Kristen Kish wins 'Top Chef: Seattle'
Boston-based underdog becomes second female champ in show's history
Underdog Kristen Kish redeemed herself from an early elimination to be named the winner of "Top Chef: Seattle." The Boston-based Chef de Cuisine was crowned the Season 10 winner after defeating Los Angeles chef Brooke Williamson. In the past few weeks, Williamson has commanded the competition and even had the most challenge victories this season. Kish came into the finale as an underdog and was eliminated in the 11th episode, finishing in 8th place. However, thanks to Last Chance Kitchen, she was given a rare chance to re-enter the competition.
The weekly webseries gave eliminated chefs another chance to get back in the game, with one final challenge judged by Tom Colicchio. Each week, the reigning winner faced the freshly axed contestant, and whoever was deemed the best moved on to the next round. As the ultimate Last Chance Kitchen champion, Kish was given the opportunity to rejoin the main competition in one final showdown against Williamson. And after a season in the Pacific Northwest, the final two relocated to Los Angeles, where they prepared their five best dishes for the judges in front of a live studio audience, including the nine previous winners of "Top Chef."
For the first time in the series' history, each chef had their dishes judged by the panel of experts, including Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson. The first contestant to have three winning dishes would win the coveted title of "Top Chef." Kish kicked off the competition by winning over the judges with her velvety chicken liver mousse, but Williamson leveled the playing field with her flavorful seared scallops. For the third course, Williamson's chicken wings didn't hit the mark with the panel, as they opted to vote Kish's bone marrow dish as the winner. For the crucial fourth course, it was Kish's unique and savory red snapper that prompted the panel to praise her culinary talents. With her win, Kish became the second female winner in the show's 10-season history. In addition to gaining the title of "Top Chef," Kish also received a feature in Food and Wine magazine, a showcase at the annual Food and Wine Classic show, and $125,000.