The Top Chef finale, or as I like to call it, "The Anybody But Hosea Finale," is next week, and the top four is a lot less horrifying than it was last year. Because last year's top four had Lisa in it, and while Leah is not as terrible as Lisa, putting her in the final four would have been this season's equivalent of that. So yay, no more Leah. Anyway, Stefan's pretty much got this year's win in the bag, and with good reason -- besides being great television, the man can cook -- but even so, I'm still futilely holding out for a Carla upset. Here's why.
She's screwed up a few times, but she is actually a very good chef.
Several of the times Carla's mistakes have cost her, especially in team settings, were when she was asked to make desserts. Because nobody else on the show can handle the enormous complexities of pastry-making, apparently. I think we can all agree a chef shouldn't really be judged by their pastry skills, especially when she does so well when she cooks main courses. I think she was considered a dark horse all this time because of her zaniness, for sure, but also because she faltered in several challenges because she wasn't assertive enough in the group challenges to insist on cooking the food she wanted. And yes, a chef needs to be confident and able to manage a team, but just because she didn't speak up during restaurant wars doesn't necessarily mean she couldn't run a restaurant. It also doesn't take away from the fact that she's been on her own for the past three challenges, and she's done extremely well. Not as well as Stefan, of course, but who the hell does as well as Stefan? He's like the Johnny 5's reading comprehension of cooking or something.
She's not pretentious.
While in many ways fine dining does inherently appeal to a certain upper echelon of clientele, it's always nice to bridge that with a great chef who knows their stuff, but who is also relatable and humble. I love Stefan as much as the next person, but he is most definitely not that. And you can't deny that Carla does not have one ounce of snobbery to her. She's what Ariane would be if Ariane was actually a chef.
She has a unique point of view.
There's something about the idea of dining at a Carla restaurant that piques my interest in a way that dining at any of the other contestants' doesn't. Not that Stefan's won't be great, or Fabio's won't be solid, or Hosea's won't have the entire damn ocean's seafood on the menu, it's just that I think Carla would create a menu you don't see very often. I'm buying what she's selling, is what I'm saying. And what she's selling is green eggs and ham that is actually delicious to people who are not four years old. If that's not an interesting chef, I don't know what is.
Because honestly, how can you not be in love with Carla?
She has a spirit animal, she claims to be a former model, she yells "Hootie!" in public a lot, and her impression of a tortoise is unrivaled. She's fantastic. And not in a contrived, I'm-trying-so-hard-to-be-a-reality-show-personality kind of way, which is what I suspect of Fabio most of the time. I think Carla's genuinely like that, and it would be nice to have a Top Chef representative whose default personality is not "adorably half-asleep" (Harold, Stephanie) or "kind of an asshole" (Hung, Ilan, soon-to-be Stefan).
But all of this is just essentially fan fiction, of course, as Stefan's inevitable win is deserved. Just please, culinary gods -- anybody but Hosea!
MOST RECENT POSTS