Greetings, everyone, and welcome to the FINALE of Top Chef Seasaon Six, the Las Vegas edition. As everyone knows, our finalists are the Voltaggio brothers, Bryan and Mike, and weird bearded dude Kevin, who gave up MIT to be a chef.
Tonight's episode, the finale, the showdown between these three amazing chefs, is going to come from Napa Valley. Bravo is apparently hosting a "virtual viewing party" using Twitter that will allow you to see commentary from the cast in real time, and add your own commentary. (All sponsored by Salon.com I might add.....). Gee whiz, I wonder where they got the idea of using real-time commentary and viewers comments to create an online viewing event? I wonder......
Iron Skillet holds no grudges, however. You'll still get the freshest commentary here. So on that note.....let's get started.
9:55 p.m. -- We're seeing winners and losers from the first part of the Napa finale. Bryan Voltaggio goes into this last leg of the competition on top, having won the big elimination challenge.
9:56 p.m. - And now for the sadness. Jennifer will be sent packing.
9:57 p.m. -- Still love that dress on Padma. The whole look is actually very well done. She looks good with a few pounds on.
10:00 p.m. -- We're seeing scenes from the season, and what a season it's been. I've got to say, there were a lot of awesome chefs in this season.
10:01 p.m. -- The chefs are hanging having breakfast together. Napa is a very interesting place. WHen I went there it reminded me of Greece.
10:03 p.m. -- The chefs are given their assignment -- there's a twist. Everyone will be given the same ingredients for the appetizer. Free for all in the main course. They MUST do a dessert. For once they deal with the "dessert or no dessert" crisis.
10:04 p.m. -- and past competitors come back. You must take them as sous chefs. Jennifer is with Bryan. Mike gets Jesse. Kevin gets Ash. Ashely goes to Brayn. And eli goes with Mikey.
10:06 p.m. -- The box has rockfish, crab, hyssop. This is a lot like the Food Network show "Chopped" which is rapidly becoming a favorite show of mine.
10:07 p.m. -- The mystery box is throwing off mikey V. Preeti is chopping vegetables. It's about all she can do, and given she couldn't even open clams, no wonder Kevin is getting irate.
10:08 p.m. -- Bryan has a serious advantage with Jennifer.
10:11 p.m. -- "Did You Hear About the Morgans" looks to be one of those films where all the good lines are in the preview. Like when Hugh Grant says to an angry bear, "My wife is a member of PETA. I have been meaning to join."
10:12 p.m. -- Kevin is now dealing with time issues because of Preeti. Bryan is anal. Mike is still trying to figure out the mystery box.
10:13 p.m. -- And the moms show up. This oughta be interesting. The Voltaggios are interesting. It's kind of cute to see how grown men become little boys when their moms walk in the room.
10:15 p.m. -- I love Kevin's mom. And Kevin with his mom is pretty neat too. He relates to her as a man, not a boy, which is nice to see.
10:16 p.m. -- Now the chefs have yet another course to prepare. They are all crazy now.
10:17 p.m. -- Bryan is doing tuna noodle casserole. Mikey is doing something involving broccoli. Mikey once again waxes poetic about his mom always having food on the table at night.
10:18 p.m. -- Kevin gave up MIT for cooking. A mom who doesn't kill a kid who tries that is one unique mom.
10:19 p.m. -- Mikey's plan for the mystery box...a "scavenger hunt" of flavor where one does not know what to expect....bad, bad, bad, bad idea.
10:20 p.m. -- Mikey is taking too many risks I think.
10:21 p.m. -- Kevin is doing pork, Bryan venison. And Kevin is using bacon in his dessert. Come hell or high water, Kevin will be using bacon.
10:22 p.m. -- The first courses are getting set up. Kevin is right -- it's anyone's game at this point. And apparently, the moms are at the dinner table. And that is cruel. Particularly for Ms. Voltaggio.
10:25 p.m. -- Whoever thought a second Alvin and the Chipmunks movie was a good idea should be shot.
