to see, once and for all, just how well-rounded they could be. Bryan’s Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Fig Sorbet & Poached Pear was subtle, skillful, and balanced, while Kevin’s Roasted Banana, Toasted Peanut with Chocolate Bacon Mousse & Bacon Brittle was bold in taste but clunky in comparison. Michael’s Chocolate Caramel Coulant with Butternut Squash Brûlée & Butternut Ice Cream was a perfect middle ground between them: at once a terrific combination of luxurious fall flavors and an impressive show of technique. If only he had taken that coulant out of the oven just two minutes earlier, it would have been perfect. Its only flaw being that it was a little dry.
So that’s the play-by-play. Now, you may ask, how did we choose? Why did we name Michael Voltaggio the winner of Top Chef’s sixth season? Will I be attacked if I say that for me, the answer was more in a feeling I had when we talked it over together a few hours afterward, having been given little distance from the meal (rest assured, Judges’ Table took us until 6 a.m. the next day; we were more than thorough). Michael stretched his capabilities a little more than the others. He showed us so many dimensions of himself and his cooking abilities and confirmed with each course how diverse a chef he is. Not to mention the fact that it all tasted really, really good. I cannot wait to see what all three of these chefs do next. No doubt it will be delicious!
Thanks Gail, but all this blog did for was convince me even more than Bryan should have won.
Yes, Michael was more creative, but you judges always say it comes down to EXECUTION and not the CONCEPT of a dish. By that standard, Bryan should have won. Please know that I'm a Jen fan who started rooting for Kevin after she was eliminated. From what I saw, Bryan was much stronger.
Michael may have had great ideas, but did he pull it off? No, because his mushroom mousse didn't deliver and his dessert was dry. I can come up with the most creative idea for a dish ever, but if I can't put it on the plate correctly, then I don't deserve to win for an idea.
This was almost as bad as when Hosea won.
Hola Gail-- Having judged a number of young chef competitions where we also use a "mystery box" requiring use of all ingredients, I can tell you that there is often an item in the box that the chef may not know or have used before (I remember once it was ostrich that confused so many in one competition)and IF the chef does not know one item in the box, they are pretty well screwed and it is almost impossible to create a winning dish for that person.
So in this finale, what would have been the result of the second courses has there been NO mushroom? Same result? or would you think Kevin would have won that course? AND if he won course 1 and 2, that would probably have done it for him.
So but for one unknown fungus in the box, the result would be totally different. Just something to keep in mind for future finales. LOVE THE SHOWS- this was the best season by far.
Ummm..Season 4 chefs had to do a dessert, so it was not the first time. But I think this really was all about one course; the mystery box. All three had to use the same ingredients, so it came down to who would be the most creative and use those ingredients the best. Because it seems to me that, as a whole, you enjoyed Bryan's venison dish more than Michael's squab. And since Bryan had the best dessert, for you at least, he should have won.
So, if the producers allow you to make the decisions, how come you've made the wrong one for the past 2 seasons? I'm sure Michael is daring, but as he has said in interviews, he's a COOK not a CHEF. It should have been Bryan, or Kevin. Michael likes to experiment, but he's just not there yet. I've very disappointed in tonight's decision, because it seemed obvious from the beginning that the judges favored the Voltaggio brothers and Michael even more so. I mean everyone says he's consistent, but he was in the bottom 2 once which isn't consistent. If he was he would have been at the top or in the middle.
I'm sorry, but doesn't consistency mean anything to you guys!! Bryan was never in the bottom, and there were quite enought times where Michael was up for elimination. If I was going to have someone make my last meal I wouldn't want to risk that one of Michael's moods would dictate how the food came out. He is a great chef, make no mistake, but has not Bryan's food been proven to be more sophisticated, accurately executed, and skillful overall? Consistency, professionalism, and leadership are the properites of a true Top Chef and I got tires of Michael's cockiness many episodes ago. JUST LOOK AT THE VIEWER'S VOTES!!! Michael was definitely in the bottom.
