TV Alert: “Top Chef” finale concludes tonight


Sixteen chefs entered, three remain. The season finale of Top Chef: Chicago airs tonight with lesbian chef Lisa Fernandes among the three finalists left to battle for the title. New Yorker Lisa, Chicagoan Stephanie Izard and Atlantan Richard Blais will now cook their “meals of a lifetime” to impress the judges in the culmination of the fourth season of the Bravo reality series.

The season started with three lesbian chefs, the most in the show’s history. The finale will also break ground with the most-ever female chefs competing for the top prize. The finale of the two-part season ender set in Puerto Rico has the contestants prepare their ultimate meal for the judges – host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and Food & Wine special projects manager Gail Simmons and former Queer Eye food guru Ted Allen. Something tells me they all know their salad fork from their dessert fork.

Chefbian Lisa’s presence in the finale was an upset of sorts. Fans of the show have branded her this season’s “villain” to the tune of 91 percent of those polled wanting her to pack her knives and go in last week’s penultimate episode. But Lisa has had some surprise defenders, including her bested final four cheftestant Antonia Lofaso. After her ouster, she told Eater LA:

“Lisa really thought she was going home. I feel bad for her. I think she has a really bad rep on the show. You only see a small portion of who we really are. We had drinks the other night. She’s amazing at what she does. We’re two totally different chefs.”

The Top Chef finale airs at 10 p.m. tonight on Bravo. Fast readers can catch up beforehand with our Top Chef recaps.

So, foodies, who is going to be named Top Chef? Are you on Team Lisa, Team Stephanie or Team Richard? And, how on earth will we survive without our weekly dose of Padma?

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