And Then There Were Four (Top Chef Masters)
The four remaining chefs you see above should theoretically be among the best in the country. Not only were they picked for Top Chef Masters but they have already risen as the cream of the crop amongst their competitors and survived two Master episodes of this competition. Yes, in theory, it shouldn’t get much better than the four of them. And it doesn’t.
I have absolutely no clue who will be eliminated next. One minute I want to put my money on Rick Bayless or Hubert Keller but then I remind myself that the past two episodes were won by Anita Lo and Michael Chiarello. Usually in the regular season of Top Chef, you have an inkling of who is good at their craft and who isn’t. But this time, they are ALL insanely talented chefs and they all represent a different type of regional cuisine.
Let’s take a closer look at the four remaining chefs…
Known for his affinity for authentic Mexican food, Rick Bayless is the owner of two highly acclaimed Mexican restaurants in Chicago – Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. I haven’t been to either but I have been to a location of his more casual chain – Frontera Fresco many times and thoroughly enjoy my steak torta every time. Bayless is extremely passionate about reinventing the reputation of Mexican food in America proving it’s a lot more than just tacos and enchiladas.
Right now we’re rooting for Bayless, the only remaining Chicago Chef in the entire competition. We’re very proud to have him represent this city and to be able to taste his food.
An American with an Italian heritage, Michael Chiarello is the owner of Bottego Italian restaurant in Napa Valley, California and founder of many Italian restaurants across the country. He has cooked for numerous celebrites such as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. He was the winner of the most recent Masters vegan episode with his quinoa pasta and homemade gremolata, slow roasted tomatoes and an aged balsamic vinegar.
Owner of Fleur de Lys in San Francisco, California, Hubert Keller brings his authentic knowledge of French cuisine to America through his restaurants and culinary influence. Of all the remaining chefs, I think he has the most consistently excellent presentation of his food. It always looks like a masterpiece that I wouldn’t want to bite into (hmm maybe that’s a bad thing?)
Regardless, Hubert Keller was the first winner of the entire competition and is clearly well qualified to go far.
A Chinese-American, Anita is executive chef and owner of Annisa restaurant in New York. Serving up contemporary American cuisine, Annisa has earned numerous awards and accolades. She studied in Paris and has a lot of French influence in her cooking but due to her versatility, she is also a mentor chef for a dumpling bar in Manhattan. Anita was the winner of the first final 6 episode so she has already proven her high ranks in this competition.
So we’ve got Mexican, Italian, French and Contemporary American…which cuisine will reign supreme? (Oops, wrong show).
Let us know who you think will win it all in the comments!
(Photo courtesy of SeriousEats.com)