I was really surprised at how consistently well Carla had been doing in the competition for a while. And, as you saw, her performance in this week's challenge continued that trend. Her oyster stew, which she made with a base of potato, cream, bacon, and oyster that she then strained, and which she garnished with an individually poached oyster, was truly well done, especially given that she poached the oysters to order. Furthermore, her savory beignet, also fried to order, was incredibly tasty. It's very impressive that she made both of her dishes to order and pulled off such terrific dishes. It's even more impressive that she did so with a huge smile on her face all night long. She was having a great time, and her food was really, really good (yeah, that's the technical term we chefs use for it: "really, really good." What can I say? It was.)
So it came down to the elimination of Stefan or Fabio: Stefan's beignet was very good — playful, light, and well-executed. His gumbo over grits was predominantly a grits dish. It was good, but not exciting. As for Fabio, by making a cacciuco, in which the sofrito acts much the way the holy trinity does in Cajun cooking, Fabio found the common ground between Italian and Cajun food. It's not exactly like a roux, but the way that dish is flavored and layered, with onions, carrots, celery, leek, and olive oil cooked for a long time, it's very close. But Fabio's lacked a little flavor. His muffuletta, his pasta, his macque choux, all were just OK. Plus, his food wasn't hot when he served it to us, despite his having made a big deal of needing us to wait while he made it especially for us. Fabio's winning personality just couldn't win him a spot in the finale; Stefan's overall performance was stronger, despite his seeming insouciance. Fabio was very gracious in defeat, though, and I will share with you that the following morning, I had a chance to spend a little time with Fabio, and I learned that he has a lot of exciting developments happening professionally. This is a man who by the age of thirty had run and sold several successful restaurants in Italy, come to the U.S. and created great opportunity for himself. Without spilling the beans prematurely, I'll say only that we all have not heard the last from Fabio …
Nor, despite the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, have we heard the last from New Orleans. I am proud to say that chefs played a leading role in getting the city back on its feet, not only by helping our colleagues get their restaurants back up and running to help bring tourism back, but through countless charitable events and other volunteer efforts on behalf of the city. And it is coming back, thank goodness, albeit slowly. Anyone reading this who is interested in continuing the critical efforts to rebuild the ravaged Lower Ninth Ward can make contributions to Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation: www.makeitrightnola.org
Tom, GREAT SEASON!, I laughed and cried and had a great time, sitting on the edge of my seat! My Grandmother and Mother were native LA born, my husband proposed to me in a suite @ the Monteleone! Carla has had my heart from the start, but oh, Fabio leaving broke about a million of us Gal's hearts. No matter what anyone has said Emeril was wonderful, as are you and Gale's return was sooooo needed. Thanks, Great Job!
wow...i'd love to visit New Orleans someday... just by watching this episode it looks like the perfect place for cooking, and eating! just simply the best food in America!
My whole family was very surprised & greatly disappointed that you sent Fabio home & not Stefan. He made a mockery of last night's competition acting as though no matter what he did he would not get eliminated. He was right!!! I am sure you kept him on to add 'color' to the show but it this fair?? Fabio was the only reason we were so excited about watching this season. He added more to the show than anyone else. If he has a show on Food Network, he will be a great success as he has so many fans. We love him & think he got short changed.
I have to say that I like Stefan, he's been a winner consistently from the beginning. Some of the comments and editing on the show lately lean towards him being conceited but I've read some of the interviews from the cheftestants who have been eliminated and they say that he is an excellent chef, and helped them along the way. This reminds me of the editing that Stephan, Marcel and Hung received.
I've never been impressed with Hosea and I'm still not. Bringing back the last three eliminated for another chance was lame, and saying they would have to win the challenge was just as lame. If Jeff's food tasted of Sterno then that should have been shown so we would understand the problem with his food. The same could be said for Fabio and I'm sorry he won't be in the finale.
As for Stefan being sure of himself, cocky or conceited, he is a good chef, I'm sure Tom, that you think you are just as good or better. Correct?
For me, the final two should be Carla and Stefan.
It flabbergasts me that people can be so rude here to the judges when they haven't tasted the food. Like Tom noted, there are things that don't make it through to the show that reflect their decision.
Stefan may be an arrogant jerk, but he's won a lot of the challenges so his cooking must be decent!
I just love Carla. Is she as sweet as she seems on the show, Tom?