Gail, by your own words, it seems Bryan should have been the winner, and in fact he deserved it. What is very disappointing about all of you judges is your lack of consistency. One week Tom says that in the end it's all about the taste, and so Kevin wins for a boring dish that tasted good. Then the next week there are complaints about someone "not stretching themselves" or lackluster skills. What happened to "it's all about the taste?" If I were a contestant I would be quite frustrated with knowing what or how to cook to provide what you judges are looking for.
For the second year in a row, you guys got this wrong. It may not be as bad as when Hosea won (ugh!!!!!) but this year definitely belonged to Bryan.
Gail, I so disagree with the final decision.Kevin slightly dropped the ball,but his dishes still looked wonderful.According to all of you Bryans venison and desert was right on target.Miachael gave you showy pieces that not everyone agreed were so good.He himself said his cake was so dry. That would turn me off.I think Kevin and Bryan were both robbed.I think next year you should serve the courses at least 15 minutes from each other,clear your palates and continue.As a side note, I have not liked Michaels attitude toward some of the other Chefs and his arrogance was not appealing.To me all of you screwed up and I feel like I wasted all the time I watched.That's just my opinion and no disrespect was meant.I feel for Mrs. V.,one son won, one lost, what emotion do you feel?Happy, sad, or nothing?
I agree with Callan. Add up your scorecard--Kevin, Mike, Bryan, Bryan.
As a journalist, you should be even more troubled by the edit of the episode. We didn't taste the food, you did. But most of us thought Bryan should have won, and that Mike should have gotten bounced in favor of Jennifer (who should have been "packed" during Restaurant Wars.)
The line between suspenseful and misleading is a fine one, but the Elves left it twelve miles behind. When the viewers watch you deliberate (again, we see 90 seconds, not six hours) and then are shocked and angered by the results, the judges look addled and arbitrary.
You don't edit your writers at Food & Wine this way, so why do you allow the production company to edit you in this manner ?
Nice dress, though. I gather you've been reading your press.
This was the best season of Top Chef ever! That said As far as the finale went it was the worse. A great finale allows the chef's for showcase their stregnths. If they screw up it is usually based on their choices (ie Carla). It creates the excitment. Last night was not representative of this. First the mystery box was a rip off of Foodnetworks "Chopped." Save that for season challenges, not the finale. Then the choices and way the soux chefs were selected was rediculous --- if you are going to draw knives then have the top runners up only or the first set of people sent home. In other seasons even though people who didn't get along with each other had to work together at least they were all excellent chef's. Finally to force a dessert when you have finalists who excel in desserts and others who don't stacks the deck. I feel if the playing feild had been even and fair there may have been a different ending. All that said, this was the first season that all three finalists were truly worthy of the title and that tempered the disappointment of Top Chef's poor execution of the finale.
Your comments are very thoughtful and careful. However, how could Michael's dessert edge out Bryan's when it was dry? A little dry is NOT perfectly executed. When Hung made essentially the same thing, you pitched a hissy fit. Michael's 1st course was not consistent with the diners. Some of the shrimp were undercooked. His squab dish had been critiqued as having the "tricky" mushroom element. By contrast, Bryan's food was straight forward and great. You just admitted that Michael won due to his creative play rather than his end result. That makes his win sort of a sham. For Bryan, it was also a shame!
I think the whole idea of bringing back the contestants that you spent all season eliminating to dictate the final elimination challenge is ridiculous! I know this was the Vegas Top chef and everything is a gamble..but to have these incompetent people influence the finale takes away from the competition and makes it more of a "lucky draw"...you have something going with "top chef" Masters where good chefs like Micheal, Kevin and Bryan get to use THEIR OWN SOUS CHEFS from their resturaunts seems more appropriate. I feel Kevin's dishes were definitely affected the most and we did not see a true top chef final elimination challenge that we were hoping to see. good luck next season!!
