And that is, the truth. As Hosea really was such, a jerk. And that he first of all, led Ariane. Out to dry, he and his "lover" Leah did. And second of all, Tom C had a grudge, against Stefan. Though Stefan was a jerk. Stefan had a heart and went to hug, Carla. Who shouldn't had led, Casey talk her out of things. That she, Carla should had done. Casey I liked at first. But she just went down, a notch on this show. I hope that this episode. Will be the last, we see of annoying judge, Toby Young. He didn't get along with either Tom or Padma. Really was a weak link, in the show. Unlikable characters except for Fabio, Arianne, and Carla this year.
The track record of this series is at least better than The Next Food Network Star which has been a disaster. Carla had a bad day, she did not cook her meal and got off her game.
Stefan stepped out of the box, Hosea did not. Stefan is a better chef every day of the week, Hosea has a lot to learn and is a good chef. He did not win this competition under the rules they have used in previous years he won because I think they did not want to give it to a non American.
Stefan did an alligator soup, a game bird, Hosea made a raw dish from his menu back home and made a dish that was a copy of one Tom was familiar with. No Hosea you won on the show, but Food Network lost on integrity.
As much as I loved this whole season of Top Chef, I have to say this Finale fell a bit short. We had far greater contenders in Season 5 than last year with great imagination, skills and lots of soul. I felt the show came pretty close to my favorite season - the one that Hung won. Ironically, Casey, one of Season 3 best contenders was involved in the finale demise.
First of all, it was good to see they brought back some skilled chefs, not the filler contestants, they normally use. The regular finale task to cook whatever the chefs fancied had a nice little twist with the local ingredients. But that was just about all that was good about the finale.
Although I agree these were probably the top 3 chefs in this season I totally hate the way judges rated them. Carla has been going from strength to strength while Stefan has been consistent if not even dominating. Hosea however has been up there and about, regularly off the mark, naturally uninspired and to sum that all up - bland. Sure he has great skills, he's determined and has a lot to prove, but he lacks character, there's nothing special about him. As much as I hate Stefan's cockiness, he was right that he "just doesn't have it in him to be a great chef". And it has been like that the whole season. It took me 5 episodes to remember Hosea's name and if it hadn't been for his little story with Leah, I probably wouldn't know it by now. Furthermore, foodwise, Hosea was boring, throughout the season and in the finale. He never risked the slightest bit to go outside his comfort zone - damn that seafood. And while Stefan's displays all seemed to be somewhat copycats, Carla really left great impressions on me. She struggled constantly to produce inspired food. Should she have won Top Chef if she didn't trip in the finale? I'm not sure. But be it Carla or Stefan - anyone would have deserved it for they really stood up there with great dishes. When I look back to the finale, Stefan did little wrong in the Finale. Dismissing his desert because it didn't seem like a composed dish? Did Tom expect to get mash and gravy with that? The whole decision seemed harsh, although I understand that picking either Carla or Stefan as the winner based on their overall performance would have seemed unjust. However I still cannot believe that the next Top Chef is... What was his name again...
I loved this finale. Stefan showed that his arrogance at having cooked for 36 years did not hold water when it mattered. Carla ended up being just too nice and succumbed to taking orders from her sous chef, for which she paid the price and knew it. Hosea proved his competency. I had been pleasantly surprised to find that Carla made it to the final. It seemed as though most people had written her off from early on as being too quirky. If she had made made her "meat and potato" dish in the way she originally wanted and had gone with her cheese tart idea I think she may have even won, unfortunately she was just too nice to tell her sous chef that she wanted to cook her own way. Stefan created a dessert that any competent cook can do (including me!) and then, in true Stefan style, blasted everyone else for not making something which they weren't required to make. Plus, I felt, his freezing of the fish was an insult to the fish and the guests. He also chose odd bed fellows using halibut and salmon. Salmon is much too big a flavour to pair with halibut, so he should have known to choose either a bigger flavoured fish to go with the salmon, or a more delicate flavoured fish to go with the halibut - where was his experience showing there? Hosea proved that he could execute and produce a well balanced flavoursome 3 courses and barely faltered at all. Even Fabio, who truly wanted Stefan to win, knew that Hosea had produced something more worthy of a Top Chef. A good season ending.
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