We all know that Kristen Kish, 28, chef de cuisine at Stir, fought her way back into the running for Top Chef’s grand prize through the “Last Chance Kitchen” competition. She then battled through an almost eight-hour finale to take the Top Chef prize and title.
Let’s take a little trip down memory lane episode by episode
Episode 1: The Ultimate Chef Test
Each judge tests a group of cheftestants in their own real-world challenge.
In Las Vegas, Emeril Lagasse challenged Jeffrey, Joshua, Kristen, Stephanie, and Tina to make soup in one hour.
ELIMINATED: Stephanie and Tina
Episode 2: A Shock at the Space Needle
One turn of the Seattle Space Needle determines who will go home
Quickfire Challenge: The chefs separated themselves into teams of three and had to create a dish that highlighted the local shellfish. The winning team drew knives to determine which individual would receive immunity.
Top: John, Kuniko, Sheldon
Bottom: Danyele, Eliza, Joshua
WINNERS: John, Kuniko, and Sheldon (Geoduck Sashimi with Ponzu, Apple, and Cucumber)
Elimination Challenge: Using the same teams from the Quickfire, the chefs traveled to the Space Needle to make a dish using regional ingredients.
Red Team: CJ, Josie, Stefan
Orange Team: Carla, Chrissy, Lizzie
Yellow Team: Danyele, Eliza, Joshua
Green Team: Kristen, Micah, Tyler
Blue Team: John, Kuniko, Sheldon
Gray Team: Bart, Brooke, JeffreyWINNER: Kuniko (Chili Oil Poached Cod with Dashi, and Spot Prawn Shabu Shabu)
ELIMINATED: Jeffrey (Pan Roasted Halibut with Mushrooms, English Peas, Wheat Beer, and Herb Sabayon)
Episode 3: Tom vs. Emeril: Turkeypocalypse
Tom and Emeril don their chef coats and take to the kitchen to lead teams in an epic Thanksgiving battle.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs worked in two teams, lead by Tom Colicchio (Red) and Emeril Lagasse (Gray), to cook a Thanksgiving meal to benefit FareStart.
Red Team: Bart, Carla, CJ, Eliza, Joshua, Lizzie, Micah, Stefan
Gray Team: Brooke, Chrissy, Danyele, John, Josie, Kristen, Kuniko, Sheldon, Tyler
WINNER: Carla (Carrot Soup with Turkey Meatballs)
ELIMINATED: Kuniko (Potato Pavé)
Episode 4: ’50s Food Flashback Kristens first win!!!
The chefs go back in time as they’re tasked with re-creating an original 1950s menu from one of the best restaurants in the country.
Elimination Challenge: The chefs were tasked with recreating dishes from a classic 1950′s menu from the restaurant Canlis. The winner received $10,000.
WINNER: Kristen (Dry-Roasted Sautéed Mushrooms with Crispy-Fried Shallots)
ELIMINATED: Chrissy (Canlis‘ Special Salad) and Carla (Whole Milk-Fed Squab)
Episode 5: Pike Place Pickle
The chefs use their skill and imagination to highlight some of the rarest ingredients found at Pike Place Market.
Elimination Challenge: The same teams were kept for the Elimination Challenge. The chefs were asked to create a dish, by drawing knives, to feature an ingredient created by the vendors at Pike Place Market. The winners would have received $10,000; however, due to the poor quality of the meal, the reward was pulled off the table.
Kristen and Micah: Cheese Curds
Episode 6: Even the Famous Come Home
Kristen make it out safe in this one.
Episode 7: Foiled Again Kristens Double Win!
QUICKFIRE WINNER: Kristen (Almond and Chocolate Sponge Cake)
Elimination Challenge: Kristen: Tayberries WINNER: Kristen (Matcha Goat Milk Custard with Macerated Tayberries)
Episode 8: Jalapeño Business
The cheftestants cook for one of the hottest sports teams in Seattle.
Elimination Challenge: In teams of two, the chefs had to cater an after-game party for Seattle roller derby team, the Rat City Rollergirls. The dishes each team cooked were inspired by the name of one of the rollergirls.
Kristen and Stefan: Eddie Shredder hubby & wifey
Episode 9: Past Suppers
Elimination Challenge: Each chef was tasked with cooking a dish inspired by a memorable moment from a previous season of Top Chef, but had to prepare a healthier version than the original. The winner received $15,000, and their dish would be used as inspiration for a new Top Chef Healthy Choice frozen entrée. In a surprise twist, the bottom two contestants competed head-to-head based on a memorable moment from this season: CJ’s elimination in Episode 5.
Season 1: Josie
Season 2: Stefan
Season 3: John
Season 4: Sheldon
Season 5: Lizzie
Season 6: Joshua
Season 7: Brooke
Season 8: Kristen
Season 9: Micah
WINNER: Kristen (Poached Chicken Breast, Carrot Purée, with Garlic and Tofu Emulsion)
Episode 10: Battle Before the War
Elimination Challenge: The chefs created a restaurant concept, and presented their concept via a representative dish at the Taste of Seattle Food Festival. The two winning chefs each received $10,000 and will act as executive chef for their teams during Restaurant Wars in the next episode. The two winners picked their teams from the other remaining contestants, but without knowing the results of the elimination, guaranteeing that one would be handicapped in the following challenge.
WINNERS: Kristen (Atelier Kwan – Onsen Egg with Camembert-Mustard Sauce and Buttered Radishes)
Episode 11: Restaurant Wars Kristens Big Loss
It’s men versus women as the cheftestants go into Restaurant Wars with the hopes of impressing world-renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer.
