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And, we have a winner. I pride myself on guessing the winner, or at least the final two of the season, the first episode. Obviously the first episode was kinda the third this time around with the casting and such, but if I recall, I knew it would be Sarah and Paul. And Paul was sort of my favorite all season, which I'm sure I did a horrible job of hiding. He's just such a silent killer, and although I would describe myself as anything but quiet, I can appreciate it in others. Also, he's adorable. Next year, I'll be sure to write the name of who I think will win on a piece of paper and take a picture so you can all believe me when the finale rolls around! Anyway, let's dive into this insane episode where I cried three times.
First, as always, we carted out chefs from the season to compete to be Sarah and Paul's sous-chefs, but this time we threw in a few surprises. Not only did we include two masters in their own rights, Barbara Lynch and Marco Canora, but we brought back two chefs who were cut in the first rounds -- Ashley and Tyler. Didn't think you'd ever see Tyler again, did you? And i'm sure you didn't think he'd get chosen! But apparently he made a dish that Heather cooks at her restaurant and so Sarah chose him for her team. I honestly don't know if Sarah actually liked the dish or just went by the name of the dish itself. Oh well. She got Heather anyway. She also got fan favorites Grayson and Nyesha. And while no one selected Marco Canora, which i found baffling, Paul got Barbara Lynch. He also picked up Ty-Lor Boring and Chris Crary.
Paul decides to do a Japanese-inspired meal while Sarah mixes it up a little by infusing her Italian cooking with her German heritage.
Paul rules, Sarah drools. She totally sucks and never should have made it close to the finals. So do Lindsay and Heather. Nyesha was robbed, eliminated for another chef's mistakes.
Overall, lousy season, but the right person won in the end.
Sure, Paul's a good winner. But I'm not going to watch a Top Chef that embraces Amazing Race, Survivor, or other dumb reality show gimmicks. Between this season and the TC Masters where they were never allowed to COOK ... I'm watching Chopped.
Thank goodness Paul won, he was the best chef and person. So glad "mean girl" didn't win!!! Woohoo!!! Paul proved he was the better chef because when he selected his sous chefs he chose based on the meals, not trying to pick his buddies. Ha! Good job Paul, you deserved this!!! And how sweet is your dad!!!
Qi is the same as "Chi", the word for life force in Chinese, with cognates in most other Asian languages. I was surprised that no one caught that.
I have alwaya been a fan of top chef! However, today I was extremely dissapointed that they served veal...although I am a carnivore, I am against conauming products that come from animal cruelty such as duxk fois gras...very sissapointing!
The families being sent to Canada was wonderful. It was touching on both sides to see the emotion of the family members. I am so amazed at the emotion shown by Pauls Dad. You are always taught that every emotion was completely under control. I think this is a truly wonderful moment that neither Father or Son will ever forget. It can be passed on in stories through generations.
So happy to see Paul win! He was my favorite all season...quiet, modest - just kept his head down and did what he does best. Definition of qi? I had to look it up: "The circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine." Appropriate!
I have watched every season of Top Chef and was extremely disappointed with the amount of challenges that involved the chefs preparing huge amounts of food - did we need a buffet or feast every time???, the challenges where they had to hack at the ice, the bikes, the guns, the overnight chili and BBQ - it was just too much. The mean spirited issues and frustration could have stemmed from all the stress these chefs were under because of these LOONEY challenges. I have a BIG problem with the way Nyesha was eliminated. As the winner of so many challenges on Top Chef Last Chance Kitchen she should NOT have had to swap ingredients with Bev. As the one booted out and winner she deserved to be able to cook with her ingredients. Two times she is chopped because of a "problem" that the viewers saw with the challenge - eliminating her the first time because of her partner's problems and the second time swapping ingredients??? didn't agree at all. I know coming off the All-stars we all expected so much more but it was a huge letdown. I liked the theme of going to Texas, but let them cook and cook well. We love the creativeness of the food and cooking in so many outdoor settings and huge crowds didn't offer the chefs the chance to show their culinary skills as much to me. Please go back to your roots. This season was almost as upsetting as the season with Marcel! Come On! so glad no one got their head shaved but I was so tired of the fighting between the girls.
