TOP CHEF FINALE RECAP: The Finale Was A Bit Of A Tw*t, But What Finale Isn’t?


The following is a Recap of the Top Chef Season 5 Finale, originally airing February 25, 2009. If you haven’t watched the episode yet and don’t want the results spoiled for you, you shouldn’t be reading a pop culture blog that always covers Top Chef.

Finale Carla n Casey– Eighteen people made Top Chef finale winner predictions in our Open Thread yesterday, with this breakdown:

Carla: 10 people

Stefan: 8 people (myself included)

Hosea: 0 people (commenter Brigid picked Hosea at 9:45 pm, which doesn’t count)

My roommate and TC-watching cohort Matt was the only one I’m aware of who took Hosea, so he wins the “Big Effing Deal, You Predicted A Dumb Bravo Reality Show Correctly” Award. If I had been correct, it would have been the “Behold My Amazing Powers Of Clairvoyance Over This Awesome Bravo Reality Show” Award, which I already own, and I don’t have room in my trophy case for another, so I’m GLAD I didn’t win. Yes, Glad Bags.

Tom’s “DERRR-scription of the final challenge: “We want to see the fire, the passion, and the soul. But most importantly, it must taste delicious.” In other words, “We wish to see a window into the true, unadulterated essence of your being. Also you make food good please.”

Finale Toby YoungRocco DiSpirito delivered THE MOST PRETENTIOUS SENTENCE EVER UTTERED: “It’s good, it’s just, I’m so tired of eating foie gras!” This man deserves to be headbutted by me wearing a helmet made out of the spaghetti I ate for two years after moving to New York and temping.

— After an entire season of Bravo painting Stefan as the villain, what happens in the finale? Hosea draws the #1 knife, picks his partner first, steals all the foie gras and caviar from the kitchen and gets defensive when Stefan questions him, then finds the baby in the king cake, picks his appetizer ingredient first and sticks Stefan with alligator, doesn’t make a dessert in a three-course meal, and after the judge’s table, even makes a bitchy comment to Carla about how he stuck with cooking his own food (subtext: unlike some other googly-eyed people). I guess he was the villain all along — congratulations, guy from the movie Saw who apparently wrote this season of Top Chef.

— Still, the quote of the night belonged to Stefan, whose European accent apparently made it ok for Bravo to air the word “tw*t” unbleeped. Next season, they’re gonna shoot for “Motherf***er.”

After the jump, the Final Elimination (not the title of an 80s Van Damme movie):

– The entire meal came down to each contestants’ third course; Hosea went with a semi-safe but successful venison dish, while both Carla and Stefan produced disastrous desserts:


Finale Desserts 

Carla got screwed when she accepted Casey’s suggestion to make a soufflé, thus fulfilling the Shakespearean foreshadowing in Carla’s episode-opening sound byte: “I just gotta cook the food that got me here.” Stefan, on the other hand, had no excuse for his cartoon plate of spleniforous wonderment; if he had saved his desserts from Restaurant Wars for the Finale, he’d be living in a mansion made of Glad Bags right now.

— When even Fabio has to concede that Hosea’s meal was better than Stefan’s, the judges probably made the right call.

Tee Martin– That being said, Hosea’s victory ultimately changes this season’s legacy from “Anticlimactic Stefan Foregone Conculsion” to “Well That Was A Waste Of Time.” It was like the Diamondbacks’ World Series win — rightfully earned, but at the same time, a year from now we’ll be like “wait, that really happened? Alright.”

Branford Marsalis informed us that chefs “talk like musicians.” I had no idea jazz musicians were such total d*cks when eating other peoples’ food.

— My goodness was Carla emotional at the Judge’s Table; her failure-acknowledging tears and the subsequent emotion from the Judges prompted the most depressing royalty-free music Bravo could find. It’s hard not to feel bad for her, too — yes, it was her decision to give her assistant way too much say in her menu, but that one moment of timid graciousness is gonna cost her a lifetime of nightmares involving monster soufflés. Feel free to make that nightmare into a Coraline-esque animated feature, anyone who’s reading. Carla will provide the voice of the bats.

— Last night’s worthless DVR-buster snippet actually made me laugh; when Stefan asks a New Orleans psychic about a girl named “Jamie,” the psychic responds “this person could be your girlfriend…” thus immediately getting things wrong even with her first cautiously general sentence. And if Bravo just edited it to make it look that way, all the better.

— T-Shirt prediction for this year? Something with Monkey Ass, I hope.


1) H……… can’t even type it. Whatever.


Hosea Wins 

Finale thoughts, season as a whole thoughts, Hosea thoughts, and t-shirt predictions in the comments, please. Gonna be a while before we get a chance to do this again (all the way til the reunion episode in a week).

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