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Live-blogging the Top Chef Finale

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 4, 2007 2:07AM

top_chef_top_three.jpgWe're live blogging this finale (a Margaret and Rachelle tag-team, old-skool style!), with frequent text-message updates from our correspondent in the field, food contributor Laura Oppenheimer, who's at the taping. Do we need to tell you that this post contains spoilers about tonight's Top Chef?

9:02 Dale's first Chicago shout out while riding the gondola. "We're riding up and we get higher and higher and higher. The view just gets more spectacular. I'm a flatlander, we don't see this kind of shit in Chicago"

9:08 Rocco?! Michelle Bernstein? Todd English? We think Dale lucked out.

9:10 Ugh, Marcel.

9:12 Laura in the field texts "We're all clapping like crazy every time Padma is on. Everyone is checking [the] Cubs score during the commercial."

9:15 It must be weird for the famous chefs to be listening to these guys. Rocco and Hung leeeeerrrrve tamarind. Hung says Rocco "understands my flavors." We're using that phrase all the time from now on.

9:17 "Pork belly is so tough." So true, Michelle. Casey, get it together!

9:19 Hung and Rocco planning their joint restaurant together. Aww. And Dale has made Todd English his "prep bitch."

9:20 WATER DOESN'T BOIL? Is that true? And didn't they know from the beginning that they'd be in Aspen?

9:21 Rocco's voice cracked. He's still cute. How come Todd English gets black chef..scrubs...? What are chef outfits caled?

9:23 From Laura: "All the other contestants booed [in the studio] when Casey said the weakest chefs would be the sous chefs."

9:26 Another text: "Marcel beams every time they show Hung."

9:27 Dale's menu sounds really good. Anything + bacon = the path to Chicagoist's heart.

9:28 Did Hung say "ocean-scented rice"? Why is he surprised that Chef Tom looks confused?

9:28 Dale's got a potty mouth. By our count this is his 3rd curse word already.

9:30 Howie *is* kind of a "messy cook" in Hung's defense.

9:33 Dale's being weirdly vindictive about his scallops. "Right back atcha."

9:35 Laura: "CJ and crew are very interested in how they look on TV." No worries, CJ, you look smokin' hot.

Want to understand the rest of our flavors?

9:40 We like how they don't even try to make Padma's dubbing seem real anymore.

9:42 First course!

9:41 Hung says "blah blah blah... one thousand ingredients.. and hamachi seasoned with olive oil and a little touch of.... love." You can hear Dale scoff.

9:43 FOAM. No more foam, Hung!

9:44 People love Dale's dish. What were the chef's budgets for this? These dishes are crazy expensive. Pretty sure Casey just served lobster in money sauce.

9:46 Three-star Michelin. Dayum. Aw, man, Dale's sauce is a palate-killer. Does this mean Hung is going to win?

9:49 To the shock of no one, Tom's really psyched about dessert. Except it doesn't blow people away, so, sucks to your assmar, Hung.

9:50 Why must Marcel be sitting spread eagle in the front row?

9:54 Bravo will do anything to make you watch Better Half, including show the cheftestants' audition videos. Apparently Dale's penchant for saying "bitch" is long-standing.

9:55 Judging!! Dale's getting his ass handed to him in a hat...and then they segue into telling him some of his dishes are a "triumph." Hm.

9:57 Laura: "Judges in the house! No Bourdain, just the standard 4. Colicchio just got powdered--just his face, not his head."

9:58 Casey's getting panicked.

9:58 Nasty! Tim Allen leans back and says, "Dale, you are one decadent boy!" Spank!

9:59 Hung time. "When planning the meal of a lifetime....a molten chocolate cake?" Snap, Gail! Snap. Snap.

10:01 The idea that Padma's ever had "a lot to think about" is really staggering.

10:02 C'mon, Dale! Two courses for him, two for Hung. Sorry, Casey.

10:03 Laura: "Screw the Cubs! Root root root for the home cheftestant!" Amen, sister.

10:04 Nail-biting begins in earnest in the Chicagoist offices. Well, living rooms.

10:05 Ugh, are they all in the same outfits from before? Yeech.

10:06 We really wish we could see Laura in the audience. Oh, well.

10:10 Laura: "All three hugged before running on stage. We love when everyone plays nice. But not as much as when they play bitchy."

10:11 Wow, Casey won the text-messaging vote. Sorry, America!

10:12 Dale "cooked [his] heart out this season." He's choked up. Aw, poor Casey knows she lost. But she's funny and gracious about it. Hung's proud to be here.

10:13 Tom Colicchio likes saying "fabulous."

10:14 PADMA gets to do the honors?! And it's Hung! Wow, is he excited.

10:15 That's all she wrote. Sorry, Dale. Better luck on the all-star season.