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Top Chef - Puerto Rico II - finale (possible spoilers)

The sous chefs are as follows;

Eric Ripert - Le Bernadin
April Bloomfield - Spotted Pig
Dan Barber - Blue Hill

There is no quickfire, the chef with the most elimination wins gets to choose first. Since Richard and Stephanie are tied, they go to a knife draw, but either by sheer cockiness (or courtesy) Richard allows Stephanie to choose first, she picks Ripert. Richard gets Dan Barber while Lisa pairs up with April Bloomfield

They have to do 4 courses: Fish, Poultry, Red Meat and Dessert.

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  1. if you look back at history, people with first choice of proteins (went along with the sous chef) often stumble. Maybe he'd rather not pick first. If you are challenged with something and have to improvise with a protein it is psychologically different for both you and the judges than the pressure of "not screwing up" your choice. My analysis of his move. safe.

    20 Replies
    1. re: AMFM

      i think he was just being a southern gentleman. considering the situation he was in, i'm not sure his mind could have done the intellectual gymnastics required to compose/consider your theory.

      it's a good one, though.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        and when you actually watch (not the trailer) he only lets her pick the knife first - then it decides.
        still it seems first choice often loses so i could see being okay with it however it came down!

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I had thought, reading this, that Richard had simply forgone the knives and let Stephanie choose her sous chef first. That would have been rather huge. As is, he let her do the 50/50 toss up on choosing the knife...not any sort of big deal at all.

          Darned impressive sous chefs, eh?

          1. re: ccbweb

            "Darned impressive sous chefs, eh?"
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            no doubt. i'm sort of "over" eric ripert at this point, because he's on TC every season, and he typically comes across as a bit of an ass [although i liked him this time around]. but man, dan barber? sign me up!

            1. re: ccbweb

              My thoughts exactly, but still - he was one of the nicest, classiest, most considerate contestant yet, even though I'm glad Stephanie won. (I meant this as a reply to ccbweb's comment.)

              1. re: Claudette

                I would agree...classy is definitely how he came off to me. Stephanie, too for that matter. It made the finale a bit more enjoyable for me to watch insofar as I felt like one of the two would win and that both of them were people one could easily be happy for, editing on the part of the Bravo folks or not.

            2. re: goodhealthgourmet

              A gentleman's move. And it wasn't as though he was injuring himself. This was the finals and they all got top notch fare. It really came down to cooking in the end, not outfoxing the others on getting the best ingredients.

            3. re: AMFM

              He didn't let Stephanie get the first pick...he let her draw the knife first...she just happened to get "#1"...he wasn't conceding any advantage or disadvantage.

              1. re: Chew on That

                when kate interviewed him for CH, she asked him about it. he said that all three tables had top-notch ingredients on them and amazing chefs behind them, so no one was going to get a bad deal regardless of the order. he had a great line about how it wasn't as though one of them was going to end up with rotting fish, or have the guy standing there rip off his "eric ripert" mask & reveal that he was actually just some random dude who works at the local taqueria :)

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Actually, that's what I thought, too. How could you go wrong with any one of them?

                  I did feel a little bad for April, though. It must have felt a little bit like being the last kid picked in a playground choose-up. What a rotten feeling to be a celebrated chef and then be chosen third. I the deep dark recess of my brain, scarred I suppose by being chosen last for kickball, it felt a little disrespectful to the three sous chefs to me to have them be chosen the way they were. But that's just insecure me.

                  This is my first season of watching Top Chef, and I only started watching in the final few episodes (my first was the episode at Tramato's)--and I'm hooked now.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I'm thinking that Richard picked Dan based more on proteins than the quality of sous-chef.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      I imagine you're right and, hopefully, that was evident to everyone else (as I said, I started watching very late in the season, so, likely, I wasn't paying attention to important details). To me, all three "sous" chefs seemed to have a dizzying array of proteins from which to choose!

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        My first instinct was your reaction as well -- Poor April. But then I thought about it some more. The sous-chefs are not allowed to provide any input. They just have to do what the finalists tell them to do. All three were well-qualified.

                        If I had to choose, I'd probably have picked Eric Ripert for his proteins, and of course, for the obvious reason. : )

                        1. re: Miss Needle

                          speaking of April, Padma asked April if she made the slaw that was under Lisa's meat, noting that "the knife skills were awfully good on it" (love the subtle dig)...but I guess British accents floor me as much as French, because I have watched twice now and can't figure out if she said yes or no....did anyone catch that?

                          1. re: susancinsf

                            Ha! I caught that subtle dig as well. I'm not 100% sure as her voice was a bit low when she said it. But I think April said that Lisa did it. Can anybody either confirm or deny what I said?

                            1. re: Miss Needle

                              Now we know what Lisa did with her six months off: knife skill classes.

                              :)

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                i'll check my recording later tonight & report back if i can figure it out for sure.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  update:

                                  padma: "did you do that, april? 'cause the knife skills are pretty good." april: "i didn't do that at all."

                                  i'm absolutely sure that's what she said. so DanaB was correct - she said she didn't do it, but never actually said that lisa did [although obviously that was the case].

                              2. re: susancinsf

                                I'm pretty that April said she didn't do it, although I don't think she affirmatively said that Lisa did do it.

                                1. re: DanaB

                                  we saw lisa working with a japanese-style mandoline-- so there's the "awfully good knife skills" right there.

                2. richard is already freaking out everyone with his awesome, unique cooking. he rocks so hard.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: beelzebozo

                    Now, how cool are the sous chefs. They are just working away being complementary and complimentary.

                    Kind of cool that Richard got to show off a bit but I am kind of worried that he may be behind.

                    We finally get a catty-like remark from Stephanie about how surprised she is that Lisa is getting along so well with April.

                    OK, Richard is dead. Banana scallops? For the third time?

                  2. No matter what, I just love Stephanie's attitude overall. Even just the little things, like how she was "hovering" over Chef Eric Ripert, knowing that he CLEARLY knows what he's doing with fish, and how she made fun of herself for doing that... hee hee!

                    1. oooohh nooooooo - Bacon Ice Cream strikes again on Top Chef!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: gyozagirl

                        not only that...isn't this the THIRD time richard has done those banana "scallops?"

                        1. re: gyozagirl

                          I thought the SAME thing! But at least there's no avocado in it. :-)

                        2. Stephanie wins the first and third course.

                          I swear to god if Lisa wins this thing I will quit watching.

                          Lisa wins the second, I think.

                          The XY chromosome is dying.

                          Oooh, reunion next week.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Phaedrus

                            And Stephanie wins 3rd course! Woo hoo! And Lisa's soup won 2nd? Ack. And it seems Richard won Dessert course?

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              i guess the third time is the charm for richard's banana scallops...but it's too little, too late.

                              aside from the minor misstep with the leeks, and the ho-hum dessert, steph rocked it!

                              already doing my happy dance with 20 minutes still to go :)

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                After JT, maybe Richard didn't win Dessert?

                                And WHAT? Richard admits he choked? Sounds like he's out. Between Lisa and Stephanie? Oh PLEASE - it's hands-down Stephanie!

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  all I'll say is please,please not pickle puss Lisa!

                                  In just a few more minutes we'll know, but I won't be posting as not everyone has been able to watch yet.

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    It wouldn't be the first time a great chef chocked in the finale. Remember Casey last season? She knew she was out before the judging even began. Poor Richard though...I know he could have done better. His chocking was still probably pretty incredible tasting though.