‘Top Chef’ Season 16 Crowns Its Winner
AceShowbiz -“Top Chef” season 16 aired its finale on Thursday, March 14. The episode featured the Top 3 finalists, Alabama native Kelsey Barnard Clarke; Washington, D.C.’s Eric Adjepong and Kentucky’s own Sara Bradley serving the best four course meal of their lives to a table of food world stars and judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Nilou Motamed and Graham Elliot.
At the MGM Theater in Macau, the three began working on the final challenge. For their sous chefs, Kelsey picked Brandon Rosen for his “insane” knife skills and Nini Nguyen. Eric chose Michelle Minori and best friend Justin Sutherland, while Sara tapped David Viana and Eddie Konrad to help him after working well with him in the previous challenge. Only two of them would be given opportunity to serve their full four courses to vy for the title.
Kelsey’s concept for her meal was “summers in the South” as she used traditional Southern cuisine mixed with the influences of Macau. As for Eric, he stuck to his West African roots with Sara keeping her heritage in her food by cooking Southern food but mixing it with hints of Macanese and Portuguese tradition as well.
Having Brandon and Nini on her team, Kelsey was in advantage since they helped her shop for ingredients with their vast knowledge of Chinese cuisine and the flavor profiles of its ingredients. Eric, meanwhile, split with his team to go to find the spices he’d need for some of his dishes.
Back to the kitchen, each team was focusing on their first courses. Kelsey’s team, however, had to re-do everything as the first attempt of their cornbread was too salty and tasted too strongly of baking. As for the other cooks, they made multiple rounds of taste-testing of their spices and sauces, which served as the key components of each of their dishes.
Sara opted for chili prawns with boiled peanuts and grapes for her first course. Kelsey chose cornbread & buttermilk which was an ode to the matriarchs in her family. Meanwhile, Eric served Caribbean jerk tartare with lotus root chips using spices and sauces indigenous to Africa. Unfortunately, Eric was eliminated which meant it was all down to Sara and Kelsey.
The two had four more hours of prep time that night. They were also given two additional hours the next day before serving their full meal, which included the meal they did earlier.
Sara revealed that she decided not to cook a dessert course and instead focused on meats and vegetables that was her expertise. As for Kelsey, she told Tom during her visit that she made a modification to her crawfish dish.
In addition to her crawfish meal, Kelsey served French oysters, vichyssoise, Chinese chives, pickled green tomato and cheese straw for the second course, and soft-shell crab and field peas with a pistou sauce for her third course. Meanwhile, the fourth course was peach cobbler.
As for Sara, she went with braised bacon with razor clams, baby corn and pickled peaches for the second course. The third course included roast duck with black-eyed peas and pickled beets, and served rib eye steak with dirty rice, shiitake broth and maitake mushroom confit for the fourth course.
Judges loved Sara’s meal for the starter course, though Kelsey took a clear edge over Sara in the second course. Later, Sara gained more points in the third course. In the end, the judges were all agree that Kelsey served a better full course and named her as the winner of season 16 of “Top Chef”. Congratulations!
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