While in college, I worked at the Prague in Seattle. The chef, Peter Cipra, was arrogant, intolerant, and reminded me of Stephan. Like Stephan, he could cook, but he was an automaton. he took the joy out of cooking, and left no inspiration in the food. None of the judges ever included the extras that the chef brings to the plate, extras which, like preesentation and layers of flavor affect the dish. Stephan adds nothing to a team, nothing to his fellow chefs, and nothing to the enrichment of cuisine. He can take the joy out of a wet dream.
First, concerning speculation that there are fewer posts due to audience disinterest, I don't think that's the case. I've tried several times in the past week to post here, but clicking on "Add Comment" doesn't submit the comment -- maybe a problem with Internet Explorer that many others are experiencing? I installed Mozilla Firefox browser and hope this will solve the problem. [If you see this post, you know it worked!]
Tom, your blog comments are always relevant and insightful, and it is so helpful to learn about things not shown in the final edited version. As a judge, you never appear to be taking personal shots at the cheftestants and you don't have anything to prove. You are tough, but your criticisms are always thoughtful, instructive and specific.
Having said that, it was nice to have a Toby-less episode. He is snide and irritating, and his metaphors are ridiculous and overworked. His presence takes the focus away from the food and the cheftestants.
Finally, I am happy with the final three. I have become a huge fan of Carla's -- her humor, warmth and humility are such a nice balance to the others. Seeing her struggle to shuck those oysters and keep her cool, and then win the challenge was awesome. And I enjoy Stefan: he's hilarious and his arrogance doesn't bother me. Also glad that underdog Hosea will have a shot. I will miss Fabio! I hope we all see more of him in the near future.
About last night's show. Stefan should have gone home. Beyond anything else, he smokes and that stink gets on a smokers clothes and hand. That shows me he is not a serious chef. He took many cigarette breaks while the others worked hard. Last night he just took sausages from the fridge. He takes the easy way out and the only reason it appears he is still in the show is his abrasive personality which increases the chance of some tension with the other chefs that someone decided was good from a reality show standpoint. Stefan has skated by repeatedly, but last night was the worst. You judges said he had no soul in his dish. It was a Creole night and his food had no soul, no kick, no understanding of the regional cooking? Tell the truth, was keeping Stefan a ratings issue? I would guess (I know we are) most of your viewers watch for the cooking competition and not the histrionics between the chefs.
Usually, my law-studying neighbors will nicely pound on the walls if the TV's too loud, but not last night. I'm assuming they were tuned in to Part 1 of the Top Chef finale in New Orleans as well. I had just finished watching the Druids parade pass in front of my house and dressed my balcony in colorful beads in time to catch the only show I regularly watch. I was already proud of my adopted city, but seeing New Orleans on the show and having such talent here left my heart delighted, and my stomach growling! There really truly couldn't have been a better city chosen for the finale and I would love to see a Top Chef New Orleans in the near future! It would for sure make for an incredible show! There's no culinary city like New Orleans in the world! As for the last contestants, I'm sad to see Fabio go but excited to see who wins next week. I'm rooting for Carla and Hosea -sorry Stefan, its nothing against Europe, promise. Good luck Chefs! Thank you, Tom and the entire Top Chef crew for coming our city! Big hugs to all from the Big Easy.
It seems to me that of the chefs left it has to be Hosea Rosenberg's title. The guy is a wonderful chef. To have Emeril Lagasse say if you closed your eyes, his Gumbo stacked up with the finest restaurants in New Orleans is the ultimate compliment.
Though I wish it had been Stephan to go home I can see that Fabio was not as strong this go round. To all of those who say Jeff should have stayed... You don't listen nor do you comprehend the rules. He was out of the competition so it's only fair that he has to win overall. Tom also stated that there was a burning oyster issue with Jeff that didn't make it on the show yet you choose to ignore what Tom wrote. Regardless of this episode I really hope Carla wins the whole thing. Stephan is arrogant, Josea doesn't have it to beat the other two in my opinion.
Padma: Your outfit for the masked ball was lovely. What was the pinkie ring you were wearing? It was such an understated piece.
(Sorry no food talk, just jewelry for now.)
I really hope Hosea doesn't win this thing. His jealously of Stefan interferes with his ability to cook good food. (I can't think of an episode where he didn't roll his eyes, smile if Stefan was criticized, or make a disparaging comment about Stefan.) Time to go. You cheated on your girlfriend and hopefully will not cheat your way to a win of Top Chef
Bummer that Fabio is out. That we'll be seeing him again as you implied (not spilling the beans) is terrific!
