Tom Colicchio

A Top Chef is named! Tom explains Harold Dieterle's win.

on Dec 15, 20080

First off, I want to thank our faithful Board-ers for pointing out the contradiction in my last blog regarding the poker-snack Quickfire. While Tiffani's snacks were deemed complicated, my fellow judges reminded me they had actually beat out Harold's frozen fried food (with the exception of the chicken wings) for second place. Dave, as you may recall, beat them both.

And while we're on the subject of the Boards, it seems that last week's decision -- Tiffani over Dave -- was far from popular. After watching the episode, I could see why. It's an interesting phenomenon -- being present for an actual challenge, which takes place over hours, and then seeing the 48-minute demi-glace that makes it onto the air. What clearly didn't come across last week was the scoring system -- the guest judges rated the dishes numerically on scorecards. When tallied, the final numbers placed Harold in first place and Tiffani in second. Unfortunately, winning the poker-snack challenge wasn't enough to make up for Dave's low score on the high-roller challenge and forfeiture of the third, so Dave had to go. I guess a natural consequence of any filmed situation is the inevitable discrepancies between what happens in the flesh and what ends up onscreen.

I guess the best we can hope for is that our viewers ultimately trust that we, the judges, were there, tasting all the food off and on camera, making the best decisions we could given what we had to go on. In twenty-seven years of cooking I've hired hundreds of cooks and chefs and it has helped me hone my instincts about people. Hard as it may be to accept, (and even harder to represent perfectly onscreen), Tiffani and Harold really were the two strongest candidates for Top Chef, and I feel we made the right choice.

4 comments
PaleGirl
PaleGirl

amen, tom!!! dave acted like a spoiled brat through the entire episode...frankly, i was shocked at how nonprofessional he was. i wish the reunion had been after the finale so you all could have reamed him out.

Jeff DiMaria
Jeff DiMaria

didn't read all of the rest that folks have written, to many words..but I want to say, I am front of house, was a line cook once, but wanted more money..I do very well, have had the pleasure of working with wolf gang, jamie shannon, and now with john besh, I amke my money because i can serve something that they dont send back...it is what it is..and guests love it...Harlod made solid food, with real down to earth flavors..at least by description..he deserved to win..

Jenny Brake
Jenny Brake

This is September 2009 - do you ever see Harold Dieterle when you are in NY? It would be great to see him again on one of your special shows when you invite past chefs to compete. i know he has a restuarant so he may be able to compete. jenny

Dorothy Coker
Dorothy Coker

Hi I just had the opportunity of watching Top Chef and this is for the second time,but it only season one and two.It has really course me to be motivated and brought me to the realization that i need to know more.I really liked Lee Ann, Harold,Dave,Miguel And even Steven even though at time he can be a pain in all the wrong places.These guys are really great and i really think if there is any possibility I'll like to be like them or even like Chef Tom or more.I have only very little knowledge about Culinary art and i want to learn if the opportunity is given me. I'll like to know what these guys from season one are now doing,As for season two they were too self fish and cause a lot problems forget that even though they were there for $100,000 they were also there to make friends and contact which is very important in the industry. Please I'll be grateful if am contact with help to realize my dream as am from Sierra Leone,West Africa were there is not much done about this wonderful art.you can even Check to make sure am saying the truth.To be plain am soliciting a scholarship to study this art and come back to be a blessing in this sector to my country. thanks and god bless you richly. Dorothy A.L.k. Coker