On this week’s Top Chef Boston, the final competition is upon us. It’s down to Gregory and Mei in this final showdown of the competition, taking place in Mexico. The show started with Mei and Gregory congratulating each other on making it to the finals.
As they arrived for their last challenge they were greeted with a hot air balloon that they took a ride on. When they landed in a field Tom and Padma were already there. Skipping the now pointless quickfire challenge the chefs had the entire day to plan for the final four course meal they would serve in the elimination challenge. Gregory then chose Doug to be his sous chef and Mei chose Melissa to be hers. Gregory then took his second choice of George and Mei took Rebecca as her second choice, giving both chefs two sous chefs each. The two were then sent to shop for the ingredients for their dishes, which have to be the best they have ever prepared.
The two chefs then shopped for their ingredients with the help of their sous chefs. Gregory said he had found a new love for making Mexican dishes. He decided to create two of his dishes completely on a whim, based on the traditional Mexican ingredients he purchased. Gregory stated he was having a hard time finding Mexican chocolate even though they were in Mexico, but that George considered the chocolate his secret weapon.
As the two discussed the dishes they were making Mei she would have to have the best flavors and textures in her dishes in order to beat Gregory in the competition. Mei announced she was making octopus for the first of her four dishes. A rice porridge named congee was her second dish of the four she had to create. Rebecca prepared Mei’s yogurt dessert, which involved toasting it and using liquid nitrogen in the cooking process. Mei told Tom she wanted to show that she can make desserts.
Gregory posted written instructions on how to prepare each of his four dishes so that his sous chefs would know what he wanted done and how he wanted it done. Octopus and fried shrimp comprised Gregory’s first and second dishes. His third course was a pineapple carrot concoction to accompany his fish.
Tom checked up on Gregory, who felt confident that he was on the right track to win the competition. When Tom asked him if he was nervous he said he was petrified. Gregory said that though he has played it safe before he is going out on a limb now.
Mei expressed her nervousness about getting closer to having to present her dish to the many upscale chefs sampling it. She said that her octopus dish is bold and she thought it would surprise the judges.
As Mei presented her first course Gail said it was one of the most beautiful plates from Mei that she had seen yet. Padma stated that Mei’s first course was slightly overcooked. As Mei plated her soups she said that congee soup is a regular part of her diet. The chefs praised her and said that the soup represented her background and it was delicious. Mei then presented her third course, which was a duck dish. One chef said that there was a misstep in the texture she used but Tom said the dish had an unexpected crunch to it. Mei then presented her yogurt as her fourth course after attempting to make it tangier. The chefs said it was beautiful and remarked that it was still smoking. They enjoyed the texture and flavor of the yogurt.
Gregory then presented his grilled octopus as his first course. Padma and other chefs sang the praises of the dish. When he presented his second course, consisting of shrimp broth he said he was proud of it. Tom said though Gregory’s first course was good his second course was better. For his third course Gregory was nervous because he left an ingredient out of his carrot sauce and didn’t realize it till the last minute. He fixed the sauce so that the flavor was more balanced. Tom said Gregory’s dessert was sweeter than Mei’s and that it didn’t work for him. The judges felt that his third course seemed like someone else made it. Gregory then presented his fourth course to the judges. Padma said it was tender and Tom said it smelled very good. Gregory was also praised for the flavor of the dish.
At the end of the challenge Gregory thanked Doug and George for being his sous chefs. He then talked to Mei and asked her how she thought her dishes went over with the judges.
Tom said that they were impressed with the works of both chefs all season long. Mei said she was nervous, anxious and uneasy. The judges then told Gregory his dishes were strong and Padma said she loved his courses. Gail then praised Mei’s octopus dish and stated that it took her breath away. Padma did say the shrimp heads Gregory used in one of her courses hurt her throat. She then said that Gregory’s fourth course was great and Tom said it turned out perfectly. Padma told Mei her fourth course was beautiful. Tom said Mei’s dessert was one of the best desserts he has ever had on or off of Top Chef.
The judges then dismissed Mei and Gregory so they could reach a decision as to who is going to win. They discussed the positives and negatives about both chefs dishes. Gail said Gregory has a global perspective when he cooks but overall Mei was more successful in the competition.
As everyone gathered to find out who this season’s winner is, the eliminated chefs cheered on Mei and Gregory. Padma then announced that Mei won the $125,000 prize and the title of Top Chef. Melissa was the first chef to congratulate Mei on winning the entire season of competition.