top_chef_logo_lgUnless you live under a rock, you were fully aware that the Top Chef All-Stars finale was last night — and if you were a loyal fan, you were watching it live.

We were lucky enough to have Joe Yonan from the Washington Post (better known as @WaPoFoodLive) as our special guest for this podcast. He dished up all of the hot, behind-the-scenes Top Chef gossip from the D.C. season and snarky commentary on last night’s finale.

As for the episode: the little amuse bouche challenge with the 15 chopped chef’testants was a great twist to the episode — Blais and Jersey Mike having to blind-taste their offerings to determine who’d be on their teams for the finale’s “Restaurant Wars” challenge. Funny how Mike said he didn’t want Jamie on his team and then he picked her! What did I say about karma a few weeks ago, kids?

The rest of the episode was a definite nail-biter. Bias aside, Jersey Mike was putting out some stellar-looking dishes! I was getting scared. Blais, on the other hand, was showing a lot of restraint. Too much, though? Was he true enough to himself in his dishes? It seemed they were toe-to-toe in their courses — Mike having two great courses and the same for Blais.

Tom Colicchio said in his Bravo blog that Padma and Eric were pro Blais, Gail was all for Mike and he was the deciding factor. Tom writes:

“So how do I determine that Richard won? First, by looking at the overall experience. Esoteric, yes, but that was part of the challenge. The overall experience was a bit better at Richard’s restaurant. And second, by looking at the losses. Where each of the chefs lost a course, was it by a lot or a little? Richard’s first course beat out Michael’s by a mile. Michael’s braised course beat out Richard’s by a much smaller margin. Overall, Richard’s four-course tasting menu, therefore, was the stronger of two exceptional tasting menus, giving him the gold and Michael the silver.”

What do you think? Did Blais deserve the win or did Mike outcook him? Listen to the podcast to hear our thoughts (and then some).

Podcast Bonus video!: “Top Chef All-Stars” Podcast – Finale from Jeff Houck on Vimeo.

Tune in to Bravo every Wednesday at 10 pm EST/9 pm C, check out our own live Tweets during the show (Jeff: @JeffHouck, Katie: @culinarypirate), and listen to our podcast here every week! (You can even download us on iTunes!)

Check out our fellow Top Chef fanatics’ blogs: All Top Chef gives us their uninhibited reactions and Please Pack Your Knives and Go is just plain hilarious. And check out TalkingTV’s rules for the Top Chef drinking game here.

Listen to the podcast here.

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