Hey, Tom. I love TOP CHEF, but I agree with many who commented that Stefan seemed to me to be the loser, for the second episode in a row. You said his food lacked soul...in New Orleans, and you didn't like his cocktail. And his attitude is terrible! Fabio lost for the pasta mainly, but the challenge was for ONE dish to be Creole. At least he was creative and tried to show who he was as a chef, and he even made his own bread! He worked very hard.
On the previous episode, not a good thing was even really said about Stefan's food. As a former chef, I can't believe he got away with over-cooking salmon. It was also said that you couldn't tell there were 2 types of spinach on the plate, that the cream sauce in the spiach was virtually indistinguishible from the sauce for the salmon, and the potatoes lacked crispiness, so there was very little variance of texture.
It seems like the last two challenges he should have lost. I hate to say it, but it seems like you have a biase toward Stefan because he started off so strong, and you know he has good technique. But his cockiness lately seems to have destroyed his good standing, in my book.
Tom, you made a comment to the chefs on the New Orleans show that they all cooked "their hearts out." --Wrong. In the last two episodes, Stefan was the only one who DIDN'T cook his heart out...and it showed. It disappoints me, because I think you are letting your bias get the better of you. (Case in point - Jeff made his own sausage; Stefan grabs pre-made sausage frome the cooler. Fabio spent hours darkening his roux, while Stefano makes gumbo with a roux as light as one would use in a bechemel. Also, in the semi-finals, who has enough time to keep popping outside to have a smoke and nnever even breaks a sweat?} Is he good for ratings, or something, because he's so unlikeable, and has never been a team player? I would hope the show has more integrety than that. Think about it...
With great respect,
Clearly Stefan won just to provide more ratings. I cant even imagine why he won over what Fabio cooked for the challenge. The five of us watching could not believe what we heard coming out of Padma's mouth, FABIO PACK YOUR KNIVES! We thought for sure Stephan was going to be sent home. Finally! Maybe the other viewer is right, watch Chopped for better entertainment. Bad form judges, Bad form!
I love Carla and I was thrilled that she won this challenge. To the poster who dissed her spritzer, did it ever occur to you that there might be some teetotalers in the crowd that would welcome something to drink that wasn't alcoholic? She was true to herself and I think it was courageous, as she would not have wanted to taste something alcoholic to be sure it was palatable. I hated to see Fabio go, as he was my second favorite. But we don't see everything that goes on, and we must trust the judges to make correct choices. They are, after all, the experts, and we are at a remove from the action and the tasting. I'm very excited to see the final episode!
Thank you for the additional information, that cleared everything up and although I was sad to see Fab go it seems you all made the right call. I think people get Stefan wrong. He is clearly talented and even though he came off badly last night he deserves his spot. Carla is a rock star. I was thrilled that she knocked this one out. What a special person she is, if there were a few more Carla's in this world it would be a better place. Really great show, I don't get all the negative comments - I thought it was a great idea to bring in the added suspense of adding an eliminated chef in to the mix. But in the end - GO CARLA!
Seriously, you cut the guy who delivers with his own style and makes his own bread, but you keep the guy who pulls sausage out of the fridge? Hey, I can take sausage out of the fridge and drop it in a pot. I should be in the finale...honestly.
I really liked last nights episode. The best part was seeing Jeff back. I think he got eliminated unfairly and deserved to be there. But I understand sometimes you get what you get and you gotta go with it. I really really liked that part, and how you let Jeff, Jamie, and Leah compete for the right to do that - you didn't just bring one person back. I think you should keep this in future seasons. Some chefs just get eliminated unfairly and others scrape by getting lucky because someone else messed up worse. I think Carla got away with one in restaurant week when she messed up both desserts (cup cakes?!?) she deserved to be eliminated then. So thats my argument for you bringing eliminated chefs back. I really wanted to see Jeff in the finale but I understand the smelly warming dish thing I guess, there were better dishes, and you've got 3 great chefs in the finale. I'm super excited about next week.
