i was ever so excited this past november to see that one of my fave shows top chef would be taking place in my hometown seattle!
brandon and i have very different opinions on what constitutes good television, but both agree that top chef is definitely good television. this season was fun to watch not only because of the beautiful backdrop of a city i love so much but also because the contestants were extra likable and talented.
we started the season a little differently with 21 chefs competing at each of the judges restaurants for a final 15 on top chef. it was a fun twist and change to the show and the ended up with a good group of chefs.
one of my favorite episodes was episode five. they started off in the wee morning hours at pike place and prepared breakfast for all the vendors. it was exciting to see them dash around and struggle to come up with a creation to please all the vendors. the winning team of bart and (my favorite) sheldon were granted immunity due to their Green Forest Breakfast Sandwich (click for recipe). immunity turned out to be key for this episode as their elimination challenge was to create a dish, by drawing knives, to feature an ingredient created by the vendors at Pike Place.
some of the options were unique and interesting and cj and tyler drew spicy dill pickles. piece of cake right? wrong! the judges table that evening concluded that there would not be a winner for this challenge (shocker!) and the banter between cj and the judges table was comical.
unfortunately for poor cj & tyler, their pork crumpet burger with fried spicy dill pickles just wouldn't cut it and so it was time for them to "please pack their knives and go". cj was one of my favorites and while it was sad to see him go, he ended up doing pretty darn well in last chance kitchen.
cj was the first chef eliminated that i really disagreed with by the judges but had agreed with the judges opinion for most of the season...that is until episode 11 - restaurant wars.
i always love the restaurant wars episodes! and this one ended up being boys vs. girls, even more fun!
this episode killed me for many reasons. chef stefan was the most entertaining with his front of the house antics. diners enjoyed the food at sheldon's restaurant so much they wouldn't leave! there are all these great soundbites of stefan trying to persuade diners to leave with booze and pats on the back, only for him to return to the kitchen to say "get them the f*ck out of here".
the gorgeous chef kristen was the other chef with the winning concept and perhaps one of the most promising contestants of the season. this episode is where things went all wrong and the person to blame is josie (and the judges quite frankly). poor time management had plagued josie all season long and her dish ended up sending kristen home.
this episode had the judges arguing like crazy and padma showing a side i've never seen before. and so to the contestants surprise, as well as every viewer watching, kristen was sent home and josie was safe. i tweeted that night (as did everyone else it seems) in outrage, but knew deep down inside we would be seeing kristen again.
Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Bravo.
and then there were three.
and a great and fitting and appropriate three they were. while i was pleased to see kristen return to the kitchen, episode 16 was a sad one for me. the sweet and smiley sheldon was sent packing and i was surprised by how sad i was to see him go. i have a feeling however that he may end up winning fan favorite (which you can still vote for #chefsheldon).
and so my friends the season ends tonight with these two very talented chefs.
and i have to admit, i was feeling a little torn on who i wanted to win. and then the more i thought about it, the more i realized that duh, i want chef brooke to win.
chef brooke is the co-owner and co-executive chef of the tripel (one of my neighborhood faves - get the sweet potato tater tots - they are incredible) and hudson house (dying to go after reading her review). brooke has done an incredible job all season winning a lot of the challenges and creating innovative recipes and ideas. her most creative concoction may have been her take on "surf & turf" with the winning Mussels & Frog Legs with Celery Root & Fennel Purée, Papadums & Shallot Chutney.
and so while i am sad to see the season end, i think this season of top chef has been one of my favorites. not only because of seattle, but also because i felt for a change, all the contestants really cared for and respected one another.
don't forget to tune in tonight, February 27th 10/9c for the first ever live finale and to see who will be crowned top chef! GO BROOKE!
*this is a sponsored post by bravo but all opinions are my own*