Basically, you're saying that Bryan should've won but Tom wanted Michael and you all caved. Even Michael admitted his errors in making his dessert and obviously had NO expectation of winning after plating his meal.
You guys should rewatch the show, not for the editting, but for the contestants reactions DURING cooking. This was a joke.
But that's fine, just a joke I won't make time for next season.
A Top Chef should be someone who is creative, yes, and who has a strong point of view that can be clearly articulated through the food. However, a Top Chef should also have impeccable leadership, grace, humility, and consistency. Bryan Voltaggio made very few true missteps throughout the course of this competition and more than once showed behind the scenes that he was knowledgeable, thoughtful, and always willing to offer a little assistance or advice to his competitors. And given the nature of this final challenge, I have to ask: When a Top Chef moves forward from the competition to real life, will he not be designing and executing his own menu, start-to-finish, with careful planning and attention to detail? Bryan showed that he is by far the best in this regard. I doubt there would be any mystery boxes or 11th-hour suprises showing up in his kitchen, and only impeccable food coming out of it.
Well, for me this is the true question... Gail, why are you on this show? It appears to me, Tom NEVER agrees with what you, or any other 'judge' has to say. HE decided who Top Chef was - well before the episode. He's complete dismissal of Jennifer from top 4, because she was overwhelmed, stunk to the high heavens! Michael's two dishes had negative comments around. Tom mentioned how Jenn initally intended her duck to be prepped. Fine, but like all Chef's, at some point you may have to adjust your cooking methods, she did. Most comments were her flavors were good, but wished she was able to do what she initially intended. Not fair, since only TOM knew that.
Michael was also praised for being a professional? Please. Top Chef is now Top Crock! The wrong decision was made, again!
This was indeed your best season and will be hard to top. That said, I do think that the cruel treatment you afforded Kevin was shameful. "Kevin, You will not be the next Top Chef".......What were you trying to accomplish? A more humane treatment would have been to simply shoot him. You owed him better.
I was disappointed that Kevin didn't win. I think you guys were more concerned about having good ratings for this season to compensate for a not-so-hot 5th season. You guys obviously used two brothers as a faceoff, and then picked the one who was most likely to lose. I don't think one dish should have been the end-all for Kevin. Afterall, Jennifer started off well and then crashed and burned on almost ever dish thereafter but you guys kept her around. That doesn't make sense when Kevin won almost every challenge. I think a Top Chef is someone who can produce 9 out of 10 good meals (if not 10).
Gail, thanks for your blog, but I still believe based on what I saw that Bryan should have won. I also believe, based on what I saw all season, that the producers wanted both brothers in the finale and therefore made sure that they both got there (best example, Michael over Jen in the final 4). I think the editing of show has not been good over the past 2 seasons. I want to root for the winner even if they are not my favorite. At least Michael is a better chef overall than Hosea; however, I am still very disappointed in both. I don't have confidence in the producers to not guide the outcome in some way nor in the editors to focus on what matters instead of unnecessary drama. I won't be back for next season.
I, too, am surprised -- and disappointed -- at the outcome. I can accept that Kevin, sadly, had an off-night! But I just don't get how Michael won over Bryan. Even reading your blog, it sounds like two of Bryan's four dishes were perfectly executed and delicious. The other two, while criticized as "uninspired," appeared to also be well-executed. Michael, on the other hand, made several mis-steps in his various courses (improperly cooked prawns; so-so pistachio cassoulet and a "gimmicky" mushroom mousse; and an overcooked dessert). Michael may have "stretched his abilities" more than the others, but it didn't sound on tape, and doesn't sound in your blog, as if he actually delivered. I thought the criteria on which each challenge is judged is the contestants' actual performance - not their potential.
Gail, Please, bite by bite, chew by chew! Just a simple explaination that Michael's was better is all that is needed. They were all 3 Great chefs and as Tom said could all have been the winner on any given day it just happend to be Michael's day! I was not a real fan of his but I loved his food. it was a great season.
