Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Top Chef Seattle - Finale live-blog

It's the last episode of Top Chef Seattle. Our city, our show. Two talented chefs: Brooke from LA and Kristen from Boston. Both cool chicks. Both easy on the eyes. Excited? You could say that.

My money has always been on Kristen. She has a clean style, doesn't blow it on technique, and is laser-focused on the details. If the finale pushes them to do something where they're timed, Kristen will win. She gets in trouble when she isn't under the gun and has time to let her brain meander.

But with no time and ingredient constraints, Brooke will dominate. She came up with some seriously interesting courses this season: Here. Are. My favorites. Let's put it this way; I'd eat at Kristen's restaurant everyday for lunch. I'd eat at Brooke's on a special occasion where I'd order 3-4 courses.

10:00 - here we go. whoa, what? the chefs are already cooking?! looks like the outed cheftestants are sous-ing it. and we're apparently they're in an Iron Chef-esque Thunderdome... Ann notes a Voltaggio presence. Shocker.

10:01 - Brooke background. LA prodigy with the pedigree. Both ladies acknowledging the other as their main competition.

10:02 - team Brooke: CJ, Stefan and Kuniko. Kristen has Lizzie, Sheldon and Josh. Each chef has snapper and scallops for 2nd and 4th course. The rest is up to them. Top scallop, bitches!!

10:04 - Padma's boobs are very excited to be here. First dish coming out shortly. Brooke is starting with a pig's ear and 63 degree egg salad, that's a play off of lardon and frisee salad. CJ's already sweaty and burning the pig's ears. ruh roh.

10:06 - Got the winner's table in there: Stephanie, Paul, , Harold, Elan, Kevin, Michael...the whole crew. First dishes are out. Kristen has chicken liver mousse with mustard, prune, hazelnuts, and pumpernickel salad. Kristen getting rave reviews. Brooke doing pig's ear and chicory salad with 6 min egg, candied kumquats and apricot jam. Pig's ear is a little overcooked, but otherwise good marks.

10:10 - Judges pick a winner each round, first chef with 3 rds win. And Kristen takes the first round solidly from all judges.

10:15 - Next up, rd two...Top scallop! Super fresh, still in the shell. Stefan jokes that he choose light blue for their unborn lovechild's bedroom. Oh, Steffers! You cad.

10:17 - flashback to Brooke talking about her son and her phobias. They are numerous. I'm not gonna make light of those, because they look like they're kinda crippling. But, can we please focus on something else? Is she really just a mom/chef with a shattering case of acrophobia? Gail interviewing Brooke's family to pass the time. Brooke is apparently a cooking savant, at a very early age.

10:19 - Mike V spotting - "I want to be down there." And Ann missed her chance to say "That's what she said."

10:21 - This scallop dishes look beautiful...and here they come. Brooke does a seared scallop over salt cod puree, black currant, mustard seed vinaigrette, juniper, romanesco and crispy speck. the former winners complain a little of overcooked scallops, but the judges aren't even phased at all. Brooke might have a little too much on the plate here. Kristen has a citrus & lavender-cured scallop with meyer lemon, bitter orange and apple. Looks absolutely gorgeous. Kristen is taking this.

10:26 - The Hughnabrow is a sucker for romanesco, and gives the tie-breaker to Brooke. Kristen's plating was perfect...I don't know how you could lose that one.

10:28 - Kristen is doing crispy bone marrow for 3rd. Brooke is going for redemption with some vadouvan chicken wings. Tom explains how each chef's style can work against them. Would anyone every question Tom at this point; the dude is on point with everything.

10:31 - flashback to Josie-gate. Barf. Let's move on.

10:32 - Kristen is a hot chef-bot that cannot be stopped. She'll go to Korea on vacation if she wins.

10:34 - 3rd course is out. Brooke does a vadouvan fried chicken wing with sumac yougurt tahini and pickled kohlrabi fatoush. Looks like a middle eastern BBQ plate. Brooke apologies for not bringing wet-naps. Kristen brings out a celery root puree, crispy bone marrow, mushrooms, bitter greens and barely cooked radishes. Not a run-away hit...we'll see. Kristen pulls it out. 2 to 1. Only one round between her and victory. Brooke is freaking.

10:39 - 4th course...snapper. But first, some messages from the winners. And Elan breaks a lamp. Methinks there are plenty of drinks between courses.

Holy shit there are a lot of commercials.

10:45 - Back to the snapper. Both chefs seem supremely confident in what they're making. Padma interviewing the winners...Elan says he looked fat. We all do, bro. Except for Padma.

10:51 - And plates are out. Brooke has to kill it here. Brooke makes a braised pork cheek with crispy red snapper with collard green slaw and sorrel puree with pomegranate seeds. Kristen brings out snapper with leeks, little gem lettuce, tarragon, uni and shellfish nage. Sounds very coastal French. Gail complains about the leeks, but Hughanbrow isn't phased.

10:55 - we're getting short on time. not enough time to get another course in. hmmm.

10:58 - decision time on 4th course. and here comes the votes...
Gail goes Kristen

Emeril goes...Kristen

oh boy...

Tom time.


She wins!! my girl takes it!!

Aww, I feel for Brooke. No one thinks less of you, woman. You're a stud.

And that's it. Kristen takes the title, the second female to win the prize. Congrats, girlfriend. If you and Stefan don't work out, Ann and I can figure out some sort of girlfriend timeshare program. She'll be cool with it, I swear.

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