Remember we only get to watch the show, so, we don't get to taste the food, we simply go on what the judges are saying...so we have to put some trust in the judges. I personally think that it is GREAT that CARLA won last night!!! She is quirky, she is unusual, but she also has a heart, and her heart is put into her food, and she appears to be a genuine person --- Stefan is far too cocky, too arrogant, and far too "sure of himself" --- Hosea is ok, extremely unsure of himself, and unsure of his abilities, I think that will come with time/age and experience. Carla used to bother me...but...now I think that she is just great...and deserves to win!!! Gail was gone, then she's back, and what's up with that...again, be consistant! Stephan's food was not up to what was needed, and neither was Fabio's so why not send them both home, and just have two finalists...I am tired of his attitude. At least Carla helps others, and has a good soul attached to that crazy hair --- she apparently can cook as well...GO CARLA
Tom I disagree with you on the comment "Emeril Lagasse with us as our guest judge. When it comes to Cajun flavors and New Orleans cooking, there was no better chef we could have had." I have one name that signifies what is true Cajun. Paul Prudhomme. If you don't remember what he has done in his chef career this might refresh your memory. http://www.starchefs.com/PPrudhomme/html/bio.shtml
Also, as for what he has done for his city maybe this would help everyone remember. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/09/29/earlyshow/living/main890221.shtml
Tom, that is my only gripe in 5 season. It has been the only worthwhile culinary television since Julia Child, Paul Prudhomme and Justin Wilson. Thank you.
And for all the Stefan haters. It is always amazing to me how people hate those who are good at what they do. I think that is what we call JEALOUSY. Yeah the guy is cocky, but he didn't win 10 times for nothing. How many of you can skin an Eel? None of us can taste what they have cooked and all we see is what has been edited into less than an hour show(you all do remember the commercials that run for 15 to 30 seconds each). This is no different than everyone ranting about Tiffani Faison in season 1. Dave went on and on about her and then you have everyone jumping on the blog bandwagon posting they hate her she should have been the one to pack her knives and go. All I can say those who continue to post I hate this or that contestant, it's a television show, get a grip.
I was also sad to see Fabio go i wish it hadn't been him but I'm also glad that Stephan is still around. He may have a cocky attitude but so what. If your good your good. I hope that Stephan wins Top Chef I'm not to crazy about Hosea and Carla has been inconsistent throughout the competition. I love top Chef cant wait for next season!!!
Not a fan of seafood but Carla's dish looks really tasty. I haven't tasted the food so I can't say that Stefan should have left. I trust the judges. Tom, you're the man and I love P and Gail...they looked so beautiful in part 1. Fabio rules. He's definitely going to get his own show or something..he has a very pleasant personality.
Well, I love all of them, love Fabio, though I think he is wrong in assuming that Carla is behind Hosea and Stephan in talent. She was a slow starter, but not so slow anymore! I am cool with all of them, Hosea less right now because he talks too much about who he must beat (Stephan), and as we all know, the classic mistake in life is to confuse one's enemy with one's goal. If I had to pick two of these people to cook a meal for me, it would be Carla and Fabio, always, because of their heart. The way that Fabio speaks of his grandmother, I'm sorry, it's beautiful. I love him for it, not to mention what I see on the show of his food. And Carla, well, my daughters and I picked her from the start; that she was worried and holding back, but that if she trusted herself, she would be the one. As for Stephan, I don't get why people are pissed at him. Don't you get how people can come off as arrogant when they are just trying to find their way? My god, he is German, Hello? He has been gracious throughout, never hesitant to help others; a gentleman. I think people who are so mad at him need to go to other countries and see how well they can present themselves without seeming arrogant. It is talent that matters, and if he wins fairly, that should be all right!
I really enjoy the series. I know that there was at least one episode in a previous season where you focused on low calorie foods, and another for low cholesterol dishes, and I think it would be really interesting if there could be a similar focus on dietary restrictions due to other medical issues.
For example, for the many people who are allergic to onions, or who need a gluten-free diet, or who have lactose intolerance, it might be interesting to see how the chefs work when some of the most common and regularly used ingredients are knocked out of the equation. And it would be fun and useful for viewers who deal with these issues every day to see how the chefs use their creativity and skills to come up with new recipes that can be made at home.
A challenge or an episode like this is sure to up viewership -- it's real-world cooking for a large segment of the population. And the "close-up" of the ambulance waiting, just in case, would add a bit of drama!
