Top Chef Season 6: SPOILER ALERT!

It’s no secret that I’m a food show junkie…..cooking shows, cooking competitions, chef bios, restaurant features—you name it, I pretty much watch it all (Thank goodness my better half doesn’t mind too much!). Afterall, I kind of see it as my culinary education without the crazy culinary school tuition costs.

Among my favs over the past few years— Top Chef . Love, love, love it—and have been a faithful viewer all 6 seasons (in addition to the Top Chef Masters season). Sure, I agree with many who kind of liked it better in the earlier seasons when they had relatively unknown, less experienced chefs. They, after all, had more to gain. But with more seasoned chefs comes more interesting dishes which made this past Season 6 a crowd pleaser.

Before I go on, I must warn you all who haven’t seen the finale yet and say SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! Watch the finale and come back to read my rants :) But if you have seen it, let’s continue on…..

All season, the bf and I have been Team Jennifer Carroll, Chef de Cuisine  of 10 Arts by Eric Ripert. Why? Because she was a darn great cook, funny as heck, and she was Eric Ripert’s gal. That is a winning combo right there!

Jennifer Carroll, Top Chef Season 6 Contestant

Imagine our disappointment when she got eliminated in part 1 of the finale….BUMMER!!! Who will give snarky comments now? :) But at least we still had my bf’s fav left in the final 3– Kevin Gillespie.

Kevin Gillespie is the Executive Chef & Partner of Woodfire Grill in Atlanta, Georgia. We loved him for being the “pork guy”….so much so that he had a tattoo of a pig! Quite funny. I particularly admired his stance of using only local & sustainable goods at his restaurant.

Kevin Gillespie, Top Chef Season 6 Contestant

Unfortunately Kevin didn’t perform his best with the final challenge. His 1st course was quite a favorite among the judges but the other dishes just didn’t cut it—with the worst being his pork dish….IRONY! Alas, Padma informs him that he is not Top Chef. Bummer Kev, we really liked you—and your sassy southern mom too! :)

Which finally leaves us with the remaining two….The Voltaggio Brothers. The culinary sibling powerhouse who were favored since the beginning of the season.

Voltaggio Brothers: Top Chef Season 6 Contestants

I must admit that I, too, was in awe of the dishes that these two whipped out. Beautiful,  refined, innovative, and just darn impressive.

I favored the elder brother, Bryan Voltaggio , who is the Executive Chef and Co-owner of VOLT Restaurant, in Maryland. His dishes looked amazing and of the two brothers, he appeared more down to earth and humble.

Bryan Voltaggio, Top Chef Season 6 Contestant
Bryan Voltaggio, Top Chef Season 6 Contestant

He pulled out a few great dishes in the finale with the assistance of two Sous Chefs, Jennifer Carroll and Ashley Merriman. Unfortunately, the judges felt his dishes were somewhat safe. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think “safe” is a bad thing when it comes to dishes as long as it tastes darn good. But then again, I don’t get paid the big bucks to be a judge….  :)

Which leaves us to the Top Chef Winner of Season 6, Michael Voltaggio.

Michael Voltaggio: Top Chef Season 6 Contestant
Michael Voltaggio, Top Chef Season 6 Winner

Michael is the Chef de Cuisine at The Dining Room in Pasadena, California. Was I always impressed with his dishes? Yes. Did he push the envelope and think outside of the box? Yes. Did the bf and I secretly make up this fictitious story that he and Jennifer Carroll would end up hooking up? HECK YES! But what totally turned me off was the fact that he portrayed himself to be so cocky and arrogant. Two things that are NMF (not my fav). Bleh!

To be fair, I did think he was absolutely qualified to win and his track record throughout the season with Quick Fire and Elimination Challenge wins proved it (not to mention the 2010 Prius he scored and tons of cash with High Stakes challenges). But in the humble opinion of this food show junkie, I would have liked to have seen Jennifer or Kevin take it home. :)

I do need to also comment that the finale show this season was a tad lackluster. Gone are the days when the finale only consisted of 2 finalists or when we had to wait an entire week to see the winner after viewing the judging. C’mon now, Season 2 in the Big Island of Hawai’i was not only beautifully placed with the location but the finale meals were well spread out to give due credit to the finalists. I’m hoping that the producers of the show will rethink this new finale format and spend more air time featuring the food and judges commentary. HINT, HINT!

But when all is said and done, I can’t wait to see what next season will unfold.  :)

For now, Food Show Junkie signing off.


5 thoughts on “Top Chef Season 6: SPOILER ALERT!

  1. I totally agree with the lackluster season finale. For all of Season 6’s high stakes and high reward challenges, the biggest season finale twist was the chef’s mothers? They only cooked a four course meal without any wine pairings. I was hoping it’d be at least six courses. I was also upset at how the chef’s weren’t able to pick their sous-chefs. Kevin was stuck with two of the less experienced chefs while Bryan had Jennifer and Eli(?). One thing missing from previous seasons was the talk of a chef being a good leader. Perhaps the judges accepted the fact that the final four were all “very professional”. Hawaii was definitely the best finale locale.

    I’m satisfied with the top four. For me it didn’t really matter who won because each of them received a ton of recognition and prizes. Heck Kevin won $30,000 and a Bocuse d’Or invite during episode 12. It think they gave out the most total prize money this season.

    I look forward to Season 7. I think Season 6 is one of the most entertaining so it’ll be interesting to see what new twists there will be.

    PS – Did you know that Padma used to be married to Salman Rushdie? Wtf.

    PPS – ‘Wichcraft in SF is one really bad sandwich place. lol. Tom Colicchio needs a wake up call.

    1. You’re like the 10th person I heard say that Wichcraft was just “meh”. How disappointing! But I made his Herb Butter Turkey for Thanksgiving and is was TO DIE FOR! 🙂

      As for Padma–I KNOW! How random is that! She’s hot stuff that it seems so odd to me. 🙂 lol!

  2. good comments guys! couldn’t agree with you more. i think the winner was the most deserving if you looked purely at talent but my favs were definitely jennifer, then kevin, then bryan, then michael. hmmm. wonder if i jinxed them bc they got knocked off in that order?? sawwie…

    i agree with the above post — what kind of surprise judge is it to have your mom sit at the table? i was thinking…okay, any minute now, the real surprise chef will come out but no. none came. felt bad for the other judges bc you know they couldn’t be absolutely blunt until the moms left! i was left feeling a little…underwhelmed by this finale. also didn’t like that they were told to do a dessert. IMO, the contestants have to make that decision themselves, as part of their strategy.

    oh well. still wished i sat at judges’ table during any of those episodes and esp at the finale!

    p.s. yes, i did know about padma’s marriage. to be honest, i’m not surprised. she’s beautiful, talented, and rich. he’s old, talented, and rich. it’s like olive oil and balsamic vinegar…they don’t mix but oddly enough, get paired up well together.

    p.s.s. what’s this wichcraft place?? i need to try. nammie, pls take me next time i come visit!

  3. i enjoyed this season so much. the top 4 were so talented. Michael is such an ass, but you definitely can’t deny that he’s talented. your comment about Jen is spot on. i liked her snarky comments. she added alot of sass to the show. i definitely want to watch next week’s “cast share” episode.

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