Top Chef: here comes the finale

It’s hard to believe we’re already at the season’s end of “Top Chef DC,” but we are. The final four squared off last night in Singapore and went from four down to three.

(Please note in photo above that “Top Chef” won a well-deserved Emmy a few weeks back for best reality show, beating out “The Amazing Race.”)

After the four chef-testants–Angelo, Kelly, Kevin and Ed–arrived in the “market” area of Singapore, they were enjoying the different foods and then of course came across host Padma Lakshmi, who introduced them to food authority Seetoh. They had to cook a street food dish that kept in mind the flavors of Singapore for Seethoh and Padma and this was a high stakes quick fire challenge–the winner would have immunity, therefore securing a spot in the finale automatically. Wow.

Angelo made “chili frog legs,” which were a take on chili crab. Kelly made noodles with a shellfish broth; Kevin made a seafood stew, and admitted he’d never cooked with a wok before this. Padma gave him a hard time, (playfully) berating him for not having practiced before making this trip. And Ed made noodles with lobster. Seetoh would pick the winning dish, and he chose Ed’s, giving Ed immunity for the elimination challenge last night.

The elimination challenge would be a team challenge, where the four chefs would cook dishes for Dana Cowin, editor of Food & Wine Magazine, and 80 of her friends along with judges Tom Colicchio, Padma and Gail Simmons. As the chefs were busy in the kitchen, Colicchio approached them and told them that making one dish each was not good, and he asked them to come up with one more dish each. They each made something in the form of an appetizer.

Ed, despite having immunity, wanted to put his best foot forward. He made pork two ways and a banana chili fritter.

Kevin made Southeast Asian clam chowder, and a rice porridge with a perfectly cooked poached egg on top

Kelly made fish head curry, but with prawns instead of fish heads; and a cucumber/yogurt soup with fish.

And Angelo made a lamb tartare, and a spicy shrimp and dumpling soup.

As the judges were eating, they all loved all of the dishes, and Colicchio said he thought the food last night was the best of this season. That was especially impressive considering not all of them were comfortable with an Asian theme. He also said Ed’s banana chili fritters were something the stoners in Greenwich Village would love. Funny stuff!

So there would be one winner and one person going home. The winner was Ed…so not only did he have immunity, but he won this challenge and would have made it to the finale anyway.

As for the other three, the judges found small flaws in each soup that they made. The texture of the fish in Kelly’s soup was weird; Angelo’s soup was too salty; and Kevin’s chowder wasn’t perfect. But they had to send one person home…and that was…Kelly. Too bad, I was hoping she’d make the finale. But it’s now down to Ed, Angelo and Kevin. I’m beyond surprised that Kevin has made it this far! Remember he was on the chopping block more than once. Interesting.

So there you have it….last season it was the brothers Voltaggio and Kevin; this season it’s Ed, Angelo and Kevin, and while Kevin has done well, I think this is a race to the finish between Ed and Angelo, with Ed having a slight edge. He sure has won a ton of challenges lately after flying under the radar the first half of the season. So I like Ed to win…who do you like? Let me know in the comment box, and see you all next week for the finale!

  

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