Top Chef Final Finale Recap: Well, That Happened

It’s the Tonight On Top Chef portion of the show and they’re working hard to convince us it’s the closest match ever. But that presumes that my brainparts are more stimulated by a close race than the primitive longing to see a righteous stomping. And as we learned during the Super Sportsball Bowl, sometimes a righteous stomping is the greatest thing in the world.



It is time to listen to yak yak yak from Nicholas and Nina. Nope, move on please. Okay, thank you: the challenge will be to cook a four-course meal in a restaurant they’ll be running. So like a one-man Restaurant Wars maybe? Don’t know, already hihg.

All the chefs come back and Nick as winner of last challenge gets to pick all three of his sous chefs. He picks Jason, Louis and Brian. Lame team, dude. We’ve got Dreamy (Louis may stay), Highlights and Shirtless. You forgot about Shirtless, didn’t you? Well he’s back again to favor the judges with some more bitchface.

Top Chef Final Finale Recap: Well, That Happened

Dreamy, Angry, Highlights and Bitchface.

Nina picks Shirley and PRESUMABLY STEPHANIE, okay she picks Stephanie, so points for not being A Idiot, Nina. Also Travis, because they are doing “Restaurant Wars” and he was super-total MVP. And Shirley pipes in with a giggle about how it is “girls against guys” but she is foreign so probably thought she was being way gay-friendly with that (he’s a girlfriend just like us!) instead of weird and off-putting.

Girls: Marnie, Jessa, Hannah and Shosh.

Girls: Marnie, Jessa, Hannah and Shosh.

Nicholas: East Coast meets Hawaiian crudo. What really Nicholas, ugh I hate you so much.

Nina is doing “two extra surprise courses,” fuck yeah. TWO EXTRA SURPRISE COURSES WHEREVER WE EAT YES. Do that please, all restaurants.

Nina is doing dessert which is such a risk when you are doing four courses, as opposed to WHEN YOU SERVE FOUR COURSES AND STILL GIVE THEM NO DESSERT. Hell, they have to ramp up the drama somehow, I guess.

Some footage of Nicholas’s team being insufferable, don’t ask me how, I’ve already blocked it all out. But here at last is Nicholas to interview that he has grown more than Nina has over the course of the competition, and therefore “deserves it.” Does anyone agree with this? That the winner should be the Trumpian “overcame more obstacles,” in the sense of “overcame the obstacle of never seasoning my food,” reality show waif-off rather than just whoever is actually “best”?

Over at Nicholas’s, Jason is standing with his feet in a couple of pans, to illustrate a skateboarding trick called Asshole Who Stands With His Feet In The Pans In Which He’s Gonna Cook Your Dinner. Colicchio comes in and starts ragging on him even though he didn’t even see that part. Are you ragging on me? asks Jason, and Colicchio’s like, “actually yes!” and offers a jovial chuckle, and Jason side-eyes him with malevolent Slytherin-style hate. Jason is weird.

Will Nina’s braised unctuous goat be tender enough? Will Nicholas’s Jason-made scallop pasta be weird and sucky?

Their families are there I don’t care. They have literally been there like two days maybe, and they were home before that, and they’re “surprised” their families are there come on. Once my boyfriend was on a gameshow, and they had me come be on it to surprise him but I told him beforehand because I can’t keep a secret, and he did this terrible unconvincing “what are you doing here” wide-eyed brain-damaged thing for like three minutes. This was like that.

So, all lookin’ pretty good at Nina’s besides the will it or won’t it Moonlighting goat-tenderizing question. Naturally, it is time for Nicholas to go into a post office and machine gun everyone in it.

Boy’s wound tight, dude.

He yells at the servers who are there for server training because two servers who aren’t there made him yell at the ones who were. Superfair, very cool, good leadership and morale-building and management and all those things.

The love all of the things at Nina’s place. Hmmm, what is going on at Nicholas’s? He has not been on top of the 16 missing meals that haven’t been fired, but he is all passive-aggressive about it to his cooks, instead of being like “Hey, do this thing please!” and just having them do the thing. He is pissy but martyred by their incompetence, but not taking responsibility for not having been on it earlier.

It’s all very tense, so he makes it tenser; he walks out with the servers, and corrects them, like a crazy person, ABOUT WHICH WAY THE PLATE IS ROTATED AS THEY SERVE THE JUDGES’ FOOD. “Fish lands on the left, guys, fish lands on the left” he says, eyes bugging out, speaking in Italics, being the opposite of how Travis would make someone feel comfortable and welcome in a restaurant, NICHOLAS.

