Liveblogging Top Chef: Finale, Part 1

Finale. New Orleans. Schmemeril. FABIO!! sporting a troubling fauxhawk, and I say that as one who has had a TOTALLY KICKIN’ one and knows her way around a fauxhaux. Also, the fauxhauk activates my vituperative Ilan hatred.

The site did not crash during last week’s ep, but this knowledge does not subdue my agita in any way. Fingers crossed, please.

For once, I will not chastise you for arriving ahead of time. Instead, I ask you: who’s it coming down to? I gotta go with Stefan and Carla, although Carla and FABIO!! would be my dream team.

DISCLAIMER: I am very tired and very drugged up, and I’ve rotted my brain by watching American Idol. American Idol is like pre-dinner bread and butter for me: I know I should leave it alone, but I just can’t.

Anyway, this could end up being great, like some kind of fever dream, or both.

10:00: Last week: Carla and Jacques are pea buddies. Stefan finally fucked something up, for a fellow Scandinavian, no less: Salmon disgraced. FABIO!! worked through the pain and prevented a Lidia Bastianich mind massacre and won. Leah, the horse with the broken leg, was finally and mercilessly shot.

10:03: Okay, that’s not a fauxhawk. That’s a flat-top. Carla: hootie-hoo dances through the airport, and somehow it’s not irritating.

Is it just me, or has Stefan…packed on a few? Was his neck always that big?

10:04: Emeril Lagasse. Hooray. I am so very excited.

FABIO!! needs to win this for his sick mamma. Read: He’s a goner. Dammit.

10:06: Quickfire: Jamie, Leah and Dildo Jeff are back. And one of them has a chance to get back in it, with a chance to make it to the finale. And I love twists like this almost as much as I love Emeril.

10:09: Leah is still bitter. May she could channel that bitterness into her food, so that she is not chosen. She’s making gumbo, which she’s never made before. That seems smart.

Jeff is making a single dish! Wonders never cease.

10:10: The “gumbo” has turned into “crawfish soup.” Interesting. I’m sure Emeril will be fooled.

Jeff made shrimp and grits. I think we all know how I feel about shrimp and grits. Note also the chives on top. What did I tell you?

See! Even a professional chef’s shrimp and grits look like dog hork! There’s nothing to be done other than chives!

I missed all the components of Jamie’s dish, but I saw it and it looked damn good. Also, no scallops. I call Jamie, although I do kinda have to root for shrimp and grits.

10:13: Who will win? Emeril has a chef in mind, and “there can be only one.” Because this particular chef is like the Highlander.

10:17: The Highlander: JEFF! Maybe that’s why his face is so devoid of laugh lines or crow’s feet or any kind of expression – he is the eternal, everlasting chef. Unfortunately for him, he has to win the next challenge to actually make it to the finale.

10:20: Hosea entered to WIN. As opposed to just beating Stefan, which it seems like his ultimate goal is. Either that, or he has a secret man crush on him. I find both explanations equally plausible.

Giant warehouse full of Mardi Gras floats = terrifying.

10:21: ELIMINATION: Catering a Masquerade Ball at an art museum. One dish has to be creole. If Jeff wins, 2 people are out. Also, someone wins a car, which FABIO!! really needs because his car is “poop.” It took him at least 5 seconds to come up with that, because you could see he really didn’t want to say “shit.”

So now, in the second to last episode, he decides to self-edit. He’s so gentlemanly.

10:26: Interlude. FABIO!! always dresses like a woman for Halloween. Because he is secure in his masculinity. Behold the pink scarf: he’s rocking that shit.

10:31: Emeril’s kitchen. Shockingly, everything in the kitchen is not branded. (Conflict of Interest Disclosure: I own a set of the Emeril pans made by All-Clad. Save your money for the All-Clad.) The creole dishes are:

Hosea: Gumbo

Carla: Beignets (LOVE)

Stefan: Gumbo AND beignets. Creative.

