Who Won TOP CHEF? (Updated) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Who Won TOP CHEF? (Updated)

December 9, 2009 by  


WARNING: As someone who copiously avoided finding out the winner until I could watch, I am telling you now that I will immediately be discussing who won Top Chef. If you don’t want to know, this is your last chance to stop reading. Ready? Here we go!

The culinary competition is over. And this season’s TOP CHEF is…


Michael Voltaggio1

Alright, so in general, I find that Twitter is a good way to gauge people’s reactions to things like … who won Top Chef. And in general, what I saw last night was, “Well, I wasn’t thrilled about the winner but this was a great season!” And to that I say … well, I guess you’re all better people than me because I was BITTERLY disappointed that Michael won.

According to Tom’s blog, it really wasn’t as close as the editing made it seem, but still. After awhile, I didn’t really think Kevin had it anymore, but I was at least accepting of it going to Bryan. It seemed like he was doing a good job and he’s just had such a solid season. And then when Padma said that Michael was the Top Chef, me and Billy just looked at each other in shock. And, at least in my case, horror. I want to be upset about it now in the re-telling, but I’ll just get worked up again and there’s no point. I told Billy I’m going to have to seriously reconsider watching Top Chef if they’re going to do things like this and OBVIOUSLY ruin my life, and he said he wants to still watch it so maybe we can just watch everything but the finale, so that whoever I think should be the winner can be the winner in my heart. I might go for that by the next time around, but my heart needs time to heal.

As for the challenge itself, I was a little mixed on it but in general thought it was a decent challenge and I thought it was nice to have the moms there. Some things I liked: the Chopped-esque challenge of ingredients in a mystery basket, forcing the cheftestants to make dessert, and just the general set up of the competition. Things I didn’t like so much: leaving the sous chefs up to luck—YIKES, that stressed me out; still having three rather than two chefs in the finale (I want more time to see what they make and hear more about it), and choosing Top Chef based on one challenge.

And let me be clear—I don’t think anything was unfair. In drawing sous chefs, obviously Bryan hit the jackpot, but everyone had an equal shot to get good ones or not-so-great ones. I just didn’t like it being left up to chance like that, and I sort of like the idea that some of the better chefs who got eliminated get to come back, almost as a reward, and be involved in the final meal. Plus, I just feel like adding sous chefs that you don’t choose yourself really adds an unnecessary element of stress to an already stressful situation, and it’s just not really necessary. Adding the fourth course was enough added stress for me—the sous chef thing just made me tense, and not in a fun, suspenseful way.

Also, I’m sure that all the cheftestants knew that it could come down to one night, and that’s fine. When the rules of the competition are laid out and judged accordingly, there’s not much you can say in terms of fairness, and Kevin obviously was having a bad night. That said, and I SWEAR I’m not just saying this because Kevin lost, I do wish that who wins Top Chef would be judged based on the entire season, because that seems just more representative of their talent, you know? Or maybe have the final challenge to narrow it down to two and then decide … or SOMETHING. I feel like, had that been the case, Kevin or Bryan would’ve won. Also, Stefan probably would’ve beat Hosea last year, and say what you will about Stefan—he was a jerk but he was TALENTED, and Hosea doesn’t strike me as a true “Top Chef”. Same thing with Richard and Stephanie—I loved Stephanie (Chicago represent!) and would’ve eaten most of the food she made, a rarity for me with Top Chef contestants, but it did feel like Richard should’ve won. And, in a lot of regards, it feels like Richard DID win, and I bet it’ll be a lot the same for Kevin, just as it was with Clay Aiken when Ruben Studdard won American Idol. But regardless, I totally agree with Tom that all of the final four are definitely headed toward bright futures.

So I guess to wrap it up, this was a really good and really exciting season, but it was a disappointing finish for me. I wish Kevin had pulled it out, or at the very least that the one person I didn’t want to win all season long hadn’t (can you guys IMAGINE how insufferable his ego probably is right about now?), but if there’s one thing I learned from Glee last night it’s that you can’t always get what you want. Plus, you all know I’ll be back for more punishment next year. I love Top Chef too much to stay away.

What did you guys think? How did you feel about Michael winning? Did you like the way the final challenge was structured? Did anyone else think it went REALLY fast? And who else is now craving a dinner of nothing but chicken skin? Discuss!

SB loves recapping for GMMR so much that she recently started her own TV blog at www.offcolortv.com. She is not a foodie but loves yelling at her TV, and Top Chef gives her many, many reasons to do so.


14 Responses to “Who Won TOP CHEF? (Updated)”

  1. luke on December 9th, 2009 11:10 pm

    This is upsetting news. I was on such a high from Glee and now I’m sad. I’m going to have to rethink watching next season.

  2. Carly Fowler on December 9th, 2009 11:22 pm

    SOO sad!! It should have been Kevin. 🙁

  3. Abby on December 10th, 2009 1:12 am

    Soooooooo happy! Loved Michael V from the very first episode. Great season.

