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September 18, 2014

Top Chef: Season Finale

by Bob Sassone, posted May 25th 2006 12:06AM
These finales are becoming predictable. They always bring back the last few contestants to either judge or help in the finale's last challenge. This one was a little anti-climatic. I've been rooting for Harold to win for several weeks now. I think his food has been better (ha - funny how us viewers will say one meal is better than another, as if we has Taste-O-Vision on our TVs - but I'm going by the judge's comments), and Tiffani just seems like the type of person I wouldn't get along with in the kitchen. Not that Dave is any better. But he's "over the top" annoying. Tiffani is "slow boil" annoying.

A superficial way to pick a favorite? Maybe, but it's a reality show, edited to show drama and not everything that happens in the competition, so how else can we judge?

They like that Harold was more consistent, even if they think that he played it safe, and they ask him who he is cooking for when he cooks, himself or his customer. Harold says both, and one of the judges says "good answer."

Dave has no respect for Tiffani, so of course he's working with her, along with Steven. And Dave has a glass of wine glued to his hand the whole time. Tiffani is all business in the kitchen, and creates an large amount of dishes and is being very ambitious. The judges appreciate that, but also say she talks so much the dishes get cold. They also think she needs a sommelier.

For dessert, Dave actually makes the dessert he was planning to make if he got further in the competition. Steven is surprised by this. The judges loved it.

The judges interview the sous chefs. Dave and Steven respected Tiffani's ambition, though not her personal skills. Dave tells them it was his dessert. The judges also ask who they think should win, and all of them - LeeAnn, Miguel, Steven, and Dave - all say Harold!

They bring in Tiffani and Harold. They ask Harold why he was so conservative, and he says he didn't want to screw himself. They also wonder why Tiffani talked so much while Harold wrote a menu. Tiffani says she was blessed with who she got, and she likes them as people, and she's shocked when the judges tell her that they think Harold should win. Tiffani thinks she should win because of her risks. Harold thinks he should win because of his consistency and his personal skills.

They leave, and the judges talk. They think that Tiffani's highs were better than Harold's, but her lows were way lower than his. They go back and forth. They liked a lot of Tiffani's many dishes, but know that a chef needs to be the type of person people want to work with.

The winner? Harold! (They tell Tiffani to "pack her knives and go," but isn't that a little overdramatic, considering that it's the end and everyone is going?) The four sous chefs come out and hug Harold. He's going to put the $100,000 towards his restaurant, which he plans to open in NYC this fall. And he just might call his competitors if he needs help.

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li man yue

I too thought miguel made the "beef" dish not harold

June 01 2006 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Devera Larson

Loved the show-agree the finale was predictable. Loved the show agree the finale was predictable. Tiffani needs help learning to interact. It seemed like she had some sort of primative reaction toward Dave. Some sort of sibling thing?
Harold was a class act-thought Stephan might have taken a look at himself and realized he appeared pompous. REally liked LeAnn. Hope the next show doesn't lose some of the refreshing qualities of the first.

May 27 2006 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristin

Didn't Miguel make the beef dish?

May 25 2006 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
M mccarthy

The entire show was an anti Tiffany set up. Why, I do not know. Of course we only see what they want us to see ..what is controversal..but at the cost of a PERSON and her/his reputation. Some of the contestants should have been reprimanded for their conduct and the Hosts should get F for professionalism...

May 25 2006 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aaron poller

Tiffany got the short end of the stick when they decided to have the former chefs as assistants in the final....it would have been more fair to bring in 4 unknowns and see who could get the respect of his/her team.....however, Harold did deserve to win as he had been more consistently superior. Tiffany's lie about the desert was also a tough spot for her as she had to claim ownership....no top chef could do otherwise....dave had to give her ownership of his desert otherwise he was setting her up to look bad. Dave and Stephen were both at their worst last night, no excuse for coming to work drunk/hungover....still, Harold was the clear winner....a good show all around.

May 25 2006 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

It would have been a shock if Harold had not be chosen Top Chef -- just as it would have been a shock if Taylor Hicks lost to McPhever. I love these reality shows, but they are getting easier to predict. Harold had consistently excellent food and won the respect of his peers. Tiffani nearly lost to Leean and Dave on the previous two episodes. She took big chances in the finale -- double the courses -- because she had to risk it. It was the only way to trump Harold. Harold wisely played it safe and made a proven favorite -- the beef two ways -- that overwhelmed the judges. The only dish of Tiffani's that blew the judges away was the dessert....which was Dave's recipe. Clearly, Tiffani's ambition was greater than her skill at this point.

It was also ironic that after losing, she showed more vulnerability and human emotion -- crying about how close she came to realizing a dream -- than she had the entire series. That kind of honesty might have won her a few friends if she'd ever opened up to the others.

May 25 2006 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deanna Saxon

I really enjoyed this show. All of the Chefs had a lot of personality. The most important quality of a Boss or Head Chef is that his co-workers respect and want to work hard for them. People skills are important because life is to short to expose yourself day to day with a nasty person. Harolds skills were clear from the begining, each show had the same consistant comment "Harold is clearly more skilled and his food tastes better." Good luck Harold I look forward to eating at your restaurant when it opens!

May 25 2006 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew

One thing you didn't mention was that Tiffany claimed she was involved in the creation of the desert, when in fact Dave made it entirely on his own without *any* input from her.

Tiffany clearly lied to the judges about her involvement. Unless they omitted it, she had clearly handed over the desert to Dave to do and she had nothing at all to do with it.

This is the second time she's been caught on tape. The first time was when she admitted to the judges that Miguel should be the one to go a few rounds ago, and when Miguel confronted her -- she denied it.

Also the Judges merely needed to refer to the tapes to see the truth. Tiffany needs to remember she's being taped and we would all know she's a lier.

May 25 2006 at 4:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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