Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recap of Top Chef Masters 4 Finale

I want to start out by saying that I rather enjoyed this season of Top Chef Masters. The challenges were overall more interesting than in past seasons, and the competitors had a bit more spunk. None more spunky than Chris Cosentino, who happily sparred with Art Smith through the first several episodes, then really settled down to some serious cooking closer to the finale.

This week, there was no Quickfire. Instead, Curtis cuts to the chase. Each of the two final chefs - Kerry Heffernan and Chris Cosentino - must compose a meal of four dishes that act as "letters." The first course must express a love letter, the second an apology, the third a thank you note, and finally, the fourth course must be a letter to oneself. The Finalmastercheftestants don't have to go it alone though - each gets one sous chef in the form of someone they have worked with for years. For Chris, it's his chef de cuisine at Incanto, and for Kerry, a long-time friend. No, not Tom Colicchio (that would have been cheating).

After a period of meal planning the chefs head out to shop. Kerry goes only to Whole Foods, which is close by, so he has more time for prep. Chris goes to three different stores, which cuts down dramatically on his cooking time. In the end, however, it didn't seem to matter.

The judges for this contest were a bunch of well- and not-so-well-known food critics, including the founder of Chow and Alan Richman from GQ. They're all hyper-critical and seem more than a bit jaded, but the final judgement comes from the shows own bunch, including Ruth and Francis. While Kerry's food was very delicious, and the seeming favorite of Mr Sweater, the other judges were wowed by Chris' bold choice to use offal in three of his four courses.

And we know who wins this thing. Personally, I think it was pretty obvious from the start.

Congratulations, Chef Cosentino!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a beef with "Top Chef Masters" and "Top Chef:" The editing in the finales has been purposefully misleading. I can understand that it must be fun to totally shock the audience with the outcome, but to angle the comments in such a way in two consecutive series makes me feel like the producers don't value me as a viewer. They want shock value, not for me to enjoy the commentary by the judges that might be educational and maybe slightly revealing of their biases.

I enjoyed this edition of "Masters" up to the end, but I hope those magical elves will rethink how to wrap it up for the viewers.