Thursday, June 12, 2008

A New Top Chef is Crowned

Season four of Top Chef has crowned a new winner, Stephanie Izard of Chicago.

The challenge was to make a four course dinner. The day before the dinner is to be cooked the contestants were given a choice of celebrity chefs, (who would also be the guest judges) to be their sous chefs. Each chef had certain proteins that were assigned to them. So not only were you picking the proteins but you were picking the chef to go with them. I was pretty stoked to see the guest judges: Eric Ripert Le Bernadin, April Bloomfied of Spotted Pig, and Dan Barber of Blue Hill. Can you imagine what it must be like telling these guys what you want and how you want it done?

Let me start by saying that this is one of my favorite shows. However, this season was really kind of strange. Don't ask me how a hack like Lisa Fernandes made it to the final three. Granted, she finally cooked good food. It may have taken the ENTIRE season to do it, but I must admit I was a little nervous she was going to win the whole thing. One good week does not make a Top Chef.

Richard Blais, who was my horse from the beginning, was a surprising disappointment. He simply lost it. I agree with the judges assessment that he over thought his approach. The only dish he nailed was the dessert (which I think he had recycled twice during the season).You hate to see something like that happen to someone who clearly lives for food. I don't feel too bad for Richard, though, he could end up being the most successful of all of them.

Stephanie was a deserving winner. Going into the final I knew she would cook solid food. In order for her to lose someone was going to have to wow the judges. She was just a solid performer week in and week out. She was definitely the tortoise in this long race. Steady as she goes.

So now the depression sets in. What am I going to do on Wednesday nights? I guess I'll just go out to eat.

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