1) His win had too much to do with dumb luck.
In the finale challenge, Hosea acquired an edge over Carla and Stefan that had absolutely nothing to do with his abilities as a chef. Getting to pick both his sous chef and his protein gave him a major advantage, which influenced his success in no uncertain terms, proving that ultimately the results of this show are not merely a judgment of talent but the outcome of chance. In this competition, the chefs are judged on singular meals as opposed to their entire performance over the course of the season, which is problematic because it doesn't take into account the overall talent and allows for too many arbitrary factors to influence the success of a dish.
2) He has no culinary identity.
You can spot a Carla meal from a mile away. Ditto with Stefan. Hosea's cooking is middle of the road and in no way indicative of his personality, point of view, history or any sort of mission statement. He cooks whatever's trendy (sashimi this! Foam that!) and doesn't take risks, regurgitating the same ingredients and techniques challenge after challenge without building on his ideas or appearing vested in the food he serves up. For god's sake, he works at a FISH restaurant in a city that's about as land-locked as you can get. Where's the story? The perspective? The heart and soul? Also? He's sooo good at cooking fish that the monkfish he prepared for the Le Bernardin challenge was one of the judges' least favorite. So he sucks at the one thing he professes to be his strong suit.
3) His meals are unrefined and unimaginative.
Hosea has, throughout this season, professed that he's an untrained chef, as if that's supposed to excuse the holes in his knowledge and technique. If you want to compete in a show like this, you'd damn well better know your shit, whether you went to chef school or not. There were some challenges where he literally didn't know how to prepare the food, and was consistently screwing up the stuff he claimed he did know how to do. Carla's problem was primarily one of not trusting her instincts, and Stefan's was getting too comfortable and not giving his all, but both of them know exactly what the hell they're doing and their mistakes don't stem from a lack of experience. Chefs acquire 'remarkable' status either from cooking for ages and knowing food and preparation inside and out or from an inexplicable savant-like brilliance. And no amount of apologetic "untrained" posturing excuses being middle-of-the-road.
4) He's inconsistent as all get out.
He won only two Quickfire challenges to Stefan and Carla's three apiece, and both of those were in the first half of the season. He also ended up in the bottom three more than either Carla or Stefan, narrowly missing elimination on more than one occasion. The wins he did garner were more often than not group challenges. Is this the stuff of a Top Chef? I think not.
5) He's a colossal douche.
I realize that this has nothing to do, ultimately, with the quality of his food, and that some of the best chefs have appropriated "colossal douche" as their calling card (hellooooo Gordon Ramsay). But for the title of Top Chef, which is not merely about cooking but about marketing and selling, one needs to be either supremely likable, or dickish in a way that's disarming or compelling. Hosea is neither. Say what you will about Stefan and his cocky 'tude -- he had the chops to back up what he said, and he revealed a soft side, especially when comforting Carla in the finale, that tempered his assholedom in a way that made him complex and appealing. Hosea tipped his hand as to his moral character several times during this run -- when he cheated with dumbdumb Leah and when he hogged all the ingredients in the finale. And I don't know about y'all but I feel that the personality and character of the person cooking it goes a long way towards elevating even mediocre food. To quote Carla, "It's all about the love, baby."
What did you guys think of the Top Chef finale? Did you think Hosea was the best man for the title? Consult, confer and sling insults in the comments.
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