Jeff: Fried oysters and crawfish pots de creme

FABIO!!: Maque Choux. Muffaletta! No gumbo! My boy has a chance! He made the fucking bread for the muffaletta.

10:34: FABIO!! studied the flavor profiles of N’awlines, because my boy is smart.

Hosea is taking his roux very seriously, as he should – that roux is important for good gumbo. Stefan, meanwhile is on a smoke break, which is an unorthodox method for tending to one’s roux. Tom senses a cockiness in him, because he has a special gift for judging character.

Carla is having oyster shucking issues. I’m getting worried about my Hootie-Hoo.

10:38: Carla is a teatotaler, because she has enough bizarro personal idioms to get her through. FABIO!! is mixing his own drinks, because he TRUSTS NO ONE. This will be a very good decision, or a very, very bad one.

Carla! Attitude! May her rage help her pry the hell out of those oysters.

10:40: Commercials: It’s a good thing one of the prizes isn’t getting your own show, a la Next Food Network Star. Because I love Stephanie Izard, but I think the Stephanie Izard show would make me itchy and a little uncomfortable.

10:44: The Masquerade Ball. Everyone is wearing masks. They remind FABIO!! of porno movies, which does beg the question, what the hell is Italian porn like?

The masked people are HUNGRY.

Can someone explain the crawfish pots de creme to me? Because that looked like no pots de creme I’ve ever seen.

10:46: Stefan does not think there is anyway he can go home. Except that he didn’t let his roux get dark enough, what with all the smoke breaks. And the cockiness. It impedes browning.

FABIO!! does the fist pump of confidence. AND I LOVE IT.

10:48: The crowd is hootie-hooing back at Carla. I’m not sure if that scares me. Either way, she’s putting out the love and everyone loves the food. And I want that beignet in my mouth RIGHT NOW.

Hosea is trying to ride the wave of his gumbo. Not literally.

10:52: We’re going to 75 minutes, aren’t we?

I’m calling this for Carla. I predict that Jeff’s second chance is short-lived, and I’m a little scared for my boy.

FABIO!!’s prediction: If someone has to go home, it’s because the judges are picky. As judges are wont to be. Stefan and Hosea are locked in some kind of gumbo war, that I can only hope ends up in wrestling in a kiddie pool full of gumbo to determine the winner.

10:55: Judge’s Table. Jeff’s cocktail was the favorite. The pots de creme, however the hell it was made, also earns more praise, as does his house-made sausage, STEFAN.

I’m getting scared for my boy.

10:58: Emeril has never seen gumbo over grits, but the ROUX WAS NOT DARK ENOUGH, MOTHERFUCKER.

Stefan doesn’t stress, because he’s 36. Apparently, that’s the age at which we get to stop worrying about things. Five years to go!

11:00: Carla is universally praised. Hosea nailed his dark roux, STEFAN.

Apparently he also did a fish dish? I missed that entirely, except for the beurre blanc with tabasco, which I totally want to pour all over some scrambled eggs and biscuits.

I’m still calling it for Carla.

11:03: My boy’s in the bottom with Stefan, and I’m not totally sure FABIO!! can beat him, cumulatively, although I think he should based on tonight. Although I gotta say, compared to past finales that have sucked major ass, I’m impressed.


Sorry Jeff. So close, and yet so very far.

11:11: Hosea makes it through, so it’s Euro v. Euro. Seriously, the tension is killing me. It’s like Ryan Fucking Seacrest sending Idol to commercial break before revealing who gets the boot.

FABIOOOO! Okay, I never thought he would make it, but I’m still bummed and am calling Shenanigans. Hosea didn’t deserve this.

He deserves his own show. Let’s boot Giada and her giant scary square smile and put him on TV.

NEXT WEEK: Madness. Three courses. Did I see DiSpirito out of the corner of my eye? I’m not pleased.

