“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.14 “Finale”

 
 

Stephanie’s lamb third course turns her frown upside down.
In fact, she does a little “Woo hoo!” about how well the lamb came
out. Could she get any cuter? Answer: no.

Ted calls the dish “one of the more creative things
that happened all night.” Tom calls it “full of surprises” and
thanks her.

Just desserts — And
then there’s nothing left but the sweet stuff to talk about. Richard says he
made the dish because he eats a banana every day for breakfast. Tom says it
worked, but Padma reminds Richard that he also won the dessert challenge with
the banana scallops. He says yes, but a “different variation.” Three
times is three times, bro.

Padma is all anxious to talk about Lisa’s dessert. After she
explains the flavors, Padma is quick to call it “delicious.” That
after Padma called Lisa’s mango sticky rice dessert back in “Restaurant
Wars” “appalling.” Rice vindication accomplished.

Padma asks Stephanie if she was happy with her dessert. She
says she was happy with the flavors, but the banana cream was something she was
trying out for saltiness. Tom says he had problems with it, specifically the
banana cream, which was “a miss.”

The defense rests —
Before she lets them go to deliberate, Padma asks the chefs if they have any
last words. The camera pans dramatically back and forth. Who will break the
silence? Who will plead his/her case first? Stephanie. Wow, she is full of
surprises, isn’t she?

Stephanie: It’s
just funny, when I was working with Dale, the number one thing he said to me
was “Don’t second-guess yourself.” And the dish that I fell short on
tonight, the dessert, was me second-guessing myself. But I think that I’ll be
able to take this and learn, and I think that I just am what a Top Chef should
be.
Lisa:
I feel very strongly about the menu that I provided you guys with
tonight. I am very confident that you’ll be like, “She deserves this win,
she deserves to be Top Chef. She’s got the qualities.”
Richard:
Yeah, sure, I’ll say it. I mean, I feel like I choked a little
bit.

Oh, Richard. I can’t tell if you are being incredibly honest
or incredibly stupid. I suspect it’s a bit of both.

He says he thinks he overthought the meal and is at his best
when he doesn’t think. That’s putting a whole lot of thought into levels of
thought. Then he calls the meal not his top performance on the show.

So, how about that two-woman race between Stephanie and
Lisa, eh?

The decision of a
lifetime —
After the chefs are sent back to the Stew Room, the four judges
are left to ponder what just happened. Gail says she was shocked by Richard’s
admission.

But then she also says he wanted to make sure that the
judges know that he is capable of better.

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