Team Top Chef's Editor comments on the Season 5 finale.

Feb 25, 2009

Phew! Every season I anxiously await the finale, so I can finally let the cat out of the bag of who won. And now we know that Hosea won. I have to say that this is the first year I'm actually shocked at the outcome, and the second year I chose the wrong winner. I picked Richard to win from the first episode last year and I picked Stefan to win this year. So, now I have two runner-ups on my hands, but who knows, maybe Stefan will help another chef to victory in the finale of Season 6 just like Richard did this year.

Let's start from the beginning. Tom gave his "Cook the Meal of your Life" speech, and the chefs were all "OK." As is customary, they each got a sous-chef, and this season, they each got a former Top Chef contestant who just fell short of victory. Two of the three were my favorites their respective seasons (Sorry Casey! I was a devoted Hung fan from the start.) It seems like they each chose pretty appropriately for their personalities, and all of the teams seemed to work well together. Who would I want as my sous-chef? Maybe Marcel. The only reason I maybe would have chosen Marcel over Richard is because Richard has more experience as an Executive Chef, so I would want someone who has followed another chef's orders more recently.

Anyway, the chefs were thrown a curveball, obvi. They had to create another course. They drew knives to see who would use what protein, and of course, the gentleman that Stefan is let Hosea go first. Unfortunately for Stefan, Hosea got to choose who cooked what. In the immortal words of Stefan, he basically got the sh-t stick. So Hosea made him cook alligator. And you know what? Stefan nailed it. All of the chefs did very well with their appetizers.

But then came the next courses, and the chefs had to present to a pretty esteemed table of tasters, including Branford Marsalis, who I think should become a permanent judge. You hear me, Andy Cohen?! Seriously, every time he spoke, I giggled. And for the record, however politically incorrect, I could eat foie gras every day too. Well, the foie gras from Irving Mill. Delish! Anyway, the chefs presented their second course. Stefan's method of cutting his fish really thin by freezing, which I have heard of before, seemed to really bite him in the ass. Some of the chefs really enjoyed it, while others thought the dish was watered down. Hosea's sashimi trio actually looked kind of unappetizing to me, but I think it was actually just because the pieces of fish looked huge. Carla had her last good dish of the night.