Toby Young

Toby Young was surprised at how poorly Kevin's dishes turned out.

on Dec 8, 2009

The decision to give the win to Michael was not unanimous. Tom initially thought I’d be rooting for Kevin because he knows what a fan I am of Kevin’s cooking, but I quickly made it clear that I thought Michael was the better chef on the night. Gail wasn’t as convinced of that as I was and Padma wanted to give it to Bryan. That made for a lively Judges' Table. After we’d made the relatively easy decision to eliminate Kevin, we then got into a proper debate. We started out by trying to judge it like a boxing match — there was no knockout so it came down to who won on points and we assessed it round by round.

But that didn’t give us a clear winner. For me, Michael won the first round with his spot prawn and the second round with his rock fish, the third round belonged to Bryan, whose venison was marginally better than Bryan’s squab, and the fourth was won by Bryan with his cheese cake. So, in my opinion, that meant two victories a piece.

In the end, it came down to a combination of technique and creativity. While Bryan’s technical expertise is slightly ahead of Michael’s, Michael’s boldness — his willingness to take risks — gave him the edge. But make no mistake: both the Voltaggio brothers are great chefs and it was a pleasure to have them cooking for us this season.