Top Chef All Stars Finale (Spoilers!!)

Well, since we forgot to write a sexy blurb about the penultimate Top Chef all stars finale, we’ll roll in the last two weeks into ten random items.  Suffice to say the winner was hard to dispute – Richard Blais has geniusness in him – and it’s nice the best guy got the ring.  Also, it helped prevent a possible suicide or nervous breakdown, so much the better.  As for the rest:

  1. Was the final challenge between Mike and Antonia a contrivance?  Absolutely.  However, it seemed fair – the challenge Antonia got (to cook a meal for Masaharu Morimoto) was so much harder than Michael’s that it made sense.
  2. Michael did have more technical knowhow and sophistication, so the elimination made sense, but would have been nice to see Antonia go further.
  3. Loved the finish this year – instead of the meal of a lifetime, the restaurant of your dreams.  The blind choosing of sous chefs was cute, but unfortunate.  One has the sense that Fabio would have been picked if it was not a blind test.
  4. Richard’s team was a lot stronger than Michael’s … Antonia, Spike and Angelo just knew more things – it seemed like Richard had the luxury of running a more democratic, idea-centric kitchen than Michael.
  5. Padma and Gail stepped up their game too … that is all.
  6. Both restaurants looked remarkable.  Richard is just a genius – and Mike has been dominant since the scene switched to the Bahamas.  The hamachi Richard had put out – I just wanted to reach into my TV for.
  7. Mike’s pork shoulder on the other hand made me grateful I’m not a vegetarian.
  8. Really, it is amazing it came down to dessert.  On the other hand, it was just.  Richard made a bad dessert – but saved it after feedback from the first batch of judges.  That might have been the cheffiest moment of the entire challenge.  Richard rescued a bad dish – and kept the restaurant performing.
  9. Michael is a douchebag – or at least the character he is manifested as on the show.  So it is hard to weep for him.  Zaitinya, his restaurant in DC (well Jose Andres’) is not especially good for the price – but Graffiato seems promising if for no other reason than a charcuterie bar.
  10. Richard though … he choked in season 4 – he didn’t this time.  I want to go to Flip Burger right now … but it’s a long drive :(.
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