Highlights From Top Chef, Season Finale, Part 1

I'm going through Top Chef writing withdrawal. Normally, I watch the show on Wednesday night and write my highlights post that night or the next morning. It didn't work that way this week.  For one thing, I had to make some time for Alecia Beth Moore:

Those of you who aren't BFFs with her may know her as "Pink". Source

Her concert was last night and I was all about it. I've been all about Pink since I bought her Mizundastood album back in 2001. I can't believe it is that old!! I kept my fingers crossed that she would sing some of her songs from that album and she didn't disappoint. She is incredible!

So, it's been crazy since Top Chef on Wednesday. I have SO much stuff up my sleeve surrounding Top Chef starting now and into the weekend. It's going to be Top Chef mania in the Break Room is all I can say. I try to write my posts in a way that entertains people who may not even watch the dingdang show. The thing that I want to know is...why aren't you watching it? I wasn't watching it before this season because I didn't fully grasp it's awesomeness.

I do now, sister. And brother.

Today is going to just hit the highlights of the show on Wednesday. The posts that will follow this one later today and this weekend will be spin-offs. My goal is only to post three days a week. Today and this weekend? I'm getting crazy. I'm breaking rules.

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This week was the Part 1 of the Season Finale. The show began with Tom revealing that the winner of the Last Chance Kitchen last week was Kristen. (I predicted that it would be Lizzie.) This meant that Brooke, Sheldon and Kristen would be competing against each other to make the best three courses under Tom's watchful eye in his "own house", his restaurant, Craft. He was straight impatient drill sergeant back there. I was stressed watching it!

Brooke's three dishes:
  • Crispy veal sweetbread salad with kumquats, beets and mustard
    • Sweetbread is neither sweet nor is it bread and should have been included on this list of mine here. That was a major oversight on my part.
  • Braised short ribs, parmesan sauce, nettle puree and squash dumplings
    • My last name is Nettles, y'all!! I got all excited when Emeril said, "I love the nettle" and "I like the addition of the nettles." I was like, "Oh, yeah, you do!"
  • Brown butter cake, whipped goat cheese and blackberry sauce
    • Everyone loved this cake. Tom said it wasn't really a "restaurant cake". Apparently, Tom doesn't hang out at Chili's much. They've got cake!!

 Kristen's three dishes:
  • Chestnut veloute (say what?), duck rillette (come again?) and brussel sprouts
    • Kristen is always so Frenchy and fancy, by the way. I don't think it was in this dish, but conversation surrounding it mentioned "cornichons", which made me think of Adam Sandler's "Cajun Man". Sure wish he was a judge on Top Chef. I had to Google "cornichons", which is the French word for "gherkin". This led me to Google "gherkin", which is "savory pickled cucumber". IT'S A PICKLE, DAGNABBIT! A SIMPLE PICKLE! WHY ALL THE FRENCH ACCENTS? (I know. It's really a fancy pickle.)
  • Seared ahi tuna with veal mustard jus and Meyer lemon puree
    • Veal mustard. That just exhausts me to even think about. I'll Google that later.
  • Curry chocolate with cashews
    • Most judges thought the combination was a little odd. Padma liked it, but this is not a big surprise. Curry is popular where she is from. I am not a big fan and I don't think I would like it with my chocolate. I have a funny feeling Kristen can make anything taste good.

 Sheldon's three dishes:
  • Sashimi spot prawns, court bouillon, radish and Asian herbs
    • Sheldon said he wanted to show the judges how much he had grown. He went outside of his comfort zone and tried new things.
  • Roasted quail, pine nut puree, garam masala and tangerine
    • Those cheftestants love them some puree: nettle puree, Meyer lemon puree and pine nut puree. Purees are in da Top Chef house.
  • White chocolate mousse with apple and fennel
    • The judges weren't loving the fennel. They liked the idea of apple and fennel together, but felt it was too much raw fennel.

You can see pictures of all of the dishes here.

The winners?

Brooke and Kristen.

Sheldon had to pack his knives and go.  This made me sad. I'm a big Sheldon fan. How can you not be? He is super talented, humble, funny, a good sport, a good team player, a hard worker and loves his family a whole bunch. Emeril actually told Sheldon before the challenge that he felt Sheldon was much like himself. He felt that Sheldon has never forgotten where he came from. Sheldon is such a well-rounded, likeable, humble guy. He keeps saying on the show that being Top Chef will give his family so many opportunities that they never had before. Granted, he won't win the $125,000 prize along with all of the other extras, but I'm certain that he will have opportunities like he's never had before. His name is out there! I know I want to go to Hawaii to eat his food!

So, that's it. For now. As I said, I have much more to say about Top Chef, the contestants and this episode, too. Please check back with me later today and this weekend! Remember, all of the Top Chef posts that I have written and will write can be located under the Top Chef tab of the navigation bar or by clicking this link here.

Oh! Next week's finale is in front of a live audience. It looks like it will be lots of fun to watch!

I am required to disclose that I am a Bravo-sponsored blogger. All opinions are my own.
Right now on the Bravo site, they make it easy for you to vote for your favorite chef from this season by going here. All of the contestants are listed there. The winner of the contest will win $10,000. You can also just go to Twitter and vote by placing a hash tag in front of the word "chef" and then his or her name like this: #cheflizzie, #chefbrooke, #chefsheldon, etc.