Thursday, June 12, 2008

SPOILER ALERT!!! - And the winner of Top Chef is...

Stephanie became the first female chef who took top honors on the "Top Chef" program. Stephanie Izard, who brought her A game to most challenges throughout the competition and had a total of four wins on the program before being part of the final three, cemented her climb to the top with a meal the judges wanted to eat once again.

Stephanie also happened to win this top prize when it was based in Chicago, Izard's hometown. Izard won not only $100,000, but a feature in Food & Wine magazine, a showcase at the magazine's food expo in Aspen and an all inclusive vacation in the French Alps. In the final challenge, the top three, Stephanie, Richard, a chef with a good heart and an even more open mind when it came to his product and Lisa, a New York native whose temper ruffled more than a few feathers, were able to pick a sous chef from some incredible company. Stephanie was able to chose first and her pick was Eric Ripert, notorious chef of Le Bernardin, as well as a huge presence on the "Top Chef" show. Izard has said it was beyond odd to ask Ripert to slice up proteins for her winning dishes, but it was just part of the show.

This season, I believe, had the most well rounded and capable contestants the program ever had and the final three could have easily gone to Stephanie or Richard and I would have been fine with it. But what Stephanie had and what made me pick her as the front runner after the second episode was that she seemed to truly love what she was doing, always breath fresh air into the dishes she prepared and working well with others. As a whole, I believe she was the strongest, with the best dishes, attitude and truly the overwhelming love of making food. Congratulations Stephanie. You deserve the win!!! Now we get to see what she can do with money and hopefully she open up another restaurant.

Here are some fun other reviews of this season of Top Chef and the finale:
* E! Online's coverage
* Entertainment Weekly's coverage
* Television Without Pity's coverage
* Gawker's very snarky coverage