- Charcuterie: Rabbit, Pickled Turnips & Yellow Beets in Chicken & Rabbit Broth
- Bouillabaisse: Halibut, Dungeness Crab, Bay Scallops with Shellfish Broth
- Beef Bourguignon: Braised Short Rib, Garlic Puree, Mushrooms & Carrots
- Baked Bouberes, St. Agur Blue Cheese, Roasted Radish & Stone Fruit Compote
- Almond Cake Macaron with Coconut Custard & Caramel Buttercream
And she’s off to Last Chance Kitchen
Episode 8: Kristen vs. CJ
Challenge: The chefs got to choose an ingredient, a cuisine, and a cooking technique that they had to incorporate in their dishes, as well as a time limit. They decided that they had to prepare a French-inspired snapper dish with a smoked element in 30 minutes.
CJ: Brown Butter Snapper with Creamed Morel, Smoked Mashed Potatoes, and Ratatouille
Kristen: Bouillabaisse of Snapper, Crème Fraîche, Smoked Butter, Fennel, and Radish
Episode 9: Josie vs. Kristen
Challenge: The chefs had to break down a salmon, portion 10 identical pieces, and create well-composed dishes for Tom and the eliminated contestants.
Josie: Fennel Pollen Dusted Salmon with Fennel, Radish, and Tarragon Salad
Kristen: Crispy Salmon with Pickled Pineapple, Raisins, Shaved Cauliflower, and Crème Fraîche
Episode 10: Stefan vs. Kristen
Challenge: The chefs cooked dishes using offal.
Kristen: Chicken Livers with Garlic and Mustard Caramel, Pickled Fruit, and Herb Salad
Stefan: Beuscherl of Innards with Cream Sauce, Bread Galette, Liver, and Parsley Salad
Episode 11: Lizzie vs. Kristen
Challenge: The chefs made a dish over a campfire using Alaskan fish.
Kristen: Cod with Coconut Broth, Clam Juice, Lime, Chili-Marinated Tomato, Corn, and Petite Herbs
Lizzie: Poached Salmon Stew with Fennel, Leek, Hungarian Paprika, and Sweet Pepper Flakes
Episode 12: Joshua vs. Lizzie vs. Kristen
Challenge: The chefs received the simple challenge of creating a great plate of food.
Josh: Venison with Coriander, Brown Sugar and Black Pepper Cure, Kale, and Shaved Carrot
Kristen: Semolina Orecchiette with Brown Butter, Pomegranate, Apple, and Fresh Herbs
Lizzie: Black Cod in Black Pepper Vinegar, Savoy Cabbage, and Spaetzle
Which then lead to Kristen beating Lizzie and moving on the finale part 1 then to her Top Chef win in the season finale.
The Final Challenge: 5 rounds/courses and Padma announces that whoever wins the first three becomes the new Top Chef.
Round 1: Brooke’s First Dish: Crispy Pig Ear & Chicory Salad, Six-Minute Egg, Apricot Jam & Candied Kumquats vs Kristen’s First Dish: Chicken Liver Mousse with Frisee, Mustard, Prune, Hazelnuts & Pumpernickel
Kristen wins round 1
Round 2: Brooke’s Second Dish: Seared Scallop with Salt Cod Puree, Speck, Black Currant & Mustard Seed Vinaigrette vs Kristen’s Second Dish: Citrus & Lavender Cured Scallop with Bitter Orange, Meyer Lemon & Apple
Brooke wins round 2
Round 3: Brooke’s Third Dish: Vadouvan Fried Chicken with Sumac Yogurt-Tahini & PIckled Kohlrabi Fattoush vs Kristen’s Third Dish: Celery Root Puree with Bone Marrow, Mushrooms, Bitter Greens & Radishes
Kristen wins round 3
Round 4: Brooke’s Fourth Dish: Braised Pork Cheek & Red Snapper with Collard Green Slaw & Sorrel Puree vs Kristen’s Fourth Dish: Red Snapper with Leeks, Little Gem Lettuce, Tarragon, Uni & Shellfish Nage
Judging: The Final Decision
The judges get ready to make the tough decisions.
The judges announce that Kristen is the new Top Chef…..The second female to win Top Chef
“I’m proud that I got to make them (my family and friends) proud,” she says. Kristen is planning to use the money for a trip to Korea, where she hopes to find her birth parents. Congrats Kristen you deserve it!
Our new Top Chef poses with the judges.
Season 10 recaps here!
- Top Chef Seattle Recap, Episode 1: The Ultimate Chef Test
- Top Chef Seattle Recap Episode 2: A Shock at the Space Needle
- Top Chef Seattle Recap Episode 3: Tom vs. Emeril: Turkeypocalypse
- Top Chef Seattle Recap Episode 4: ’50s Food Flashback
- Top Chef Seattle recap, Episode 5: #TopChef Pike Place Pickle
- Top Chef Seattle recap, Episode 6: Even the Famous Come Home
- Top Chef Episode7: Foiled Again Recap
- Top Chef Episode 9 Recap: Past Suppers
- Top Chef Episode 10 Recap: Battle Before the War
- Top Chef Seattle Episode 11 Recap: Restaurant Wars
- Top Chef Seattle Episode 12 Recap: Wolfgang Clucks
- Top Chef Seattle Episode 13 Recap: Chefs at Sea
- Top Chef Seattle Episode 14 Recap: Kings of Alaska
- Top Chef Seattle Episode 15 Recap: Glacial Gourmand
- Top Chef Seattle Episode 16 Recap: Finale Part 1
- Top Chef Seattle Episode 17 Recap: The Finale
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