Well, if you think this competition was getting easier, forget it. This is the toughest Top Chef I can remember. These final four were all excellent and as they gathered for the last leg to the finale, you could see that it was game on.
Unlike other seasons, there aren't any obvious villains in this group. Who are you rooting for? I don't know. I like them all in some ways, and yet there isn't a clear favorite either.
I like Kevin, but the Voltaggio brothers have been excellent, too. Their food really does look good enough to eat! And Jen, for all her insecurities, has been great throughout. Tonight would be a close call. More after the jump.
At the start, the final four were at a stop waiting for a train. They were not in Vegas anymore. It was the Napa Valley Wine Train. Yes, the last Quick Fire challenge would be on the train, and the high stakes would be a Toyota Prius. Sweet.
Michael Chiarello, Top Chef Master winner finalist, was the guest judge, and since they were in Napa, the challenge was all about the grape. Or should I say grapes, because there were many, many varieties from which to choose. The four had to pick the right grape, then cook a dish with it on the moving train. In 30 minutes (including the time to put on your chef coat!). Chiarello is Mr. Napa Valley, so he presumably knew his grapes.
Jen made chicken livers, but Chiarello liked them. Kevin didn't use enough of the grape to please Padma and Michael. Bryan's use of the Concord grape was a mistake; it's not from Napa. So it was Michael who won the Quickfire for using everything from the grape, including the vine. All that was left out were the pits.
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