One Step Ahead of Top Chef

I’d like to think I was one step ahead of Bravo and Top Chef by going to Singapore first.  I visited the island country earlier this year with some of my dearest girl friends (read about my Singapore Eats) so watching the latest Top Chef episode brought back so many fun, gastronomical memories.

I rarely get hungry when watching Top Chef. This is surprising to me, because even just 5 minutes of watching anything on the Food Network already makes my mouth water. But when I finally watched Part 1 of Top Chef’s Season Finale, I DEFINITELY got hungry and had sudden cravings for Asian food.

And I remembered my incredibly fun Singapore trip – the Hawker center, the abundance of spice and cultural variety in each dish, and of course the stifling heat! Oh boy, when they showed the contestants cooking while drenched in sweat, I had vivid memories of myself and my girl friends sticky with sweat, and yet still deliriously happy.

We had a blast, and it looks like the Top Chef contestants did too. My thoughts? I think it’s the best episode so far. Flying the contestants to a country like Singapore, famous for its street food and cosmopolitan influences, was really interesting and fun to watch. I really wanted Kelly to win and felt bad that she had to pack her knives and go. She was my top pick all season, and I can imagine myself liking all the dishes she prepared.


Bye, Kelly

I like Ed the least (the very, very least), he seems mean-spirited and bitter. Of course I am also judging them based on their (TV) personalities – and not just their talent as chefs – because well, I’m an emotional viewer, and it’s Gail, Tom, and Padma’s jobs to judge them based purely on talent. I have to admit though, that some of Ed’s food seems really tasty (especially that last dish of pork belly and Chinese sausage). But his abrasive personality really makes me dislike him.

Kevin, on the other hand, seems really sincere and eager. I like his down-home cooking style, always a classic with a twist. I was scared he was going to be sent home, especially after Padma called him out for not learning how to use a wok.

I’ve had mixed feelings about Angelo.  Sometimes he seems too over-the-top, and sometimes he just talks gibberish (remember when Anthony Bourdain called him out on that?) but I can definitely see his passion and desire to win. What did me in – now he’s my top pick – was seeing him cry at the judge’s table, after they announced that Kelly is leaving and he’s going to the finals. Seeing a man get so emotional over something he is passionate about really tugs at my heart strings, and now I’m on Team Angelo. Also, he has been creating innovative Asian-inspired cuisine throughout the season so I think he has a good chance of winning.


I loved seeing the rambutan and the little calamansi

As for the final episode’s twist? It looks like some of the past season’s winners are there to help out. And oooh… a Voltaggio brother! And the volatile one too. That will be interesting. But it also looks like Angelo is sick. Is it a good thing that he is paired up with Hung? Maybe together they will be the next “holy Asian extravaganza,” as Gail so delightedly said.

top chef guys

Who will be the next Top Chef?

I can’t wait to watch the final episode this Wednesday! I hope Angelo wins and kicks Ed’s bottom.

Have you been to Singapore, too? Who do you think should win Top Chef?

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