The restaurant name Qi is a clever play on Paul's name and the Chinese idea of chi. Paul pronounces his last name with a hard K, like the word "key." However, q's in chinese are pronounced with a "ch" sound. So the real pronunciation for the restaurant is actually "chi." Indeed, the word qi is the chinese spelling for the word "chi," a word which means life energy.
I too had a problem how Nyesha got sent home, I think Tom had a thing for Bev and wanted her to win. Bev had not a clue what she was going to make. Sarah should have won top chef because Paul served an over cooked dish that all the judges disliked. Sarahs dish tasted good but the texture was off until she blended it. 96% of these cooking challenges are won by men. Women have a hard time staying at the top. Iron Chef America is proof in the pudding, only 1 and that's Cat Cora, who is an amazing chef. Women judges are hard on women chefs too. Ever watch Chopped on food network? The women are brutal to the Women Chefs. I'm just saying, Sarah won it in my book, to bad I wasn't a judge.
I'm glad this season stayed with the two chef finale; however, I'd like to see the original format of a five course meal. The judges said this was the best meal of any finale, but they're not equal when you can devote more resources to fewer courses. Also, I HATED bringing back chefs from the very beginning. Either have a blind tasting of ALL chefs a la Season 8 or just bring back the most immediately eliminated chefs a la Seasons 1-2. Don't bring in celebrity sous chefs or chefs that even Tom thinks can't cut it in the competition; just let the chefs who fought closest to the finale have the opportunity to cook in the finale (remember Dave's heartfelt "it would have been so fun to do this in the finale..." as he made his planned dessert for Tiffany Faison?). I'm glad you brought back both partial judges at the table...having a tie-breaker is nice. Any chance of bringing back Ted Allen or is his price too high now that he's taken the mystery basket competition he judged in Season 2 and turned it into a hit on The Food Network with Chopped? I miss his slightly snarky sharp wit...although Hugh's blogs fill that void a little!...but then I like Toby Young's sarcasm and biting commentary as well. Congratulations to Paul! He was a humble and gracious competitor.
HOORAY!! Goodness triumphs over evil! SO HAPPY Paul won!!
CONGRATULATIONS, PAUL!!!!! You really deserved to win!
Bev - in the face of all the crap you took from Sour Sara and Loser Lindsay, you should be so proud of yourself for never sinking to their level. You are an inspiration for all that goes well beyond being a chef.
Sara - I hope for your own sake you'll take a deep and HONEST look at yourself. Listening to you say you and Beverly are such close friends is as obviously disingenuous (read as FAKE) as when you manipulated Ty-Lor into feeling like he was part of your team, when in reality you state you, "couldn't give a shit" about him. Clearly, you are just trying save face for the cameras, and probably just want to use Bev for her cooking skills and knowledge. And one last thing, as a single mom, I would be incredibly embarrassed and ashamed of my parenting skills if my daughter turned out to be as mean as you. If your mother raised you better than how you are now, you owe her a big apology because you are SHAMEFUL!
I'm really glad Paul won. Not only because he has proven his is the better chef but that he was also the better person with a degree of humility that was endearing. I was set to be disappointed because it seemed as though Sarah was going to win. I was hoping not because I think she has been a jerk recently. But, if I thought that, it was confirmed when the camera shot to her face as the judges were complimenting Paul on his dishes. Rolling her eyes and looking annoyed. Mind you, she had just received as much praise. What a terrible way for a professional to present themselves on national television. As if her other behavior was not bad enough. Her PIC setting Beverly up with a question to feign interest and she rudely cutting Beverly off as she was beginning to answer. Then the way she just dismissed and talked down to the male chef on he crew not knowing whether he might have actually been a good chef who made a stupid mistake. Glad she got a well deserved dose of humility.
