Top Chef DC: Surprise?

Last night was the season finale of “Top Chef: DC,” and the outcome was a bit of a surprise, maybe shocking to many of you. The three finalists–Kevin, Ed and Angelo–had to create a four-course meal for a bunch of celebrity diners that included Dana Cowin from Food & Wine Magazine and David Chang. There had to be a vegetable dish, a fish dish, a meat dish and a dessert. Each chef would have a sous chef–a winner from a previous season. Ed was paired with Ilan Hall from Season 2, Hung Huynh from Season 3 with Angelo, and Kevin with Michael Voltaggio from last season (the two have worked together before).

Things were thrown into a tizzy when Angelo was sick in bed with the flu, and the doctor gave him a 20% chance of being able to cook the following day. But the doc gave him a shot and Angelo was good to go, but not before having to have his sous chef prep by phone that first day. Oh, and judges Tom Colicchio and Eric Ripert went and bought the proteins at the Singapore markets for the challenge, and had threatened that “monkey was in season.” Yikes. But they wound up with stuff like rouget, cuttlefish and duck.

For their final dishes, here is what they made:

Angelo: pickled royale mushrooms with pork belly; Asian bouillabaisse; sauteed duck breast with foie gras; and coconut/vanilla cream.

Kevin: eggplant turrine; rouget with cuttlefish and noodles; roasted duck breast with dumplings; and a Singapore sling with tropical fruits.

Ed: summer corn veloute; stuffed rouget; duck two ways (roasted duck and stuffed duck neck); and sticky toffee pudding.

Ed, while considered a favorite the last few weeks, took a nosedive with his dessert, and when Colicchio called him out on it, he back-pedaled with some weird defense mechanism about not making lemon curd because he would have screwed it up. Huh?

Meanwhile, Angelo had a few flaws in his meal, but Kevin had fewer. In fact, the judges were practically having orgasms over Kevin’s Sling dessert. I think Gail Simmons wanted to recruit him for her new dessert show right then and there. So in the end, as the chefs faced the judges, Padma uttered the words, “Kevin…..” “Yes?” he replied. “You are Top Chef.” He was shocked, but I don’t think Ed or Angelo were. Kevin was like the sneaky underdog the last 8 weeks or so, after facing elimination a few times. Maybe that was his risky strategy, but either way, he wowed the judges in Singapore and that’s why he won.

So that’s all, folks. It’s been a pleasure blogging this season with you again, and I look forward to the next one, whenever that is. Thanks for reading!

  

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