75 thoughts on “Liveblogging Top Chef: Finale, Part 1

  1. Dude, it was always supposed to be Jamie vs. Stefan in the finale. Of course.. I just didn’t know how it was going to work out. This has to be how it is… c’mon…

    Is it just me, or has almost everything Jamie cooked involved corn? Corn soup & corn cakes & corn monkey’s ass.. oh wait..

  2. I’m holding my breath waiting for Emeril’s announcement. If it’s Leah, I’m turning the tv off and never watching Top Chef again.

  3. Oh dear! Not only is his car a piece of a-poop, but his mama is sick! Let him win already, and let my hot-Fabio-sex dreams end!

  4. Anyone want to call a winner? I’m going to pick Hosea for the hell of it–if it was Carla, I’d never watch again, ditto Jeff, and as much as I love Fabio, I’m not feeling it. No to Stefan on ego alone.

  5. omg carla’s doing booze-free booze? gurl better spike it with whatever helps her see her spirit guides. and maybe said guides can get the oysters open.

  6. why is eating with the biggest appetites in the world the worst thing? If they hated your food, they wouldn’t be eating so much!

  7. Carla said she is going to have to macguyver the oysters. MacGuyver Big Bird. I am overwhelmed.

    My top chef watching party ended up more like a party-party… I’m having to really focus – recognize.

  8. did anyone else notice that Jeff said “Chipolte” instead of “Chipotle”???
    I want FABIO and Carla in the final!! Hosea is whiney and needs to go home.

  9. I’m terribly dissapointed that Emeril like Hosea’s gumbo (although if we’re talking taste…), I just really really want him to go down in flames with SS Leah-scandal. Whatever.

  10. If there is a God: Carla wins the car and I’m sure another copy of Emerill’s latest tome, Jeff and Stephan go home, and Stephan is pulled out of the kitchen screaming in disbelief as Hosea giggles like a school girl. Only one bald man can be in the final three.

    and fabio stays, please Lord. there can be no finale without his strange euphemisms and disarming grin.

  11. I feel like someone just ripped my heart out, threw it on the floor, and stomped on it with golf cleats.
    Well, maybe that’s an exxageration, but I am sad to see FABIO! go.

  12. I’m happy for Carla. I think Stefan should have gone the eff home. I wish Jeff could have stayed. And Hosea can eff the eff off that whiny bastard crappy chef that he is.

  13. somehow hosea just is a put-off….seems waay too fixated on what stephan is doing. stephan is my fav. and carla is ok- but seems like she is trying too hard to be liked by evryone.

  14. Ok, Michelle, I have to call you out. It’s not N’awlins, damnit! It’s more like N’orlins, but you can’t really type the proper pronunciation. Anyway, I’ll forgive you since it is your blog! I was really happy with Dr. Chase getting one more shot, and I really thought that he would make it to the finals with this one more shot. Alas, back to the Club Dildo to have some of Carla’s spirit xanax. I like the fact that they are staying in the Hotel Monteleone, especially since I have stayed there on several occasions. Also, if you ever get a chance to go to New Orleans, please eat at Delmonico. One of my most memorable meals was there, and I know you won’t be disappointed. Now on to my critique (as if it matters!) I want to know what part of the South Carla is from, because Washington, D.C. is NOT the South! But she is definitely in tune with the Southern Cooking spirit guides. Hosea nailed (at least from appearance) the roux for his gumbo. There is a very fine line between perfect mahogany roux and burnt shit that ends up in the garbage. Fabio is taking his Italian roots and marrying that with Creole cooking. Good for experimentation; bad for cooking in New Orleans! Fabio, you totally should have gotten some of Carla’s cooking love for this competition… Stefan, you are one cocky motherfucker, and you aren’t delivering in this round. Thank Fabio for fucking up, else your ass would be hitting the trail with Dr. Chase. Speaking of which, he quieted his creative monkeys, but somehow wasn’t up to par of Carla. Not that I am totally disappointed, but I sure would have loved to see him go on to the next round. Well, it looks like Stefan and Hosea may fuck themselves out of a chance to win, and Carla will slide in safe due to their animosity towards one another. I can live with that, but I certainly never expected a caterer to win this competition.

