Last night brought the finale of Bravo's Top Chef Masters, and our SF-based Traci Des Jardins was in it to win it. On the line was $100,000 for the cheftestants' charity of choice. For those of us rooting for the home team, we hoped La Cocina would be victorious.
The episode began with the remaining three chefs (Des Jardins, Mary Sue Milliken, and Floyd Cardoz) joining host Curtis Stone and critics James Oseland, Ruth Reichl, and Gael Greene in the kitchen. The final challenge was to create the three-course meal of their lives. The first course was to be inspired by their first food memory, the second course was about what made them want to be a chef, and the third was critic's choice.
Des Jardins was paired with our favorite insatiable critic, Greene, who wanted French-inspired fried duck. Des Jardins is trained in classic French cookin, so she looked relieved and then overjoyed when Morgan Mueller, her executive chef at Jardinière, got to join her for the challenge. Greene to Des Jardins: “This is kismet.”