This is it, folks. It all comes down to this last blog ... the last episode. I, for one, cannot believe I have successfully written 14 of these puppies. I'll tell you, after about Week 5, I really didn't think I was going to be able to hang. I didn't think I would be able to think of something to write about each week. I know at times I've rambled, but I really tried to do my best when covering the show. I think it's been an overall great season, filled with really fantastic caliber chefs and some really great-looking food. It all comes down to this, though ... the end ... the top three, and they all certainly deserved to be there. Consistently these guys have been on top pretty much all season, so I think it comes as no surprise that they are in the final round, and what a final round it was. I wouldn't want to be a judge sitting on the panel for this round, I can only imagine how hard it must be to pick between three really great talents.
Down to business: No Quickfire, since it's the last episode. Sad for Bryan, because I know he really wanted to win one, but sometimes you just don't win things (this I can certainly attest to). It doesn't matter much though; winning isn't everything, and I do really believe that. After being on a show like Top Chef, I have learned that you don't have to win to be successful. At this point it's all about how you play the game after the show, and I believe that these guys will have no problem moving on to do great things in their careers. That is one of the nice things about being on Top Chef; it really does expose you to an audience you never knew existed. It's an amazing thing to go from being no one to someone overnight, and getting sent things like cookie bouquets, t-shirts, paintings, books, aquarium memberships, etc. Your life sure does change, and I think there isn't anyone who would be prouder then the moms of these guys. I was trying to figure out why the producers decided to have the moms come on as guests, and then it hit me. I think it definitely had something to do with the brothers being on the show together and being in the finale together. I for one felt it was a wee bit cheesy, but sweet, I guess, if you're into that kind of stuff. I can only speak for my mom, who thinks it's the coolest thing ever that I was on the show (hi mom. I know you read, and apparently now comment on my blogs), but I didn't make it to the finale, but I guess moms will be moms. They are proud no matter how well you do. It was nice to get a little back story on the guys from the mouths of their elders, and to see how excited they were for their sons. Also, I loved the twist of the extra course (as if we didn't see that coming) that was inspired by their childhoods. I definitely think Kevin took the cake on that one, but before we get ahead of ourselves...
It is the finale after all, and what would a finale be without some help!?!!? I LOVED the randomness of the sous chefs. I think the brothers got super-lucky, especially Bryan who drew Jen, and Michael who drew Eli. Talk about luck, getting the two other chefs that were in the top six. Then there was Kevin. Poor guy. He seemed to have quite a challenge with Preeti. I can't believe it took her so long to do just two small tasks. That must have been really frustrating for him, having someone who definitely was not even close to being on the same level as his competitors' sous chefs. In some ways I guess it was a bit of a disadvantage for him, since he had to absorb a great deal of the work and had to constantly look over his shoulder at everything she was doing. I'm sure it added an element of unwanted stress to his finale game plan. It was an interesting twist, adding fear of getting stuck with one of the chefs who was eliminated early. Interesting and mean. But hey, I guess that's the way the producers like it. Who am I to say? They needed a good twist and guess this was the best they could think of.
Thank you Jamie for all the great blogs! It was a real treat to watch an episode and then come and read your blog the following day to read your input. I thought your season (5) was a great one! I thought this season was really good as well. I was pulling for Kevin also and I hope that his future is full of great things.
Jamie, I just wanted to thank you for writing such a consistently interesting and entertaining blog. Yours and Toms were the two blogs that I looked forward to reading each week; and I have to say that I would read yours first. I thought you did a great job of balancing humor and honesty in your critiques. I wish you continued success in your career as a chef. I know that whatever you choose to do, you will do well. Cheers!
I believe you owe the Voltaggio brothers an apology. Because you were in the same situation when you competed, and understand the pressures of each challenge in a difficult setting, I felt your comments should've been more professional and not so reactionary to an edited version of a competitor. If I was to believe what I saw of you last season, you can't cook and drink too much. Fair?That being said, I am glad Michael won, just to shut you up!
Well, just got to comment on your last blog Ms.J, ..Its been truly a pleasure reading them all this season...It's like you had a crystal ball..and being a 'mom' I, too, appreciated seeing both Mom's there for the 'big night'...should be a TC tradition :-)..
Glad your writing education has not gone to waste!...great job, and being 'MOM', I'm very proud of you as well...
I think you are being way to kind when discussing the "draw knives" portion of the show. If they wanted to challenge the chefs one more time, why not give everyone a lack-luster sous chef? Would Mike or Bryan have done as well if they had to deal with Eve?
I'd like to hear your reaction to the way they dismissed Kevin. I found it to be very petty. Clearly the producers wanted a "reality TV Gold" moment with the Volts and their mom, but kicking Kevin out that way was a very low point.
Thanks for a great blog!!! loved the comments especially the rambling! will miss it.
If you read Michael's interview it is interesting to note that he pre-planned to simplify his food - letting the flavors shine. Especially with the editing of his comments on the show where he dissed Kevin's "simple" food.
good luck and hope they rope you into writing it in the future.