    Sorry Fabio, I loved you throughout the season, and I wish you well. Jeff, you are a great chef and deserved to be in the finals, but you just couldn’t defeat the spirit guides along the way. Carla, go kick ass and do your best! Hosea, I am sure that you are a great chef, but you are not the Top Chef. Stefan, your cockiness will be your downfall regardless of your skills. My prediction is still with Stefan, but Carla will be a very close second. See you next week!

  15. Technically, Gaines, DC is south of the Mason-Dixon, making it in “the south”. And really, girl pulled it through! So happy she made it to the finals! And also SO sad that Fabio went home. I wanted nothing more than for Stefan and his cocky ass to go home tonight. Oh, well. Hopefully next week. BTW, feel better, Michelle…I, too, am totally doped up on meds for stupid-ass medical reasons beyond my control. I just try to look at the side effects as really good excuses for acting stupider than I really am. And I also blame them for my middle of the night cooking sessions, and while I haven’t made any rocking rice puddings, I cranked out some pineapple upside down cakes that my hubby and kids inhaled the next morning. They had no idea where they came from. I told them they were from the cake fairies…I don’t think they believed me.

  16. I couldn’t make it to the liveblog (I got a bit behind tonight), but here are my thoughts:

    1) I’m pissed that I had to see Leah again. So pissed. I’m glad there wasn’t too much Jamie. And I was fine with seeing Chase there. He’s so calming, seeing how he shows no emotion ever.

    2) Holy crap, Carla! I was so happy she won (because I knew Fabio wouldn’t). She’s come so far, quietly going from underdog to winner. Good work, and hootie hoo!

    3) FABIO!! I miss you already. Terribly. Come by my bunky bed sometime.

  17. I will miss Fabio terribly, painfully, but at least I won’t have to choose between him and Carla any longer. (This is the kind of detachment being 36 + 1 gives one, Stefan.)

  18. So the Emeril all clad pans are worth it? I dream about really good pans sometimes, and wondered if Emeril’s wares were worth the cash. I was sad that Dr. Chase couldn’t pull through because if I can’t have FABIO, I have no patience for Stefan.

    I would have sent Stefan home. Actually, even though Carla won and should have won, I wanted them to give the win to Jeff and send both Stefan and FABIO home. It isn’t like they’ve never given the win to someone who didn’t deserve it before and Jeff did have the best cocktail, and he made his own sausage. And he was able to quiet the creative monkeys (or at least corral them), and really, he should have gotten extra points for that. Do you think Carla gave him some spirit xanax for the creative monkeys?

    I really hope DiSpirito doesn’t show up next week, but if he does, I hope that he and Stefan have to do something together. Their combined arrogance and asshole-ishness could make them spontaneously combust or something.

    Why did they have to take my FABIO away? I would actually settle for a Giada/FABIO show. I don’t hate Giada. She can’t help it that her mouth is shaped funny. But FABIO would be WAY better for a food network show than the last few new food network stars……

  19. Umm, am I the only one, or did the judges not say during deliberation that Jeff, Carla and Hosea were the top 3? Actually, I’m pretty sure they said it several times. Once again, the producers have stepped in and made them kepp someone for dramatic effect. Hopefully Carla will take the whole thing.

    Oh, you are sooooo right about Giada… she is VERY scary!!!

  20. Every week when Stephanie Izard shows up during the commercial break, I think to myself, “It’s time for Stephanie’s ‘My Life As A Cover Girl’ moment!” I’m glad others see how uncomfortable she is. :)

  21. LOL@ Lauren T. Totes like ANTM.

    I want the It’s-a Me! Fabio! Show! soooo badly. Please, Bravo! folks, hear my plea. I can’t type any more exclamation points.

  22. I’m with you about Fabio — I was bummed he was eliminated and want him to have his own show.

    That pink scarf with the leather jacket was the coolest outfit ever.

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