Love the show and watch every season. As other posters here have mentioned, after hearing season after season how execution is most important because you cannot judge a dish on how it COULD have tasted, but how it DID taste, I don't understand why Michael won over Bryan.
I was a huge fan of Jen, and after she was eliminated, I wasn't really sure who my favorite was because they all really were so talented. It just doesn't seem fair to base a win on a feeling over the consistency and superior execution Bryan presented.
Gail: I have been a Top Chef fan since day 1. Although I have disagreed with some of your choices, for the most part I have been completely on board with your decisions. This seemed unfair from the beginning. Some chefs had a top assistant - i.e., Jen and Eli. Poor Kevin had Preeti and Ash. There should have been a better way to assure that EVERYBODY had at least one great assistant. In reading the web site of folks gathered together in Bryan's home town, even some of his relatives were routing for Bryan. Michael had such a negative, snarky attitude all the way through that was NOT endearing. I know, I know.....I was not there to actually taste his dishes, but based upon your reactions it seemed as though Bryan was going to beat out Kevin (my favorite). I think I am just done with this program.
Everybody was pulling for each other? How many times did Michael say he could cook better than Kevin on his day off? This guy is the epitome of a non-team player and a back-stabber to go along with it. Kevin was clearly the best chef. And I do not care what anyone says, the judges held Kevin being from the south and his "Southern" style cooking against him. It was brought up constantly. Brian in my mind the second best chef, very close to Kevin. Third is Michael. There really needs to be a weighted point system in Top Chef, with the Finale counting the most obviously. A great season with a great disappointment.
If you stayed up to 6:00 am making your minds up then maybe you should have went to bed.... Based on the show I watched and listening to EVERYONE who ate the meal.. Bryan was the clear winner...
I think the fundamental problem most of us have with this decision is that Michael was rewarded for taking risks and got some of them right, but at the same time, past winners of finales and challenges have been penalized for doing the same, and simplicity executed well won out.
Take Kevin for example. The whole season he was rewarded for cooking "simple" food well. Both Bryan and Michael took big risks just two challenges ago in the bocuse dor elimination and lost because of it. Where is the consistency?
Harold won the first season because he executed simple, honest food excellently. How as what Bryan did any different? Obviously critiquing from our couches is difficult, but the production in general has done a good job with editing showing us how the food played out.
By most of our counts, kevin won the first course, michael won the second course, bryan won the third course, and bryan won the last course. In any other season, this would have had bryan winning.
Respectfully speaking, I can't believe Michael won!!! Kevin had an off night, I get that (I am a HUGE Kevin fan), so he was out. Bryan did the better job and I feel like the panel slighted him for not awarding him the win. As someone else stated, this is almost as bad as when Hosea won over Stefan...
I was so disappointed in the finale. I believe Bryan should be Top Chef. He was consistent throughout the competition. He was helpful to other chefs - especially in the episode where he helped Kevin cook a dish that won the elimination challenge for Kevin. Michael was out for himself from Day 1. Bryan always spoke well of his brother, but that was not always the case with Michael. I believe he only wanted to beat his brother, which is great for your ratings, but childish and not what you expect from a Top Chef. Once the season footage is shown, I believe it is apparent that Bryan should be Top Chef.
I love the show! I would like to agree with a previous commentor who mentioned that your blogs are the most informative.
The only part I did not like was the random selection of sous chefs for the finale.
Interesting comments. It clears some things up, but also muddies the waters as well. I think the editors and producers really messed up this finale.
I'd really enjoy hearing your (Gail) take on the way Kevin was dismissed. That seemed very petty and was needless. The producers clearly wanted a "reality TV gold" moment with the Voltaggios and their mom, but did so with a crass move towards Kevin. He deserved better, and I wonder if any of you on the panel stood up to the producers on it.
