Top Chef Chicago Watch: Finale Pt. 1

I think the whole experience of being on Top Chef is a great education for anyone involved. Last week, they had to butcher a rack of beef and this week they had to prepare their meals out an entire pig that they butchered themselves! And I have to say many of the contestants seemed to have done a great job.

Warning: Spoilers after the jump!

Let’s get one thing out the way:

Remember when I was shocked Lisa made it to the first part of the finale? Well I bet you can imagine how agitated I am that she made it to the final three. Again she was on the bottom but slips it through to a somewhat larger mistake on Antonia’s part. I guess I don’t need to dwell on the matter, but I’m utterly shocked. Also, I’ll be quiet because I really don’t want to jinx anything to prevent Stephanie (or at least Richard) from winning.

One thing I will admit though was funny was when Lisa was hacking away that pig angrily and said “it must be because I’m Jewish.” I could relate because if someone gave me a whole pig to chop up, cook and serve…I don’t think I could do it. I have never touched pig before and I don’t have any plans to.

But honestly…what was that behavior at the end of the episode when she chastised Richard and Stephanie for not offering her congratulations. Not to be petty…but seriously:GROW UP!

Stephanie and Dale (her sous chef for the episode) worked incredibly well together. All three of their dishes sounded and looked incredibly good (even to a non-pork eater like myself). They were original and executed quite well. The two that stuck out in my mind were the pork satay on sugar cane, and the tropical fruit and prosciutto salad.

But ultimately, Richard came out on top (with a new car – I loved his reaction: it almost seemed like he was thinking: “Thanks but what does a car have to do with any of this?”) He made homey dishes that fared well in the cocktail party’s crowd. I personally was more attracted to Stephanie’s dishes this episode but I give him much credit. And now that he’s got a car, I guess he doesn’t have to be so jealous of Stephanie’s prizes.

About Antonia…I just can’t decide. I expected her to go to the finals but all the way through I never thought she was as strong as Stephanie and Richard. She just kind of placed herself in their league but maybe not as deservedly as we all thought. I knew she’d go eventually but of course I thought Lisa would go first.

Honestly, I don’t know who is going to win. It’s so close between Richard and Stephanie, it’s unbelievable. All throughout the competition, they have both been strong players in terms of both their food and their sportsmanship. So I wish them both the best of luck! Can’t wait to see what happens!

Note: I apologize for the lack of screenshots this week!

EPISODE 13 RECAP:

Title: Finale Pt. 1

Challenges: Quickfire – Prepare two plantain snack dishes Elimination – Butcher an entire pig and prepare a meal out of it for a Puerto Rican cocktail party

Winner: Richard Eliminated: Antonia

Chefs Remaining: Richard, Stephanie, and Lisa.

Tune in for THE FINALE next week!

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  • http://ayankeeinasouthernkitchen.com Kim

    Hillary- thanks for a funny Top Chef highlights. I am so behind in what’s happening.

  • http://www.tastememory.com taste memory girl

    yeah last episode butchering that pig kinda freaked me out ~ interesting tho., and loved how Stephanie pulled thru when dale dropped the ball/pig!

  • http://www.recipe4living.com Maxine

    How about the fact that there the women outnumber the men, er man in the finals! I think that’s pretty fantastic! Hopefully there will be a female top chef this season – it’s about time!

  • http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/blog Rebecca (Foodie with Family)

    I agree with you and I can give you a couple good reasons for Antonia being where she was (although I felt Dale was the better chef.)

    Antonia had a great palate. Didn’t she win the palate test? Also, Antonia mopped ‘em up with the family-style/nutritious food challenge.

    …And most importantly, when someone- it might’ve been Dale, Lisa- pitched a royal fit Antonia said something to the effect of, “He threw a fit. We changed his diaper, gave him a hug and got him back to work.” That was beautiful.

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