Review: 'Top Chef' New Orleans Season 11 Finale Part 1

Top Chef - Season 11

Part 1 of the “Top Chef” New Orleans Finale determined which of the final four chefs were going head to head in Part 2. The three chefs we knew would be there were Nick, Nina, and Shirley. Nick, the angry chef from Philadelphia who loves his family, Nina, the chef who makes Italian food, and Shirley, the one who found her voice. Joining them would be the winner of this season’s Last Chance Kitchen.

For those who forgot Last Chance Kitchen is where eliminated chefs go to compete for another change at rejoining the competition. It not only gives weekly content for, but also allows for another sponsorship opportunity for the network. Of course it hurts “Top Chef” because being eliminated from the show isn’t really when you “pack your knives and go”. The final two chefs in Last Chance Kitchen are Louis and Carlos. Carlos was just eliminated after his run of Mexican only cooking, while Louis has won eight weeks in a row of LCK. Easy money was on Louis returning because Bravo had built up his reputation through his eight wins, and Carlos adds nothing to the finale.

Here’s the big reveal on the beaches of Hawaii of the winner.

This is “Top Chef” after all so there had to be in your face product placement. This week the honor fell to Spam. The Spam quickfire had ties to both Hawaii and Hormel. Nothing says high end cooking competition than a finals product being lips and assholes. Nick won the Quickfire, and $10,000, but not immunity.

The Elimination Challenge involved the chefs using local items known as “canoe crops”. Their pantry of food actually arrived on a boat, and for a moment I imagined the chefs having to swim out in rough seas for their sweet potatoes. Sadly the show let the boat land on shore before the chefs grabbed their food items.

In the end small mistakes decided the final two eliminations. Louis and Shirley were asked to go when their food due to the uneven temperature of their proteins. That means Nick and Nina are our two finalists for next week. My money has been on Nina all season long, and I don’t see a reason to change now. Here’s a preview of next week’s Finale. You can tell how important the moment is because Padma is wearing a bikini.

Tune in next Wednesday to see which chef, Nick or Nina, is crowned “Top Chef” of season 11.

Tags: Bravo Finale Review Top Chef

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