“Top Chef” Recaps: Episode 4.14 “Finale”

Tom says, overall, they had three very good meals. To get
the discussion going, he asks for a poll of who they think won each course.

First course: Ted
likes Lisa’s. Gail and Tom like Stephanie’s.
Second course: Tom and Gail like Lisa’s dumpling soup.
Third course: They seem to all agree on Stephanie’s lamb.
Fourth course: Tom and Ted like Richard’s. Gail and Padma like Lisa’s.

The one thing they seemingly all agree on is that Stephanie’s
dessert sucked. And thus begins the long process of agreeing on the rest.

Back in the Stew Room, Lisa is breaking down their
performances to Stephanie.

Lisa: You
definitely killed the first and third. And I kind of feel like I nailed the
second and fourth. But I don’t know.

Just like a lesbian, always wanting to process. While she’s
right on target, perhaps this is yet another thing we shouldn’t say out loud.
Especially with the guy who admittedly choked sitting right next to you. Poor
Richard, even his faux-hawk looks deflated.

Oh, and one
more thing
: “You won the f—ing bronze medal, congratulations.
There you go.”

The judges’ decisions have come down to each of their
preferences for the night. As the birds chirp their morning hellos, they all
finally reach theirs.

You’re the top — The
three finalists are called back before the judges. Tom gives them all a last
bit of praise. Richard’s food is “whimsical, playful and sometimes just
plain outrageous.” Lisa’s flavors are “big, bold, all about you.”
Stephanie’s cooking can bring in surprises that “just wow us.”

Tom: In end, we based
the decision on which meal we would go back and like to have again.

And then a seemingly agonizing 20 seconds pass as Padma
pauses for dramatic effect before saying:

Padma: Stephanie.
[six more agonizing seconds] You are Top Chef!
What?! Really?!

God, how cute is that? Though, to be honest, she had me at
the Yoda
. Congratulations on a well-deserved win. Finally, the
person I picked to win it from the beginning wins it all. Plus having the first
female Top Chef is simply awesome and about damn time.

The recently eliminated chefs — Antonia, Spike, Dale, Andrew
and Nikki — all stream in to congratulate her. Lisa and Richard get
congratulated by the judges as well for a battle well fought.

Lisa says she thought she had a shot to take it, but then
she heard Stephanie’s name.

Lisa: This whole
journey has been awesome. I’m proud of the dishes I’ve done. This is what I
want to do and this is what I’m always going to do.

Richard is even more disappointed; his eyes even look a
little misty.

Richard: Losing
at the last second, it sucks. That is why it’s tough, too. Because you put your
whole heart into it and then it doesn’t work out. The one thing that is good
about this is to kind of refocus … So, the future is bright, for sure … Cut.

No matter who I was rooting for, I always feel a little bad
for the losers.

But then Stephanie dances a little jig of joy and I recalibrate
my cuteness scales once again.

Talking about her win, Stephanie chokes up talking about how
she doubted it at some points, but now it’s a reaffirmation. Who has the

Stephanie: This
is what I’m meant to do in life.

See, nice girls can finish first.


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