Top Chef
Season 3 Finale, Part I

Episode Report Card
Keckler: B- | Grade It Now!
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Rocky Mountain High

The cheftestants toast the judges with red wine, with Brian saying that they have a "hard, hard decision in front of them."

The cheftestants are brought back and since this is part of the finals, Colicchio dispenses with his customary ReCrap and tells the cheftestants that the whole season has been really great for all of them. Ripert tells Dale that he is the winner of the night; Dale will get to cook with Ripert at the Food and Wine Weekend that he's hosting at the Ritz-Carlton on Grand Cayman. He'll get to do a demonstration with Ripert, and also spend some time in his restaurant. Damn. That's awesome. Dale tells him, "That's the biggest honor of my life." Ripert grins. Colicchio, again not ReCrapping, compliments all of them and has no negatives to give them, except maybe when he tells Brian that he thinks they really have seen Brian in his food, because "part of who you are is really looking to please the people you're cooking for and we appreciate that." Without drawing it out at all, Padma sadly tells Brian to pack his knives and go. Brian sketches out a bow, as Casey drops at the waist in abject relief. When she looks up, she's crying. Hung squats and holds his hand to his forehead. Brian walks up to the judges and shakes all of their hands. Hung and Casey both sort of fling themselves at Brian as Colicchio looks on and smiles.

Brian tells us, "I've enjoyed the entire ride, I've cooked great dishes, I've left with the greatest amount of respect, I've made friends. I think I was a little cutting edge, maybe a little bit ahead of my time. Maybe I'll be celebrated when I'm gone." Does he mean when he's dead? Because it's not exactly like how Van Gogh wasn't appreciated in his own time. He left paintings behind, Brian, and you don't get to leave stuff behind unless you plan on leaving a fridge full of food, which is sort of gross. In the back, Brian tells the others that there's no reason to shed tears over his leaving. Sad thing is, they don't actually look like they are. Brian tips his cowboy hat and bows to the remaining three. Dale tells us it's really tough to see him go. The three clap him out and Brian says, "Thankyouverymuch," which makes me wonder if we've just met a fifth personality who has been busy impersonating Elvis on the Las Vegas stage in Brian's mind this whole time. Brian says he's going back to his life and he's happy that he didn't play it safe during the whole competition: "I blew it up and I had a great time and if that's why they're gonna send me home, I'm riding home on a magical carpet." Yes, you are. All of you.

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Top Chef

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