Hi Jamie, loved your comments.All I can say is get rid of pulling knives for sous chefs. It was so unfair.There was enough stress on the finale without having to deal with a sous chef who was so slow and could not get out of her own way.I think Kevin was at a true disadvantage but he still managed to come up with some great dishes. In my eyes he should have won.I loved the Moms being on and hope they'll do that again. What a great season even though the outcome was not my choice.
"I can't believe her so long to do just two simple tasks." Isn't that what Anita said of you at the TC Masters challenge? Pot meet kettle.
Great blog as usual, and yes Mike won. Hard to say he didn't deserve it, I just wish he hadn't won. I have to say I hated the sous chef thing, I mean Preeti and Ash? That had to be painful for Kevin. Preeti is the head chef for Google HQ or something too I think, cannot imagine how on Earth she got that gig as she seems like an awful chef. All in all a great season with a downer of an ending, kind of like last year; only this time the winner was actually worthy of the title, just kind of a douchebag.
I was so surprised that it was Michael instead of Bryan. I really felt like the producers pulled a fast one on the viewers! The worst part was when Padma called Kevin but then said "you are not top chef". I think there was a collective "WTF + groan" heard around the country. I enjoyed your blog very much this season and I hope you'll continue to write for future seasons!
Hi, Jamie, thanks again for all the insightful, funny and great blogs. Hope you will participate in a future reunion show. Would love to see you cook again. Best wishes for a warm and happy holiday season. And, I still think you should have won the last TC. :-)
I have been watching the majority of the Top Chef episodes from the time you were on until the present. I see bias against women that mainly comes from Eve, and even moreso now from Padma. This bias can be seen in some of the conversations when women are discussed. Also, I need to ask a question, are the women's food generally tasted last? It seems so. If that is the case, does that mean that it is not as hot or as fresh as the others? If so, then that would affect the outcome. If they want to be fair, they would need to change the tasting order each time. In any case, this is what I have noticed about Top Chef. I thought you, by the way, was the best. Soplie
The first thing I said when they brought out the sous chefs was "Oh great, they brought back Mike I. to ruin the finale." So I'm glad they randomized it in that sense at least.
Great blogs this season. I looked forward to your frank humor more than the other blogs. Best of luck in your future endeavors.
First of all, how cute is your mom? Hi to Jaime's Mom, you are a lucky lady to have such a talented and fabulous daughter!
I agree with everything you said JL. This season was anti-climactic and Michael is an arrogant prick (who can cook, that much I can see). My heart lay with Kevin, he is such a cute little fur-ball of love, I was sad to see him get knocked-out and def think he got the short end with the crappy sous chefs. I will cross my fingers for a more exciting season next time. Thanks for your posts Jaime, see you at Absinthe sometime soon!
Thanks a ton for the great blog!! Yours was always the first one I read!
I agree, this season was quite predictable, however the finalists were some of the best I've seen on TC!
Great job and I wish you continued success!
pS - I was rooting for Kevin also!
Jamie - I met you at the Heirloom tomato festival in Sept. and have been following your blogs. Your comments were spot on and if you remember me, I was a big Kevin fan from the beginning (also Jen). After seeing Preeti work in the final episode, it seems ridiculous that she made it to the show at all. I can cut vegetables better than that and I have no training. I think the sous chef problem really proved to be a psychological downer to our boy. I look forward to see what these guys do. I might even come over for the Pigs & Pinot event in March to see Kevin cook. Good luck with everything you are doing! I will definitely come to your restaurant the next time I'm in SF.
Jaime, Your "ramblings" have made for one of the best blogs TC has had.
Don't really know what to say about the finale. MV is an exciting and talented chef and in the end, I guess he simply deserved the win. It was a great season.
I'll miss coming here every week and hearing from you. :(
Chef, you are spectacular. I hope to find you in the media everywhere. Wanted to ask you to marry me but thought it just a smidge over the top (and a little too "Stefan"") - so am just wishing you the very best. Thank you for your brilliant wit, gleaming honesty and unique insight.
Chef, you are spectacular. I hope to find you in the media everywhere. Thank you for your brilliant wit, gleaming honesty and unique insight.
Hello Jamie. I really think you owe Mike V. an apology. Yes, he made a few comments that seemed pretty insensitive, but you and a whole lot of America can't judge him just from edited cuts of the show. Like Marcel from season 2, he seemed like a pretty big jerk, yet in real life he's probably a pretty cool person. So in my opinion, Mike V. truly deserved the win, and his arrogance may not be as bad as the show portrays.
Congrats to Padma and her husband, on the birth of their beautiful baby girl. We all know how important it is for a child to have a mother and a father. A 2 parent family is the backbone of our society. Padma, I know how how you love your husband, and that your child was created with love, and God. Best wishes! I know you honestly care for, and respectyour husband, and that you didn't just choose him as a sperm donor, since he's so wealthy. I know that you're not shallow, nor vapid.