Okay, here’s a good thing about Nicholas: he begs the judges to “please enjoy” rather than commanding them to enjoy. It’s a pet peeve, but waitrons? Please don’t order me around about how to feel about things. You are not the boss of me.

Nicholas yells at the servers about the dessert spoons. In front of the judges. But the judges love it?

They’re a little disappointed in Nina’s “whisper” of an incomplete dessert, *just* chocolate zeppoles with a something something beautiful dipping sauce.

Chocolate Zeppole with Macadamia Nuts and Passion Fruit Anglaise

Chocolate Zeppole with Macadamia Nuts and Passion Fruit Anglaise

Now the editors have structured this weird, and it is hard to follow. The second round of judges are now finishing the main courses at one and heading over to the other, and it is kind of hard to keep track of who is eating what and where they are in their courses but also I am high.

They’re flipping out over Nina’s goat.

Here is the rest of Nina’s menu, courtesy of Hugh Acheson:

Nina: Breadfruit with Whipped Foie Gras Butter. All of team Tom enjoy this bonus.
Nina: Tuna and Escolar Tartar With Tomato Water and Jalapeno. Good news as they love it again.
Nina: Roasted Goat Sugo With Orecchiette, Cherry Tomato Confit, and Goat Cheese. Killer. Killer. So awesome.
Nina: Swordfish with Squash Puree, Braised Kale, and Smoked Onion Jus. Wintery. Not very evocative of Hawaii, Italy or St. Lucia. More evocative of Rhode Island.
Nina: Compressed Dragon Fruit and Frozen Papaya Skewer. Odd. But nicely timed.
Nina: Chocolate Zeppole with Macadamia Nuts and Passion Fruit Anglaise. Fell flat. Unfinished in comparison to the rest of her courses.

Do go over there if you want to read some really mean things about Shirtless. And here he is again with Nick’s menu. Thanks Hugh!

Nicholas: Hamachi and Tuna Green Apple Wasabi, Celery, and Maui-Meyer Lemon. Not cut beautifully and there is only so much you can plate off to the side to wow us. I mean it was good and all but in the battle of crudo, Nina won in my mind.
Nicholas: Sweet Shrimp Bisque, Scallop, and Daikon Noodles with Thai Basil. Tom loved this, like dish of the year stuff. I didn’t. Just didn’t really make sense to me. That is just my humble opinion though. The opinions at my table were very much like mine.

Nicholas: Kombu Cured Duck Breast With Kabocha Squash, Hijiki, and Ginger. It was a great dish. Maybe the duck was a bit chewy, but it was great nonetheless.
Nicholas: White Chocolate Panna Cotta Almond Cocoa Crumble and Tropical Fruit. Not a panna cotta but an interesting dessert.

Haha, okay so we are in Nick’s kitchen, and where before I said he was yelling at the servers, I was being hyperbolic because really he was just being bizarrely tense and about-to-snappy but he wasn’t actually yelling at anyone. Now he is full on Gordon Ramsaying in the kitchen and hte whole dining room is like oooooooh. But do they respect it? Does it turn them on that he is abusing underlings so as to serve them a perfect delicacy, drenched with the blood of uncooperative peons?

Nick is an idiot and put no salt in his lovely fish starter.

Hamachi and Tuna With Green Apple Wasabi, Celery, and Maui-Meyer Lemon. See? Lovely!

Hamachi and Tuna With Green Apple Wasabi, Celery, and Maui-Meyer Lemon. See? Lovely!

Padma was like “meh I got no scallop” from the scallop pasta, but Tom writes in the scallop pasta’s yearbook “stay sweet, best friends forever, never change.”

If they do it on rounds instead of overall experience (which, now this is Chopped hooray) then it is A TIE, two to Nick and two to Nina. So that means it is obviously photo finish omg. Aha, but then they remember NICK YELLED AT WAITSTAFF.

Anyway they want us to know it’s superduper tied. By far.

Nick is Top Chef, the end, they have either been trolling us from the beginning or else a — Josiah? What on earth was that boring non-entity’s name? — oh, Hosea, has swept in on a pool of mediocrity from nowhere. Congratulations, new Hosea, now we will never hear anything else about you forever.

TV Show: Top Chef

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