Top Chef - S9E17 Postmortem
I'm sure there are people who were hoping for a different outcome... buuuuuut I don't know any of them.
That's a great finale. Two great chefs, both bringing it, even if the finale judges are starting to sound like Pee-wee ("I have to say, these are the best [pancakes] I've ever tasted."). And a close call, it would seem. (It's been suggested below that it perhaps wasn't as close as the edit would indicate... but I wouldn't know because video on the Bravo site is flaking out as usual... *facepalm*) And though I'm probably in the minority here, I would have been cool with Sarah winning after presenting a meal like that. It looked freaking fabulous.
As with the routine recurrence of Restaurant Wars, can we write this finale structure in stone?
I love the sous chef blind tasting. No, it doesn't necessarily demonstrate what they're looking for in sous chefs. It's probably more important to have somebody who can take and nail instruction, and is easy to collaborate with. But I do kind of like the notion that the food speaks. If Marco Canora doesn't put one of the best dishes on the table, he doesn't get selected. And if Tyler Stone does, why shouldn't he? The reason Sarah ended up with him was precisely because she was trying to game the system rather than playing along. It adds a little bit of reality show interest and fun while still keeping it about the food.
And though others have expressed reservations below, I like the fact that two judging teams trade off. One of the most important parts of running a restaurant is consistency, and if you can serve a fabulous dish in the first half of the evening but can't pull it together in the second, I'm more than okay with that potentially having a bearing on the outcome. In general, this format is an excellent way to gauge how these chefs perform in a real world setting. No BS, just run a restaurant for the evening, and serve your best menu.
If every finale were structured like this, I'd be a happy, happy camper. Please don't change a thing, elves.
No rankings this week, obviously, but I'll put up a season postmortem after the reunion episode.
UPDATE : I have to share this, just because it kills me. From Hugh's blog:
"Nobody picked Marco Canora. WTF. This man eats young chefs like this for a midday snack. He burns his own cuts shut. He poops saucepans."