09/16/2010 at 02:20 PM EDT
The Top Chef
finale Wednesday night asked the three remaining contestants - Angelo Sosa, Ed Cotton and Kevin Sbraga - to whip up the most important meal of their lives. But where was the drama - and the suspense?
True, Angelo was down for the count, sidelined with a nasty stomach bug that threatened to take him out of the competition before he could hit the kitchen one last time. But Ed was coming off two back-to-back victories and seemed unbeatable, while Kevin just grumbled that he hoped Angelo would recover so he could take on a worthy adversary.
In the end, all three chefs did, indeed, cook - and, in a novel twist, they had to use the same ingredients. Tom Colicchio and judge Eric Ripert
picked out their proteins from the local markets in Singapore, then sent them to the store to do more shopping. Plus, the finalists got help in the form of past Top Chef winners.
Kevin was paired with his pal Michael Voltaggio
; Ed worked with Ilan Hall; and Angelo was matched with Hung Huynh, who more than pulled his weight, shopping and prepping while Angelo directed him over the phone from his sickbed.
During the meal, the diners (including David Chang), seemed to like all the offerings. The three finalists served their four-course dinner, consisting of a vegetable course, a fish course spotlighting rouget, the meat course (using duck) and a dessert. So, who would win?
It seemed like it could be any chef's game but in the end, when Padma declared Kevin the winner, even he seemed quite stunned with the decision, reacting with an incredulous, "I am?," to her proclamation, "Kevin, you are Top Chef."