I couldn't help but notice how humble Sarah was, on Andy Cohen, could it be she saw how nasty she was, and read all the comments about her and the other bullies, well she has bad reputation now, and will always be known as a BULLY. I hope everyone remembers......PAUL WAS GREAT THE WHOLE SEASON
All in all, I thought the best chef won. I thnk all finalists in the future will purchase a backup protein just in case. He would not have won without it. My complaints, as stated by many, were the challenges seemed to get a bit gimmicky and didn't focus as much on the food. All in all a good season. I still think the best chef I've seen in need seasons is Richard Blais!
The "u" was probably dropped from his name because in chinese "qi" can be translated into the English language as energy...
I am definitely glad Paul was named the winner. All season long, he kept his head down and worked hard. Conversely, SourSarah was manipulative, hysterical, and self-centered. She slid through most challenges due to poor execution. Based on that alone, it was no surprise that she suffered during the finale. Contrary to her egotistical thoughts, she didn't deserve to in the finale. Paul had better communication and leadership skills. Sarah lacked there as well. In the end, the correct decision was made.
Big congratulations to Paul. Despite all the puffing and bragging (i.e. I work w/ so and so and have won these awards blah blah blah) the proof truly was in the eating. Yes, the season was too gimmicky and drama Mama filled. Someone let the editors have wayyyy too much freedom and fun w/ the hours and hours of film footage. Letting the monkeys run the monkey house doesn't always produce a good product. I would prefer more footage of actual cooking, tasting and judging. No more firebuilding, bike riding, car driving, gondola sprinting, ice whacking, skiing, shooting, sniping or hen pecking. Literally, there were times when the chefs entered the kitchen after shopping and ta-dah! They were plating their dish. Stop that! This is Top Chef and I expect to see some kitchen work and I don't mean the janitor leaning on his mop.
Out of curiosity, what part of SourSarah's meal was German inspired? I only got her Italian training in it.
Oh, yeah, I'm happy. You reminded me -- heather lifted a recipe off of Ed's arsenal of recipes. And Heather and Sarah are such good friends, hey, they look like sisters even, and looks like they have similar habits. Sarah copied from Bev and Paul's flavor profiles. She wasn't cheating -- but it shows who the student is, and who the master. Please pass on to Tom C. and Gail S.
Ok. Seriously. For next season, at least on one of the episodes. Tell all the cheftestants to garnish their dish with one arugula just so we can see how Tom reacts. That would be so funny.
Hello, Editor: How about not showing in the coming attractions Padma looking towards the winner while announcing who the winner is? I can always tell who is going to win by this shot. In the coming attractions it was clear that Padma was looking at Paul while announcing the winner. How about using a voice over instead so those of us who are alert don't have to find out a week before who actually takes the title. Thanks.
Congratulations Paul! The very thought of using "qi" on your menu was very appropriate as you showed positive energy all throughout the season. Did he plan this name even before the season started? I just wondered if other cheftestants have conceptualized their ideas beforehand, had they been in the finale. What would their retaurants' name be? Qui party indeed! Planning a party wearing caterpillar socks, drinking sake and eating sushi or congee to celebrate Paul's win.
When will these judges realize that palates differ therefore their judging is unfair and bravo keeps airing it just for ratings.Why aren't some of the dishes blind tasted because the judges have their favorites based on their agenda.Another thing I've observed is they don't care for gail's opinion or new/guest judges opinions either.Why not separate the contestants and pay smaller weekly and final prizes oh because of the drama which sadly creates higher ratings.How can anyone consider it legit or a fair competition.sara and heather need to apply for fat chef.They treated that oriental girl harshly based on her race.She may have been nervous and talked a lot but she shouldn't have been discriminated against and humiliated.I predict sara will not have a fiance too much longer as he will see how ugly she is saying she deserved it over Paul.Yeah she is a legend in her own mind.But the judges knew the ugly comments that were being thrown around and if Bev hadn't been there then it would have been the black girl that got picked on.Clean your show up with fairness bravo.
