Being somewhat reserved myself, I just cheered inside when Stephanie, with her controlled, non-flashy, self-doubting manner, and her ricotta poundcake with banana cream (huh?) took Top Chef Honors last night.
Despite keeping Lisa - um, why? - until the end, the judges got it right.
As another blogger reviewed, the Anthony Bourdain-led episode where Dale got ditched was the huge mistake. Lisa should have been sent packing and shown the door.
In the back of my mind, I'd pegged it as a contest between Stephanie and Richard, who just kind of fell apart in the face of the enormity of it all... (How Stephanie kept her cool when bossing around totally HAWT Eric Ripert - that accent! that hair! that knife-work! - I do not know!)
I feel bad for him to have been shown up by the girl who all season long churned out barely tolerable Asian-inspired food. Although I have not ever had pork belly, the dish Richard made looked just, unappetizing.
But just a tip? If you're ever making a show-stopping meal, anything with the words "pound cake" just won't cut it.