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Top Chef

Season 4 Episode 14


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jun 11, 2008 on Bravo
out of 10
User Rating
23 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


The finalists cook "the most important meal of their lives" for the judges to determine which will be crowned Top Chef.

Guest Judges/Sous Chefs: April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, Dan Barber of Blue Hill, and Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin

Special Guest Judges: Alfredo Ayala and Tim Zagat

Final Challenge: Create a Traditional Four Course Tasting Menu



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  • First Female Top Chef Winner!

    Finally a first for Top Chef! A female winner, which I was hoping that it was. As we saw Lisa, who clearly didn't deserve to be there. And Stephanie and Richard, who clearly did. We had three chef legends who agreed to be the three finalists sous chefs. And that after one day of helping them cook together, the last day. The finalists had to cook on their own as Tom said. So that it came from their own hand. The sous chefs, the regular judges, and some guest judges had a black tie affair to eat their food. Richard admitted that he choked a bit. As he had all these ideas in him. While Stephanie and Lisa went two for two. Stephanie admits that she doesn't make dessert a lot. But in the end, she won Top Chef and deserved to win. I was rooting for her. Didn't and wouldn't mind if Richard won. As long as Lisa didn't win! Great show finale! Can't wait for season five!moreless
  • Girls Rule and Boys Drool

    Well........really. Who thought Lisa was going to win. It was between Richard and Stephanie from the beginning and I think she even knew it. They have a humbleness and skill that sets them apart from her, and I had a hard time figuring out who I was going to root for but I'm estatic that Stephanie won. It was time for a woman to do her thang and she did the entire way through. I feel like this season went faster than usual because there was more talk and hot air than people putting up. But I still had my favorites I was rooting for, but time to get a cook book cause I got a new hobby. Good SHOW!!!moreless
  • the finale shows the remaining three contestants trying to become top chef as they make a four course meal

    this was just the turning pt of all eps b/c this is seriously it..no second or third..just the winner is announced...and thats it for everyone..some people are happy and some are mad..which was definitely the case...spoiler..well finally there was a woman top chef so i was very pleased with that..i think all of the courses looked lovely except for a few..i think richard was too hard on himself about his courses and stephanie of course second guessed herself on her dessert..lisa..still dont know about her..she was overconfident..anyways everything was wonderful and you can tell that the judges debated their decision for hours before they finally announced the winner..i was so happy with the outcome..yay stephanie!..the comments at the end from the other contestants werent too pleasant but thats to be expectedmoreless
  • No quickfire, just 3 chefs are told to cook the best meal of their lives and all of them give it a great effort. They had world class chefs helping them do the prep but for the last 3 hours no help, it was make it or break it on your own.moreless

    I liked the way they did this episode. They had 3 world class chefs doing prep work for this important meal. Then after the prep was done it was all up to the chefs and not having a sous chef bail them out with an idea or great dish they made to help the chef win.

    What else I liked is that the chefs then got a chance to comment and taste the food that they helped prep. Since none of the dishes were finished it was sometimes a surprise on what the final dishes came out or tasted like.

    I have watched the finale twice now, and think they got the right winner but it could have easily gone to Lisa. She cooked 2 good dishes, l average dish and 1 outstanding one. Stephanie had 2 good dishes, one that blew the minds of all the diners and a desert that was not memorable. Richard had 1 good dish, 2 average dishes and a very good desert.

    Based on individual winners the title was Lisa's by a slight margin, but when the took into account which dinner would they want to sit down and eat it was Stephanie who showed them something entirely new. When you can surprise the whole panel with a combination of ingredients and the way they go together, that is a Top Chef. Lisa did nothing special, nothing that showed incredible depth of creativity. Most of those dishes were take off of existing dishes you can get in some Oriental restaurants in Asia, what Stephanie brought to the table was something no one had ever seen or even conceived of before.

    She deserved it.

    I do respect Richard when he told the panel that he choked, his dishes were not up to his normal standard.moreless
Tim Zagat

Tim Zagat

Table Judge

Guest Star

Dan Barber (I)

Dan Barber (I)

Table Judge/Sous Chef Team Richard

Guest Star

Dale Talde

Dale Talde

Season 4 Contestant


Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert

Table Judge/Sous Chef Team Stephanie

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Stephanie is the first woman top chef winner.

    • Stephanie mentions that Dale Levitski, runner-up of season 3, knew her and suggested that she try out for season 4.

    • Eric Ripert's Protein Selection: caviar, clams, sea urchin, lobster, hamachi, snapper, poussins (baby chickens) quail, quail eggs, chorizo, bacon, veal tenderloin, and rack of lamb.
      Dan Barber's Protein Selection: abalone, calamari, scallops, tuna, halibut, guinea hen, duck, duck fat, foie gras, prosciutto, pork belly, rabbit, and venison.
      April Bloomfield's Protein Selection: oysters, octopus, head on prawns, jumbo lump crab, mahi mahi, organic chicken, squab, pancetta, sweetbreads, oxtails, beef tongue, wagyu strip, and ostrich steaks.

    • Final Challenge Menus:

      * First Course - Grilled Prawns with Chili Basil Sauce & Crab, Homemade Potato Chips
      * Second Course - Tom Kha Gai Soup with Dumplings
      * Third Course - Wagyu Beef with Chayote & Cucumber Salad, Hot Sauce & Garlic Chips
      * Dessert Course - Black Thai Rice Pudding with Lime & Mango Creme, Taro & Coconut

      * First Course - Seared Red Snapper, Truffled Clam & Asparagus Broth, Asparagus Salad
      * Second Course - Quail Breast over Lobster Ravioli with Mango-Lobster Sauce and Quail Egg
      * Third Course - Lamb with Maitake Mushrooms, Braised Pistachios, Blackberry & Olive Tapenade
      * Dessert Course - Ricotta Pound Cake with Tropical Fruit & Banana Creme

      * First Course - Scallop with Mango & Pineapple Vinegar
      * Second Course - Guinea Hen, Chicken Egg, Foie Gras & Spring Vegetables
      * Third Course - Pickled Radishes, Mirin Broth & Pork Belly
      * Dessert Course - Banana "Scallop" with Bacon Ice Cream

    • First-run Fan Poll:

      Who do you think should be Top Chef?

      A. Lisa 4%
      B. Richard 36%
      C. Stephanie 60%

      (all percentages are as of the end of the episode)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Eric Ripert: (learning a new technique from Richard) As a chef, the day you don't learn anymore, it means you're such egomaniac, you're blind.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Lee Anne mentions in her blog for this episode that she thought everyone would know by now that Tom hates truffle oil. But apparently Stephanie didn't know, since she used it in her first course. The other Judges must not have had a problem with it, though, since she won that course of the meal, and even Tom said that aside from the oil her dish was good, verging on very good.

    • Lee Anne, as the Culinary Producer, was quite nervous as to whether all the proteins she ordered for the final Challenge would make it in time. The fish only got to the kitchen two hours before they began filming.