Hugh Acheson

The judge explains why we shouldn't dwell on the finalists' gender.

on Feb 27, 2013

Brooke yells to Jesus as she returns to her stove. Snapper cometh. Beautiful. Ilan has positive affirmation. Paul giggles. Michael says nothing. Blais molecularizes a thought, but not in a language we know. 

On Brooke’s side nothing is over yet. Cheek is on the horizon to pair with the fish. If Josh decides to make breakfast, Brooke may have a chance. 

We run through the accolades of some of the previous winners. Ilan is still looking for his heart, which is over there, somewhere. 17 restaurants between them. Awesome. 

This chatter about another female Top Chef winner is nice and all, but they are all CHEFS. The only thing different about it that I can sit with my daughters, point to the screen and say, “See, you can be like that. Nothing stands in your way.” The cooking world has come so far. Chefs like Elizabeth Faulkner, April Bloomfield, Traci DesJardins, Naomi Pomeroy, Jenn Louis, Mary Sue Milliken, and many others, kick ass not because they’re women but because they are great chefs who cook circles around most everybody else in the industry, men and women alike.

Round Four


Braised Pork Cheek & Red Snapper with Collard Green Slaw & Sorrel Puree


Red Snapper with Leeks, Little Gem Lettuce, Tarragon, Uni & Shellfish Nage

I loved both and my vote didn’t matter. Brooke’s dish rocked with perfectly-cooked fish and a great collard slaw. Kristen’s was bright: beautiful fish with uni, cooked lettuce, and a flavorful nage. I would have been torn, but probably would have gone to Brooke if I had been given a chance. 

Dessert, we will never know. 

Kristen wins. Godspeed to both of them. They both were amazingly inspiring this season and I personally took away a lot from watching them cook through the episodes. Much success.