The Top Chef Masters Ultimate Fan was announced about two-thirds through the episode as "Joan S." of West Point, California. She was awarded $10,000. (The answer to the poll question was Gael Greene, who hooked up with Elvis Presley in the early part of her career.)
First Run Fan Poll:
Who do you think should win Top Chef Masters?
1. Hubert Keller 42%
2. Michael Chiarello 15%
3. Rick Bayless 43%
(all percentages are as of the end of the initial broadcast.)
Jay: (referring to the "chorizo air" foam) This is not Rick's greatest dish, and I think it's summed up by the foam, which is a little like your elderly granny at the family wedding putting on spandex hot pants and dancing a disco.
Rick: (downplaying Hubert's secret weapon) Yeah, you can slice truffles over a dish and say it's special, but it's not, really. It's just expensive!
Michael: (as the finalists arrive at the Getty Villa) The better the view, the tougher the challenge!
Laurent Pillard, Sous Chef of Hubert
Nick Ritchie, Sous Chef of Michael
Brian Enyart, Sous Chef of Rick
Michael was the only finalist who has never appeared as a Guest Judge on Top Chef. Rick had the opportunity to Judge Stephanie Izard in season 4 of TC, and Hubert Judged multiple times, sampling the food of season 1's Harold, Ilan of 2, and Hosea of season 3. However, Michael would be tapped to be a Guest Judge in TC's sixth season "Season Finale Part 1".
This episode began 15 minutes late (10:15 pm E/P) to accommodate Top Chef's season six premiere, which was moved from its original air date of August 26, 2009.
Michael: To be in the top three of the first twenty-four chefs chosen to do this is like, Rocky Marciano, Rocky Balboa, and Rocky's trainer all fighting at the same time. And you get to the end, and you're all just throwing punches!
Rocky Marciano was a the heavyweight champion of the world from Sept 1952 to Apr 1956. He's the only heavyweight champion to end his career having won every fight. Rocky Balboa is the fictional boxer played by Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky film franchise; Burgess Meredith played his trainer in the first few movies.