10:25 p.m. -- the moms are at the table. And Padma tells the moms to put up with their critique. Ms. Voltaggio puts the threat on Tom Colicchio.
10:27 p.m. -- This is a pretty esteemed group of restauranteurs. They should be really scared.
10:27 p.m. -- Bryan made a sardine.
10:28 p.m. -- Kevin's dish is vintage Kevin. Homey with TONS of flavor.
10:29 p.m. -- Bryan's sardine is underseasoned. Mikeys dish is getting mixed reviews. I am sensing a theme with Bryan being underseasoned. The moms won't stay for all of dinner?
10:31 p.m. -- Mystery boxes come next. Kevin did a lot of flavor, but the mushroom was a disaster. Not his strongest show. Bryan is not aggressive with seasoning. They are finding him safe and bland. Not. good.
10:32 p.m. -- Mikey's dish does go over well.
10:32 p.m. -- Here come the main courses. Kevin is doing pork belly, Bryan the venison, and Mike is doing squab. I think Mikey's is again the most creative. Bryan nails the flavors on this one. The puree on Mikey's dish is a gimmik. The pork belly (Kevin) is good, but they aren't raving.
10:34 p.m. -- Mikey's dessert is going to be a disaster. Kevin does a roasted banana with bacon. Bryan has cheesecake and Mikey's dessert is there....overcooked.
10:35 p.m. -- Tom identifies exactly where Mike went wrong. Bryan's dessert was the most skillful, and the least mistaken. Kevin's was too baconey and not enough banana.
10:36 p.m. -- This is a very hard call. There are no clear winners or losers. No one choked. No one knocked it out of the park, either.
10:39 p.m. -- Mikey V's dishes were great up until the end. Kevin had some misses along the way. He's a little overconfident, his execution was solid but not great. Bryan held back on his seasonings in the beginning and it may have cost him. Really, I am having trouble deciding.
10:41 p.m. -- At this point, I am going to go with Bryan Voltaggio. I think that his misses missed less, and his hits were good. He was the only one who did a star-quality dessert. He killed with the venison. His other dishes were only flawed in that they were slightly underseasoned.
10:43 p.m. -- The gladiators enter the arena for the critique. Bryan's mystery box is held up for being perhaps too restrained, not bold enough.
10:45 p.m. -- Kevin's mom course went well. The pork course was not a complete knockout. Mike was adept with the mushroom. Toby is really into Mike V's dish. THere is serious man-love here.
10:46 p.m. -- Mike's dessert was almost great, but almost doesn't always cut it. Bryan is not giving a good pitch as to why he's top chef. He's a good chef. Mike gives a smart answer up front, but then delivers the heart. He is about the emotion. Kevin is the whole package. Heart and intellect.
10:48 p.m. -- Kevin all but tells Mike he thinks he won. The crazy Limey of course likes the sardine.
10:49 p.m. -- Mike clearly won the "mystery" challenge.
10:50 p.m. -- Bryan was clearly loved for his dish. Mikey was good but not great. I'm starting to think that this is Bryan's to lose now....
10:51 p.m. -- The winner has been chosen. I really do think it's Bryan.
10:54 p.m. -- Here's what I think...we give Bryan the "Top Chef" title....and one of the restauranteurs gives backing to Kevin's restaurant empire.
10:55 p.m. -- And of course they are dragging out the suspense by talking about the prize package again.
10:56 p.m. -- Tom runs through all the contestants. Gives them all the pat on the back they deserve. So who is it.
10:56 p.m. -- Kevin is NOT Top Chef. That was the right choice. He didn't produce this day. He would have been deserving if he'd connected today. But he didn't.
10:57 p.m. -- So now it's just the Voltaggio brothers.
10:57 p.m. -- Michael.......is the Top Chef. Surprise the fuck outta me.
10:58 pm. -- Here comes mom. And Mikey cries. And here come all the other chefs. At the end of the day, he is deeply creative, and a good choice. The nice thing is, any one of them would have been.
Another season finished....another Top Chef chosen. Watch this space for more culinary shenanigans to be determined.
Until next time....