First off, Gail I think you're one of the best judges up there! You always have intelligent, insightful comments and I think that you convey them with grace and compassion. That said however, the selection of Michael "I THINK I'M GOD'S GIFT TO THE CULINARY WORLD" Voltaggio as the Top Chef (really? over Kevin and Bryan?) only reinforces the general stereotype of the egotistical, not so great, male chauvinist, rude and obnoxious chef. He was rude throughout the season, disparaging to the other contestants (including his own brother) and didn't perform any better than either Bryan or Kevin. If there was (is) another reality than the one the producers chose to show us, then by all means, please let us know because otherwise, the douchebag won. In the end, I guess it's all about ratings and making sure that everyone keeps their job. Oh well.
Kevin wins first course Michael wins second course Bryan wins third course Bryan wins fourth course. Seems to me the winner is clear. I would have been happy with any of the three but the editing must leave soooooo much out. However love the show and never miss it. LETS GO SEASON 7
Thanks, Gail. Have to remind myself that I only see the plates and don't get to taste the food! However I disagree on the professionalism comment with regard to the top three. Bryan and Kevin, yes. Michael, no. Perhaps it was the editing but I think the public's reaction to the finale is due in part to Michael's poor attitude in the kitchen shown throughout the competition. Certainly doesn't discredit his cooking or talent, but he doesn't deserve to placed in the same category as the other two finalists. Michael appeared immature and self-absorbed on TV - perhaps the reason so many of us are disappointed - we can judge with only our eyes, not our tastebuds.
I disagree that you could judge the contestants best head to head with the mystery box: it clearly played to Michael's strength and Kevin's weakness. If the box had contained bacon, pork chops, pork loin, pork belly and pork rinds, Kevin would have had an advantage. Etcetera.
In the end, I would eat at Kevin's restaurant for taste; Bryan's for the transcendental aesthetic; and Michael - well, I wouldn't eat at Michael's restaurant. I don't need pears to be made of beets or whatever it is he does that has some of the judges all gaga.
Producers: I am sick of having to read the blogs to understand the decision. Although this was the best season in terms of contestants, and I have watched EVERY SINGLE episode since the beginning, I'm not sure I'll tune in next time because the editing is too infuriating.
I love reading your blog each week Gail, but the way both you and Tom have gone out of your way to convince the viewers that the producers have no say in eliminations leads me to believe more than the ever that they in fact do. It's kind of like when you're hiding something from someone and you convince them NOT to look in the exact place you're hiding it. Guess where they're gonna look first? When you try and convince people that the producers have no say in eliminations guess what they're gonna think?
Overall, I do think the skills of the chefs this season were incredible, and it's always a pleasure hearing your insight on the competition.
Very disappointed in last nights finale. Bryan has proven to be the most consistent the ENTIRE SEASON, and it kind of bothered me to read in your blog "the answer was more in a feeling I had when we talked it over together a few hours afterward, having been given little distance from the meal'" which makes me wonder who would've been your choice based on taste and food and not a "feeling." I didn't know "feelings" took part when tasting and judging food. I almost felt Bryan was snubbed because he was the most humble and refined, and the judges felt he could handle the loss.
It is clear that the rules of the game change from season to season. From the S-1 finale that included midling Dave because he had one top meal to Hosea who skipped dessert for another entree to round out his sole top meal, the judges swoon over the saddest sob story. When Hung made a perfectly executed chocolate cake, you pitched a hissy fit because you didn't think it was interesting. Yet, Michael's overbaked dessert cake hit the right note! Are you kidding us? It seemed as though each S-6 cheftestant had flaws to their dishes. Yet, Michael was chosen over his brother because you judges "knew where he was going..." So now the judges are psychic and decide the future for one lucky chef. His win appeared to be random and therefore undeserved. Did you have a coin toss to help decide the winner? When Michael blows threw his winnings on fast cars, you may eat your words.
Sorry, from the comments made tonight by the judges and the visual appeal of tonight's food, it appears that Bryan was the overall winner of Top Chef.
