I mean, as usual the judging at the final round was head-scratchingly nuts. Stefan’s dessert plate – which looked perfectly tasty – was in fact excellent food, but got widely panned by the judges on the basis that it “didn’t feel fully conceived,” which is food-speak for “I wanted pie or something like that.” Not because it didn’t taste good.
(Gail Simmons’s return to active judging has just reminded me how much I do not understand that she is the editor of a magazine devoted to food.)
Sorry, but I like Stefan. He is full of shit, but he is entertainingly full of shit. He doesn’t hold grudges (unlike Hosea). Most importantly it was clear from pretty much the first episode that he was the best chef in the competition, both capable of doing his own thing and usually able to acquit himself well outside of his comfort zone. There was a reason he kept winning challenges! It was because he was the best at them!
In comparison, Hosea’s track record was medium-to-spotty and he had a firm preference for sticking to the seafood courses he was used to cooking in his work life. There hasn’t been a cheftestant who played it as safe as Hosea since Ilan in season two. Of course, Ilan at least never fucked up his endless array of Spanish courses and more Spanish courses; Hosea, in comparison, majorly screwed up seafood dishes – which are his specialty, remember – at least twice that I can remember.
Least satisfying Top Chef winner since Ilan – who didn’t deserve to beat Marcel, I have said it before and will say it again.
(As for Carla – taking advice from Casey, the most outmatched runner-up in the history of the show? No. Do not do that, Carla! Season three was a walk for Hung and Casey was part of the reason why! Look at every area Carla got fucked and you see that it was Casey’s idea – a more complex souffle instead of cheese tart, doing the sirloin sous vide rather than just grilling it, etc.)