So as I see it, Richard took the first course, the second was a toss-up leaning toward Richard for his execution of a difficult dish, Michael took the third course, and the final course was a toss-up. So how do I determine that Richard won? First, by looking at the overall experience. Esoteric, yes, but that was part of the challenge. The overall experience was a bit better at Richard's restaurant. And second, by looking at the losses. Where each of the chefs lost a course, was it by a lot or a little? Richard's first course beat out Michael's by a mile. Michael's braised course beat out Richard’s by a much smaller margin. Overall, Richard’s four-course tasting menu, therefore, was the stronger of two exceptional tasting menus, giving him the gold and Michael the silver.
Overall, I think this was a great season Fine chefs with great careers ahead of them gathered and cooked with passion, creativity and skill. It was an honor to have worked on this season with them. And at the end of the day, while we may have thought that this chef or that might have made it farther, I have to say once more that the food cooked by the two chefs in this finale spoke for itself and showed that at the end of the day, we got this right. As I said right at the top of this blog, I wish you could have tasted it with us. It was great, and it kept us judges working hard, which was a pleasure. My thanks to our contestants and my thanks to you for watching and cheering them on. Cook often, eat well.