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Top Chef Recap: And The Winner Is........

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​This is it...the finale.

Padma and Tom meet Richard and Mike. Tom says there are no twists and turns - just show us your future - your challege is to create the restaurant of your dreams (that's it? OK - I'll just write you the great American novel in an hour...clock starts...NOW)!

Elimination Challenge

The challenge is to create a four course tasting menu that shows without a doubt that you should win Top Chef All-Stars.

Richard and Mike are discussing who's going to win... and who they'll choose as sous chefs. They both agree they don't want Jamie.

The top chef cheftestants that lost are now in the kitchen making an amuse bouche for the two finalists to taste to decide who they want to work with. The finalists have to choose the sous chefs by blind tasting their dishes. Mike is trying to find Marcel's dish so he doesn't choose him (hah)!

Richard chooses

  • ceviche of squid, which is Spike - who is going to have to cancel his jet ski reservations  chicken which is Angelo

  • egg which is Antonia

Mike chooses:

  • yogurt curry which turns out to be Tiffani

  • pork tenderloin which is Jamie

  • tropical salsa which is Carla 

Richard and Mike have one hour to plan. Tomorrow they have five hours to cook for 70 customers and the judges.

Mike says that he's now mature enough to handle this challenge. Richard says he didn't win his season because he sacrificed flavor for too intricate food. 


restaurant name is IZ, short for Isabella. 

Richard names his restaurant Tongue & Cheek and says he's decided o make four proteins on every dish (didn't he say he's not going to do too much and concentrate on flavor?)

Richard doesn't seem as cool as Mikey - which really surprises me. UGH!!! Richard's dessert idea? Fois gras ice cream. OK I want to throw up. Right. Now.

Tom visits the chefs and he's hot (mazel tov on the new baby, by the way Tom).... Mikey feels like he's in the weeds (which he's totally in control). Tom visits Richard and he says the same thing. They're both stressing to the max. Tom says this is a true test of what a chef really is. It's not only cooking. Chef means boss (go Tom - you're so hot when you take charge).

Richard's diners are:

  • Lydia Bastianiach
  • Hubert Keller
  • Bill Terlato
  • Alfred Portale

Richard's restaurant Tongue & Cheek serves:

  • Amuse Bouche Oyster
  • First course raw hamachi with crispy sweetbread
  • Pork belly black cod and bits of bone marrow
  • Rib of beef with horseradish
  • Corn bread with whipped mango and fois gras ice cream.

Spike is Richard's spy and he says the ice cream isn't going over well. So Richard is redoing the ice cream.

Mikes's diners are:

  • Gail Simmons
  • Art Smith
  • Curtis Stone (who is hot and has a great accent)
  • Tom Colicchio

Mike's Restaurant IZ serves:

  • Spiced beet salad with pistachio mozzarella and chocolate vinaigrette
  • Steamed halibut and kumquat puree
  • Braised pork shoulder with pepperoni sauce
  • Rosemary custard

The judges flip places now so that every judge can taste both restaurant's food.

Judges Table

The guys walk in - Mike's confident and Richard is his usual whiny (when did he become whiny)... Gail says that Restaurant IZ had a subtlety that was almost feminine. The pepperoni sauce was crazy business. Tom says the dessert wasn't perfect. Gail says Richard hit them with extraordinary flavor course after course after course.

Padma asks the cheftestants why they should win. Mike says it would mean the world to him. It's everything he could possibly want in life. Richard says it's not about t him it's about the guests. It would mean his own restaurant. This would give him the opportunity to do what he wanted as a chef.

The judges score the meal:

  • Tom gives Richard the first course.
  • Everyone gives Richard the second course.
  • Gail loved Mike's third course with the pepperoni sauce
  • The chefs preferred Mike's dessert (fourth course)

Gail says she would want to eat at Mikes restaurant during the week and Richards on the weekend.

The two guys come out in front of their friends and family to get the results (humiliating)....

Padma reminds them that one of them will take home $200000 and win the title of Top Chef (and the other is a double loser).

Richard is Top Chef!

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss

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