Paul rules now. No matter what happened during this season. He survived. I think keeping a low profile and staying under the radar is key to this show. Some Huge Egos came out. Not very pretty.
I have never seen such a humble chef like Paul. He deserved everything he won! He also helped the girls in the ice block challenge or they wouldn't have had food to cook! Bravo to Paul! A gentlement through and through. Being from Texas he has made us all proud!!!
I am so glad Paul won. Not only because he is from the Philippines where I came from but he is very humble. Not unlike Sarah, she is despicable along with her bully friends. There is a difference between being confident and just being arrogant. I think she is very insecure, she loves associating her self with the big wigs in the culinary industry and she thinks that what makes her herself. She is just such a despicable person, not a good role model.
Paul was calm, kind, and talented. Conversely, Sarah was self-absorbed, manipulative, hysterical and couldn't prepare risotto correctly the many times she attempted it. Better eliminated chefs "deserved" to be in the finale more than that tub. I must agree with another poster, "Paul rules and Sarah drools". Funny sentiment. That sums up my feelings as well.
The next seasons should be blind tasted..because really sarah messed up a couple of times..and how do you call her cooking german with italian different...or mixing it up..really...she cooked it ALL season...she is a huge bully and clearly didn't deserve to be in the finally..I'm tired of looking at her and can't wait for the last episode to run...she clearly has problems and when you cook with jealousy and hate the food is never good!
Paul's dessert reminds of a Filipino dessert, sticky rice cake cooked in coconut milk with thick coconut milk sugar syrup and roasted coconut meat crumbs eaten traditionally with ripe mango...yum So glad the good guy won!
To commentor J.Rob: If you actually bought Sarah's act on WWHL then I have a nice piece of real estate to sell you......in a swamp!
Nyesha was robbed, more than once. First getting eliminated because her assigned teammate cooked poorly and then because she was stuck cooking with ingredients another chef choose. I realize that there is SOME chance involved in competition but these were both such blatantly unfair situations that she should get an automatic entry into next season. Though, if I was her, I'd say 'no thanks'. Now that I have that off my chest, congratulations to Paul! What a class act, in a season where class was so often lacking.
I would really like to see more blind tastings on this show. That would rule out anyone that is pushing to get a cheftestant through to the next level. Especially during the first rounds of the show before the judges get to know their trends and how they tend to cook.
Please lets cut the ugly behavior. Remember the kids who Learn from Adults. I question the Adult status of lots of this seasons chefs. It did not do them any favors.
If there's a season ten, a new thought for a challenge is "picky eaters". Kind of like the "rider" from the Foo Fighters challenge, making the chefs come up with a fabulous dish which cannot contain a person's dislikes would be something new. Like Jimmy Fallon's dislikes except with a truly picky eater. E.G. "I don't like mayonnaise, pickles, fish, mustard, any green pea or bean, raw onion taste or cooked onion texture, squash, tomato seeds, any seafood that's not fried, cantaloupe, scallions, chives, dill, bell peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, basically any vegetable but the starches"...NOW try to make a dish that sings!
Yeah Paul won. Nyesha might have been the runner up, might have won, if she wasn't cheated and give Paul a challange. Judge Tom you were the only one that tasted the food between Nyesha and Bev and declared Bev as the winner. Hands down, Nyesha is a better cook and should have won last chance kitchen. A big disappointment this season. I stopped watching when Nyesha did not get a chance to reenter the kitchen. TG the season is over. Big big disappointment.
Yay Paul!!! Such class! And I have to say that the first few shows, I really liked Sarah and thought I may actually make a trip to Chicago just to eat at her restaurant. By the end though? No way! I would love to know if her exposure on this show will help or hurt her business. And again, congrats Paul!!!!
Am all for blind tastings in a bully free enviroment with honest assessments.Top Chef should take a page from their own playbook and do what they did w/the final 2, blind tastings, all the time. The chefs should be given random numbers at every phase and then the judges will be able to fairly judge. Now that is a show that would score well w/everyone!