I thoroughly enjoy the show, but am always perplexed at how much emphasis is placed on personality. I personally think that Stephan is fabulous. He is confident in his abilities and speaks highly of himself...which I think is great. This Hosea guy on the other hand is just bitter and hateful, always trying to bring others down. He needs to learn to shine purely from his talent, not from the downfall of others....Maybe he doesn't believe in himself. Stefan should win..he has created the most creative and exciting dishes effortlessly. I'm always looking forward to what he will make next. He is the real deal!
My wife and I love the show! We have improved our horizons with food, cooking, and have even begun taking cooking classes together. The show is great and getting better all the time. Keep doing what you are doing. I read these other comments and everyone wants to change something. You all are doing a great job. Thanks for all your hard work and those who help make it happen.
I get such a kick about the comments here. There was generally a lot of surprise that Fabio was kicked off, although his performance is consistently better than Hosea's. But people forget, this show's main purpose is not to pick the top chef, but to sell commercials. And Drama sells.
The reality TV show formula is in full force here. Hosea was kept on because of his rabid competitiveness with Stefan. Look back at the past few years, the finales are remarkably similar. Chef A says, I feel real good about this, Chef B says I will do the best I can, and Chef C says "I hate chef a, I will stomp his arrogant butt". And then chef c loses right away.
At the end of the day, I watch my wife get all pissed off, and I crack up. Because Tom's job is not to pick the best chef, it's to sell you saran wrap.
You should have sent Stephan home last week with the over cooked fish that would have sent anyone else home. You had a chance to make up for that today and send him home for being arguably at the bottom but you didn't. I didn't want to think that you keep the most controversial chef in for ratings, and in last seasons I've given the benefit of the doubt (Hung!?), now I can't.
My son and I have loved Top Chef, but it will be difficult to watch anymore.
Tom, I like you~ I really do. But I think you are a bit disingenuous when you say each chef is judged on that night's dish alone. It's like a lawyer saying something he knows will be struck from the record. The words are still out there, as hard as the jury tries to ignore them.
My thought for next season is to have you, Padma and 2 guest judges. The guest judges are the only ones who can honestly judge on that night alone. You and Padma can consider the body of work alongside that night's performance.
It was quite obvious that Stefan's past wins got him thru more than one bad challenge. Let's just be honest about it.
Still love the show and can't wait to see more of Fabio! For now, GO CARLA!
Obviously Stephan is still here for ratings. Shame. Why don't you bring Hung back and pit him against Stephan in the final?
Everyone underestimates Carla. I think she has turned out to be the best chef and I hope she wins. I think she will. She is calm and has a great personality - she never puts other down. GO CARLA- please open a restaurant here!!!
Hello Chef Tom!
I have totally enjoyed the final so far. New Orleans is looking great and I myself can't wait to come back there for a visit.
I totally agree with on Carla, she has been consistant from the beginning. You can tell she puts herself into her cooking and it shows in the food. While I adore Fabio and sad to see him go, we can't taste the food, and looks can be deceiving. Stefan, just needs to get over himself, I haven't been that impressed by his cooking to be honest. Hosea, talks a good game, but I'm never sure of his cooking. The finale should be exciting for sure and I know we all are looking forward to it. Thanks for bringing New Orleans into the recipe this year :) Patty Delaware
I love Top Chef and have to DVR, and it is totally my guilty pleasure. I did however find myself cursing my TV this week! Carla you go girl, I am so excited she as come into her own. Hosea I could take him or leave him. I was bummed Jeff had to go home I thought he did very well, but it was the only way it was fair. So I get that. What I don't get is Stefan is still there! Didn't he over cook salmon and didn't he lose in the Superbowl challenge. And he specifically chose that girl because she was last. He doesn't have the passion. Fabio might not have been the absolute best, but I feel as though Stephan had won alot, but even I don't over cook salmon. I understand Top Chef is the absolute best. But I will bet it is not Stephan. Fabio should have stayed on!
stefan and hosea can cook circles around Carla. they have consistently been the winners on the technique-oriented quick fires. stedan's achille's heel is his hubris. hosea lets stefan get under his skin. JEFF was/is a winner, chaffing dish or not chaffing dish. jamie should be the female contestant in the finales. she can cook simply AND innovatively. carla can't or WONT even make a cocktail...? she's a bit cooky, hasn't consistently pulled out the stops or shown the chops and has been give a free pass many times this season.
