It's the finale! Before we get to it, I have to say, this will be a complete surprise to me. I was on Twitter last night (Wednesday), as well as today (Thursday) and nothing was ruined. It's a Top Chef miracle!
I am torn between Sarah and Paul. I get the impression from most that they hate Sarah and that they love Paul. It's the opposite for me. I -- obviously lacking both Smell- and Taste-o-Vision -- just don't get Paul's dishes. I know the judges do and maybe I'm just culinarily stunted (yes, you're saying), but give me fresh homemade pasta any day. That being said, I think it's anyone's game, truly.
Now! As usual, one of the biggest question marks in the finale is, "Who's going to sous chef?" This time around, they bring back not only chefs who got kicked off, but chefs who didn't even make it through in the first place, as well as two James Beard Award-winning chefs. Each potential sous chef will cook a dish and then Sarah and Paul will have to choose blindly based on the dish.
Sarah winds up with Nyesha, Paul with one of the master chefs. Next up, Paul picks Ty-Lor (UMLAUT is BACK!) and Sarah, trying to pick Heather (based on the dish she remembers from Heather's menu) ends up choosing Tyler, that kid who butchered the hell out of the pork and didn't make it through the first round. Paul's last picks are Malibu Chris and Keith and his beard, and Sarah gets Grayson and the beloved Heather.
For the actual finale challenge, the chefs must create a four-course menu and they will each be cooking in separate restaurants, which I think is a Top Chef first, is it not? In Sarah's kitchen, there's a little friction with Tyler working too slowly, while in Paul's kitchen, he worries that the master chef won't be too keen on taking orders.
Sarah, staying true to her roots, starts with a homemade pasta, followed by a salmon dish. Once again, Paul is making things that the judges love, but that skeeve me out. I'm sorry Paul, I bet everything tastes great, but that jiggly thing and slow scrambled egg? HORK.
At one point, they send the chefs out to a random "Table 30" or whatever and boom: There are Paul's parents (his dad was crying!) and Sarah's mom and fiance. Cue the waterworks, Top Chef!
At Judges' Table, there seems to be a consensus that Paul's first round of service was better than his second, whereas Sarah's was better for the second group of judges. Either way, the judges agree that sending anyone home for either meal is going to be tough.
But! I decision must be made! And the winner...
...with their families standing by at Judges' Table, no pressure or anything!...
Were you surprised? I was. But also not. Pretty much how I've felt all season.