Top Chef Finale: Part 1

We’re covering this week’s Top Chef in real time, so be on *spoiler* alert. Part one of the season finale sends the final four cheftestants to beautiful Napa Valley.

Kevin tells us there is a Facebook page dedicated to his beard.

Guest judge is Micheal Chiarello — not sure there is anyone better to represent Napa Valley and the essence of California cuisine.

For the Quickfire, chefs must cook using grapes and all aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train.

Jennifer drives a 2000 Chevy, so she wants to win the high-stakes Quickfire and get the keys to the Prius.

Michael Voltaggio wins with his grape leaf stuffed with “couscous,” and vinegar glazed grape and scallop kabob. Nice job using all parts of the grape.

Eric Ripert is Jennifer’s mentor, and we love Eric Ripert over here at S&C.

For the Elimination Challenge, chefs are catering the annual “Crush Party,” to celebrate harvest, and can only use local ingredients. They are to cook two dishes: one vegetarian and one featuring a local protein. Kevin says he only uses local ingredients at his restaurant, so he’s feeling confident.

Michael V says he is preparing a perfectly cooked egg for his vegetarian dish. But, most vegetarians don’t eat eggs, right?

Aside: Padma is a gorgeous pregnant lady, but not sure I’m crazy about her “Crush Party” outfit. The cut-out dress and tall red boots–definitely more Vegas than Napa Valley.

When discussing the duck in Jennifer’s dish — Tom uses “ducky” as an adjective and Gail says “it is a real quacker.” All in a good way.

At Judge’s Table, Tom defends Kevin’s simple techniques and his vegetarian dish is called stellar.

All the chefs pretty much deliver on this challenge. No idea who will be sent home.

——-SPOILER ALERT——-

The chef who made most of the farmers market, let the ingredients sing (as Chiarello said), and wins — Bryan Voltaggio!

Uggh. Jennifer is asked to pack her knives and go. Sadness. All girls in Project Runway. All boys in Top Chef.

Great episode — can’t wait until next week!

posted by Ms. S&C

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