Thanks, Tom, for the explanation about Jeff and the sterno and your other behind-the-scenes insights into this episode. I believe Stefan commented about something burning and I wondered at the time what he was referring to. I was a little baffled at first with the judging but your blog put everything to rights. It's hard to see Fabio leave. He has been so delightful to watch and I will miss hearing him pronounce your name. LOL I am heartened to know that we have not heard the last of him!
I thought it was a nice twist to give Leah, Jamie and Jeff another stab at getting into the finals and I think the catch that Jeff had to *win* the EC made it fair to the other chefs.
I still have a hard time believing that Stefan really deserves to win this thing. He may be able to turn out decent food but he does not seem to have the passion or the dedication that both Carla and Hosea seem to. Perhaps he has been edited to spice up the show but he comes off as an arrogant jerk. That said, I guess it's not the Miss America pageant, is it?
I love the idea of Top Chef NOLA!! It's a fabulous foodie city.
Finally, I am glad to see Gail back in her place at JT. Toby was interesting but always sounded like he was talking in sound bytes. That got old really quick.
Aloha Tom, in my opinion if a Chef has made it this far and over cooks salmon the he has no place on this show at this point. As a well traveled, educated chef this type of meal would be completely unacceptable. The decision to over-look this minor detail is unacceptable in my opinion.
I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to the producers of the show for bringing my favorite show to my most favorite city in the whole world. I have been wanting Top Chef to go to nola forever, and I was giddy last week when I heard that's where the finale is. Maybe this finale will show everyone what a culinary gem this city is and more people will flock to support the city. My only suggestion would be, don't stop at the finale, take a whole season there!! There are so many great chefs and restaurants that you would have more than enough to fill a season, plus music and culture galore! Please, please consider it. You would make this viewer happy for years!!
I so want to taste Carla's food! What a wonderful attitude! I do think a Chef's attitude makes a difference. I was happy to see Jamie and Jeff back, although briefly. Sad the season is coming to an end. :(
So nice to see GAIL!!!!! I hope she is back for good and Toby is history! Seriously, I really don't like Toby, I fast forward through his comments.
I didn't understand Tom's comments that a Creole gumbo has to have a black roux. There are all kinds of roux colors in authentic gumbos, the a lot of times Cajun gumbos have a darker roux color than Creole gumbo. Stefan could have made the roux more reddish instead of blond, but that doesn't seem like a sin. Gumbo over grits, on the other hand, sounds weird.
I really enjoy your program but was disappointed in the New Orleans show for several reasons. I'm a native south Louisianian, half Cajun and half Irish (the Irish have considerable responsibility for the unique New Orleans accent). New Orleans is the heart of Creole cooking but not Cajun. Cajun cooking's heart is in the south Louisiana bayou country and has only surfaced in New Orleans in recent years as a tourism response. Also, I was thrilled when Fabio cooked an Italian dish and made muffaletta bread because, apart from his own heritage, he apparently had done his homework on New Orleans culture: New Orleans has a large, influential Italian-American community and heritage with some wonderful restaurants. Your missteps on New Orleans cause me to wonder what missteps you make on other cities' cultures that I accept as truth. Although I have no gripe with Emeril, your choice of him as your celebrity judge limits your experience of New Orleans to someone who came to the City rather than grew from it.
Fabio is great. He was definitely a pleasure to watch. I agree with everyone else, he has such a winning personality he should get his own Italian cooking show or something.
Tom When you are in New Orleans again, you MUST go to Cafe Reconcile (1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. www.cafereconcile.com) Go on a Thursday and have the white beans and shrimp. You may never leave...
Not only is the food fantastic, but they are also training new chefs and opening a path into the restaurant industry for inner city teens. Cheers Dee
Your blog explained everything that the editing didn't. I so enjoyed your glee in tasting Carla's dishes. I don't think I've ever seen you almost giggle at a tasting. It looked awesome and was described better.
Yeah Carla! You are my pick for top chef, you're attention to detail, like an artist, comes through. Happy Jeff got another shot, and sorry Fabio's food couldn't somehow beat out Stephan. I think the bottom line is simple, who's food taste's the best, who would you want to cook for you? Carla first! Hosea, Fabio, and then Stephan if we could get him a muzzle or make him take "it's about the food not about me" pills. Glad Leah is gone, my husband makes better Eggs Benedict. Next season have a contest so a fan can attend the final dinner. That would be fun!