The final challenge begins right after the previous challenge ended, and the cheftestants have to create four courses of their best dishes. The first course is vegetable, the second is fish, the third is meat (with proteins chosen by Colicchio and Ripert) and the final course is dessert. And as usual, they get a sous chef from former winners; Ed gets Elan, Kevin gets Michael Voltaggio (a friend before the competition), and Angelo gets Hung.
The next morning, Angelo realizes that he's really, really sick. The judges determine that he will work via phone with Hung to do the shopping and the first day of prep. So Hung is running around like an animal in the kitchen, working; meanwhile, Ed and Elan are butting heads a little bit. On the second day, Angelo gets cleared to cook. And here are the dishes:
Angelo: pickled royale mushrooms, char siu bao pork belly, noodles and watermelon tea, and while the judges admire his flavors, they think that the dish needs work.
Kevin: terrine of eggplant, zucchini and peppers, pickled tomatoes, jalapenos, and black garlic puree, which is kind of boring but technically good.
Ed: chilled summer corn velouté with fried black cockles, which pretty much everyone agrees is the best of the vegetable courses.
Angelo: sautéed rouget and poached cuttlefish with Asian style bouillabaisse, which the judges think is a dish to remember.
Kevin: pan-seared rouget with cuttlefish "noodles," pork belly, cockles, slipper lobster and cigala, which gets decent marks from the judges.
Ed: stuffed rouget, glazed slipper lobster and cuttlefish with zucchini pesto, which the judges think is complicated.
Angelo: sautéed duck breast and foie gras with marshmallow and tart cherry shooter. While the judges like his dish, they don't see the point of the shooter.
Kevin: roasted duck breast with duck dumpling, caramelized bok choy and coriander sauce. The judges say that his duck was cooked the best of the three.
Ed: duck two ways: roasted breast and braised stuffed neck with baby spinach, and the judges like the layers of flavors.
Angelo: "Thai jewel," which is coconut-vanilla cream and crushed ice with exotic fruits, which the judges find comforting and tasty.
Kevin: frozen "Singapore Sling" with tropical fruits, which the judges call the new national Singapore dessert.
Ed: sticky toffee date pudding with fleur de sel crème Chantilly, which the judges differ on.
And the winner is the chef that the judges feel took the most risks and succeeded, and that is… Kevin! Damn, the guy I thought wouldn't even make it halfway through the competition ends up winning it all.
This episode picks up right where the last one ended, for extra drama! So we get to see Kelly walk out of Judges' Table again and announce that she's the one going home. Ed hugs her and then interviews that he's happy to have two wins under his belt in Singapore and he's feeling confident going into the final challenge. Kevin interviews that he's really happy that he's still in it, but he's tired and ready for bed after that exhausting day. I'm sure that the next scene will be Kevin tucking into bed, head on pillow, ready to snooze. Right? Because I've never watched television before, so you guys tell me if I'm close with that prediction.
Wait, what? Kevin's not going straight to bed. Instead, Padma shows up and tells the final three that they are needed back at Judges' Table. More judging? Haven't they been judged enough for one night? Once they stand in the traditional row in front of the judges, Padma congratulates them for making the finale. Oh, whew! That's all. Padma just wanted to congratulate them. But I'm sure that they won't just start the next challenge straight off, right? That would be CRAZY!
And then Padma says that the judges want them to have as much time as possible to plan their food, so they're starting the challenge... NOW! I've never heard of such a thing! Anyway, the final challenge is nebulous as always: create a four-course meal of the most amazing food of your life. It gets a little more specific, as their first course has to be vegetables, their second has to be fish, and their third has to be meat. Colicchio and Ripert are going to choose the proteins for them. Not sure why that's the case, because what if their most amazing food involves a protein that isn't in the offerings? Maybe Tom and Eric just wanted to go shopping. And then in a twist that no one saw coming except for anyone who has watched this show, or television, or lived in the world - the final course is going to be dessert. Just like the new series Top Chef: Just Desserts which coincidentally premieres next on Bravo! It's like they planned it! I'm surprised that Gail doesn't say, "Here on Top Chef, it's not all about just desserts."
And of course, the cheftestants get some help. But instead of getting to choose from eliminated cheftestants, these finalists are going to be assisted by whatever former winners they could dredge up and fly to Singapore. So their choices are Ilan (sorry I spelled your name wrong in the recaplet, dude, but not actually that sorry, because you're kind of a dillweed), Michael Volt, and Hung. Kevin laughs because he and MVolt are bros from way back. So Kevin wants to have MVolt as his sous chef, and so does Ed. Angelo wants Hung, because they have similar cooking styles. They draw knives, and Ed gets Ilan. He interviews that he doesn't know much about Ilan other than that he won Top Chef. Yeah, and no one likes him. Kevin gets MVolt and Angelo gets Hung, so they are both thrilled.