Top Chef All Stars Finale (Spoiler Alert)

I don’t think many were surprised by the outcome of last night’s finale episode of Top Chef All Stars.

Richard Blais was this season’s favorite- the winner of eight challenges and well-respected by all his fellow chefs as one of the absolute best.  I’m pretty positive Tom Colicchio has a giant man crush on him also from the way he talks about Richard and his cooking. Almost every show I think he is going to jump over the judge’s table and hug Richard or something.

I really do think the win was well-deserved. Richard is one of the most inventive contestants the show has ever seen, and thinks about food on an entirely different level than a lot of the show’s competitors- that much is obvious. Besides, I’m pretty sure he would have had a mental breakdown had he not won; the guy definitely is an “artist” in personality also- continuously unfulfilled with his product, beating himself up for not doing better, and playing mind games with himself over what the judges are thinking about his food and how they are going to decide.

I don’t think anyone can disagree either with the fact that Mike Isabella truly gave an all-star performance and proved himself as a worthy Chef throughout this show’s competition either. I think he surprised a lot of people, including myself, with his talent and he did really grow a lot as a chef throughout the show- trying new things and taking greater risks. He pulled off pepperoni sauce on braised meat as his third course during the finale!

Richard was a clear winner however with his amuse bouche (although Tom says it didn’t count as part of the challenge since the challenge was to create four courses), his first course of hamachi (over Michale’s salad), second course of fish (even though Michael’s fish was cooked superbly, the judges thought Richard’s technique and skill in this course put him over the top), and his dessert featuring foie gras ice cream- although the first set of judges didn’t like the texture, Richard corrected the dish, adding more cream, etc. for the second set of judges. The fact that Richard had Chef Spike listen to the judges reactions and was willing to change and perfect his dish even in the midst of the competition shows his dedication to his craft and his continual perseverance toward perfection.

All in all- I think this was one of the best finales I’ve ever seen on Top Chef and looking forward to see more to come from this fantastic show!