Top Chef Finale

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Top Chef Finale

Postby Jenise » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:44 pm

Nick won--didn't see THAT coming!

So hard to tell anything without tasting the food, of course, but I have to admit that on plating alone I'd have given it to Nick. His presentations were modern and sophisticated--definitely signaled my "want to eat" response--just compare the opening tartares, for instance. No contest. Was surprised, in fact, that Nina's were so lame. Everything was chopped at the bottom of a bowl, it seemed.

But something I wonder: they give them each a "restaurant" set-up. Yet they seemed to have been judged only on the food, not the service. So why the set-up?
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Re: Top Chef Finale

Postby Carrie L. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:11 pm

I was also totally shocked that Nick won. Agree it's hard to tell without tasting, but all season the judges just seemed wow-ed by Nina, every time. Consistently good, but Nick did seem to find his rhythm in the end. I do think he is a tortured soul, and didn't seem to find harmony with the other competitors the way so many others do, through humor usually, or silly ego-banter. Wish they would have shown more close-ups of the food. The duck breast sounded wonderful, but it was hard to tell if it was cooked properly or not, and seemed to be covered in sauce. Same with the pana cotta... I could hardly tell what was on it and if it was in fact "jiggly enough." :)

The judges seemed completely at odds on the finally. Tom loved the scallop noodles, but Padma didn't even taste "scallop." Emeril found his duck breast inedible, but others (Gail?) loved it. Wonder what it REALLY came down to. (Nina's horrible sword fish?) I thought for sure they would have knocked a few points off Nick for his outburst in the kitchen. That is seriously unprofessional.
Hello. My name is Carrie, and I...I....still like oaked Chardonnay. (I feel so much better now.)
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Re: Top Chef Finale

Postby Jenise » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:37 pm

Carrie L. wrote:I was also totally shocked that Nick won. Agree it's hard to tell without tasting, but all season the judges just seemed wow-ed by Nina, every time. Consistently good, but Nick did seem to find his rhythm in the end. I do think he is a tortured soul, and didn't seem to find harmony with the other competitors the way so many others do, through humor usually, or silly ego-banter. Wish they would have shown more close-ups of the food. The duck breast sounded wonderful, but it was hard to tell if it was cooked properly or not, and seemed to be covered in sauce. Same with the pana cotta... I could hardly tell what was on it and if it was in fact "jiggly enough." :)

The judges seemed completely at odds on the finally. Tom loved the scallop noodles, but Padma didn't even taste "scallop." Emeril found his duck breast inedible, but others (Gail?) loved it. Wonder what it REALLY came down to. (Nina's horrible sword fish?) I thought for sure they would have knocked a few points off Nick for his outburst in the kitchen. That is seriously unprofessional.


Two different services, two different sets of results. Whatever the brains of the operation were thinking in setting up the competition that way, it hurt the competitors and impaired the judges' ability to judge fairly because in effect they ate two different meals. As you point out: Emeril's duck was so underdone it was inedible, but Tom called it one of the best dishes he ate all year. How can you have a fair fight when you change the variables that drastically? And yeah re Nick on that tantrum, but with so much at stake who doesn't understand? For a finale, it really should have just been about the food--maybe the judges, on reflection, decided that too and therefore disregarded Nick's outburst? Not that the food itself was entirely either chef's work: for instance, Nick didn't make the scallop pasta, it wasn't even his recipe--it was that other guy's specialty!
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Re: Top Chef Finale

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:56 am

I still find it difficult to believe that Nick made it to the finale. I surely thought it would come down to Louis and Nina. I thought the entire finale was a bit disjointed in many respects. I didn't understand either restaurant or their concept for the evening. I don't know why Nina fixed 2 additional dishes, and I don't know why the judges decided to throw them out just to judge both contestants on 4 dishes. A dish that is uneven is a dish that is not well prepared, so couldn't understand the duck issue at all. Nina was clearly a front-runner the entire season. It's hard to see how Nick came from behind and prepared a dish so spectacular that it wiped out all of Nina's prior wins and made Nick an equal competitor. I don't get it at all.
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