I believe that you change your judging standards to match who you want to win. Which is more egregious...a dish that some felt needed more seasoning or a dish with undercooked prawns.(Prior contestants were sent home for undercooked shellfish.) Also which contender did not display the character of a Top Chef...Michael!
I am done with this show! Oh, BTW I have hired many chefs when I was working. I would not hire a chef with Michael's attitude.
The comment filed by LA at 12/10/2009 - 10:42am is spot-on in almost every respect. I'm a professional journalist and chef and have watched Top Chef since the first season. My picks were Jen and Kevin, but I knew that he had an off day. But do re-read closely and analyze how insightful LA's remarks were about the dishes in the finale: Bryan should have been the clear winner,and judges should not reward unexecuted risk. The winner was decided by rhetorical rather than gastronomical prowess.
This season finale featured the best chefs of the season. They are all talented and creative. The way the show was presented last night, Bryan should have won. I surmise from Tom's blog that it was the editing that made it appear Bryan topped Kevin and Michael. Reading your blog, I get the impression that for you Bryan DID top the other two contenders with his dishes, but Michael won because he showed more dimension even though his execution of 2 dishes was faulty? Hmmnnn...
For me, Michael's win is not as bad as Hosea's win because Michael is waaay more talented than Hosea. I just feel that it was not fair to Bryan. How many times have the judges made decisions emphasizing successful execution? It appeared last night that Bryan successfully executed 2 dishes against Michael's 1.
Thanks for the comments Gail - although it sounds like Bryan was the winner based upon what you wrote. Not being able to taste the food, there is no way anyone can determine the winner from this side of the TV but based upon the comments made (and that could be editing) it certainly did appear that Bryan would be the winner. I admired him and Kevin both for their work and talent on this show, but on top of that, I greatly admire the people they were, great integrity, confident without coming off as arrogant, etc.
Congrats to Michael for winning and to all the great chefs on the show. I'm glad I didn't have to be a judge! I really wanted Bryan to win but Kevin was a close second in my book. I definitely also favored Jen over Michael and that egg dish last week made me queasy.
Thanks for a great show! Suggestions for next time? Let them pick their own sous chefs, have the finale be a two hour show - yes the fans will love that! And do not make one of the final three leave the room while you announce the winner. They all worked hard to be there and they should all be there - that just was incredibly disrespectful to Kevin - at least in my humble opinion.
But all in all one of the best shows on television!
Just a few thoughts. These really relate more to how the challenges are designed, and how the show is edited, than any disagreements I might have with the results...
- To my thinking, the final challenge is not really the best time for mystery-ingredient zingers, random sous chef shenanigans, or unrealistic time-crunch pressure. By this point, the chefs have shown their ability to think on their feet and deal with curve balls. These last-minute roadblocks did *not* appear to me to be geared toward creating a situation where the chefs will create the best food that they can. I expect the finale to be an opportunity for the chefs to really shine, completely on their own terms. This finale was practically guaranteed to put one chef or another at an unfair disadvantage.
- I think the fact that Michael, easily the least popular finalist, pulled out the win actually speaks to the impartiality of the judges. They don't see what goes on behind the scenes, or how any particular chef has been edited to appear on the TV show. They are just tasting the food, something that us viewers obviously don't get to do. I was pulling for Kevin *big time* and not just because of the personality he seemed to show (again, at least partially the product of the editing room). But I can accept that, if Michael's food was the best then he should have won. When I go to a restaurant, I don't particular care if the guy cooking the food is a nice guy or not.
- I'd love to see the show's producers focus more on the food, and show us more of what the judges actually have to say about the food. We get so much of the BS backstage drama that the actual judging is jammed into these tiny, almost incomprehensible sound bites. I'm not watching Top Chef in order to find out if Michael made a bunch of snarky, cocky comments, or how much Robin was disrespected by her co-competitors, or who kissed who, or anything else. I'm watching to learn how creative people cook under challenging circumstances, and how the judges respond to what the contestants produce for them. Please, Bravo, consider making two versions of the show: one for the soap opera crowd, and another where we actually get some real information about the preparation of the food. And please PLEASE don't edit the actual judging of the food down to three or four minutes of disconnected chit chat.