  4. Rachael on December 10th, 2009 2:29 am

    Seriously?! That is sooo incredibly disappointing! Should have been Kevin all the way!

  5. SB on December 10th, 2009 2:47 am

    Ugh, you guys–I’m so with you. I was so mad I almost cried. Not that I was taking TV too seriously or anything … 🙂 But I’m sure you all already knew my feelings on the matter anyway. I’ll be sure to work up some good rage for tomorrow’s post.

  6. strunkette on December 10th, 2009 9:26 am


    UGH!!!! Douchevoltaggio should not have won. Granted my boy Kevin didn’t so so well but Bryan had more good dishes than him….I went to bed angry because of this!

  7. Sara V on December 10th, 2009 10:40 am

    I have to say, when I saw them announce Michael V as Top Chef, all I could imagine was SB throwing something at her TV (not that I know you or anything, but based on your posts this year, I could only imagine your reaction).

    I’m bummed that Kevin didn’t take it, but it seemed like his nerves and frustration got the better of him. Did anyone else wanna slap Pretti around after watching her cut that squash?!

    At least we saw some emotion in Michael after he won. He’s not completely dead inside, I guess.

  8. Sara V on December 10th, 2009 10:51 am

    P.S. Has anyone else noticed that the music they play in the background during judges table sounds very much like part of the score from the Twilight movie (I think one of the times they’re in the woods). I get so distracted during the judges comments because the two are eerily similar.

  9. P D Yerf on December 10th, 2009 12:05 pm

    See, I’ve always thought that the whole season should be judged rather than simply that one solitary meal when it comes to the finale (ESPECIALLY last season when Hosea won..still the most underqualified Top Chef to date) but then I got to thinking: if the finale was judged on the whole season rather than the one single meal, upsets like Carla would have had no chance. The finale would for the most part be far less suspenseful as, to take last year’s example again, if it had been judged that way Carla and Hosea might as well not have shown up at all because the title would have gone to Stefan without any effort, even if he had royally screwed up that one meal. So I understand why they judge it based on the single meal as opposed to the full season. And as Toby Young let us in on it last year, they DO judge based on the whole season, if two chefs are equal in the finale. Sadly that just didn’t happen in this case.

  10. SB on December 10th, 2009 12:08 pm

    Hahahaha, Sara V! No, that’s a totally reasonable thing to picture me doing. The only thing stopping me was that I love my TV waaaaay to much to let something happen to it. (It’s not fancy, but it does have cable hooked up to it and therefore I love it.) But I did almost cry because I was so mad! Don’t judge me! 🙂

  11. Stef on December 10th, 2009 3:44 pm

    I can see the pros and cons of judging based on the whole season vs. the final meal. On the one hand, the person who deserves the title the most would seem to be the one who’s done the most consistent and best work the entire time. On the other hand, a great chef should be able to bring it in a clutch situation and perform at the top of their game when it counts as well.

    It’s like PD commented — some of the most memorable events (sporting or otherwise) in history have been when the underdog makes this unexpected bid for the title and ends up defeating the shoe-in. Sports is the best analogy for this…teams have to play well all year to make it to the final, and then have to be the best IN THAT final to take home the championship — or else why even have a final to begin with? So I’m okay with the way they do it…even though I did want Kevin to win 😛

    Although I have to say, I really thought a different side of Michael was shown last night, and I actually found myself NOT disappointed that he won. He managed to show some grace and emotion which I appreciated. Have to remember there’s a lot we don’t get to see…

    Okay sorry for the really really long post! I’m a rambler… 🙂

  12. Angiep213 on December 11th, 2009 11:09 am

    For this was one of the seasons that no matter which of the final three won, they all deserved it and had the skills to fill the title of Top
    Chef. Wasn’t it mentioned that between the three of them they had all but 1 or 2 of the challenges through out the season? Definite talent, no doubt. If you take away Michael’s complete lack of patience with others in the kitchen, Bryan’s complete lack if a personality and Kevin bing the nice guy, judging just on the food alone… I was happy with any of the 3 winning. From the beginning of the season they (along with Jen) were the upper tier of contestants, so to speak. I personally was pulling for Michael to win (I know it’s an unpopular opinion) but I think he was the most consistent all season, including the final meal. Plus he was really working that black jacket at the winery in the second to last episode 🙂

  13. Jacob on December 11th, 2009 12:06 pm

    Don’t feel too bad for Kevin. While he didn’t win the $100 grand prize at the end, he did win quite a bit over the season. The $30 thousand, several $10 thousand, not to mention the various prizes as well. He may not have the title, but he’s still sitting pretty at the end.

  14. toni on December 16th, 2009 12:16 am

    During this episode, I REALLY thought Bryan was going to win.

    During the whole season, I thought it was Kevin who was going to pull through. 🙁