Gail,I have a question for you. I have been watching Top Chef for a long time and i was so shocked and felt so hurt for Kevin when Padma looked at him at said your "Kevin(LONG PAUSE) your not Top Chef" he looked so embarrased. Why did she do something like that to him, I don't remember any Finale sending home the 3rd. runner up home like that. How mean of her to do that. I know she is pregnant but please, to be that hurtful! And in front of that arrogant, Spoiled Michael V. who I feel did not deserve to win. It was a sad ending to a great season. Padma should apologize to the audience that viewed the show last night, but I doubt if she will think she did anything wrong. Shame on Bravo
gale says it best. Every chef is different.
Do you prefer WD-50 (Michael), Eleven Madison (Bryan), or Gramercy Tavern (Kevin). I like Gramercy Tavern, therefore if Kevin keeps improving over the next 5 years, his restaurant could ultimately become my favorite.
It's supposed to be about execution but you chose on concept. Michael served a raw egg to a pregnant woman last week and this week served an overly baked dessert. Basic cooking skills should be a factor since others have been sent home based on their inability to complete simple tasks.
I'm so disappointed with your choice of Michael Voltaggio as the winner this season that I'm not going to watch your show any more.
Whether he received unfair editing or not, his onscreen behavior was unconscionable and unprofessional and unpleasant to watch, week after week, especially when compared to Bryan and Kevin.
I didn't need Kevin to win, although he should have, considering ALL the factors necessary to be a great chef-- including the ability to shine as a person-- but I did apparently need Michael not to win.
I'm just one viewer among millions, but this is the only avenue I have for protest, so I'm taking it.
Lame finale show. Super lame that they didnt get to pick their suschefs, even more lame that they didnt get to cook what they wanted (after all this last show is supposed to be about showcasing their food personality), and the lamest that you forced them to make a desert. What a waste. This show gets more and more "extravagant"every season but keeps moving away from what the competition is actually supposed to be about. Bring it back to the oldschool way and have it be about the food....not about the drama. Kevin had such a disadvantage by getting 2 lame suschefs. He probably would have won if he didnt get shafted like that. I also agree with the last comentor about the fact that Bryan supposedly won the last two courses but magicaly didnt win over all? Fake fake and more fake.Boring show and a waste of what these chefs can do! I will not waste my time watching this show next season!
Thank you Gail, for your insights all season long. I always enjoy to read your informed critiques :)
Happy Holidays, and congratulations to all of this season's cheftestants (especially the final four, who were all amazing), and of course, the new Top Chef, Michael.
Thanks Gail. Your blog confirmed what I thought based on what I saw: Bryan should have won, even when Kevin was my favorite, but I did realize that this was not his best meal.
Please guys. Check your editing room and let the final episode without twists and turns. Let them cook the best meal of their life and let them pick their Sous Chefs.
This is my first season of watching Top Chef and it has been crazy and disappointing. I was a die hard Jen fan and unfortunately she was eliminated. I think the reason for her elimination was crazy but I was rooting for Kevin in the finale. However, I have to agree with so many other posters here.
If there is no clear system on how you judge a winner, then how do you judge a winner? While something may have potential to be great, it's not great until it is. Bryan was the winner in two of the four dishes. I don't know anywhere in the world 1 is more than 2. Who cares if Michael's dessert could have been good. The fact was Michael messed it up. I understood why Kevin was the first one out but I knew Bryan had Michael beat. Good thing I didn't bet on that one.
I hope you actually read these and share what people say with the other judges. Maybe you all can sit down before season 7 and work out some kind of system of judging that doesn't fluctuate between seasons. In all the challenges, I never saw someone win a challenge because you knew where that person was going but he or she didn't get there. The winner always had the best dish. What a let down this was for me.