‘Top Chef: New Orleans’ finale rankings: Should Nicholas Elmi or Nina Compton win?

Top Chef -Even though “Top Chef” may no longer be in New Orleans, the season (which was primarily set there) is going to be coming to a close presumably on Wednesday night with one of its most entertaining finales yet.

While we don’t know who won just yet, let us just say that in one way, we are all winners: We do not have to bear witness to that horrendous finale format that we had last year, where it was almost like some sort of episode of “Chopped” or some other Food Network show. It feels so much more like “Top Chef” to have it be in some ways a standard challenge, but features chefs being brought back, an epic meal to end all meals, and the judges being able to take the time to think about a winner. Padma Lakshmi already hinted after the last episode that the race between Nina Compton and Nicholas Elmi is going to be closer than ever, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

We’re basing our final rankings of this year on momentum, performance all season long, edit, and just overall cooking talent … though these two are both beasts.

2. Nicholas – Momentum-wise, Nicholas has it. He is this season’s Mike Isabella, a chef who was up-and-down during the season who settled during the time off, and then came in for the final round ready to show how much he has improved. Were he competing against almost anyone else this entire season, we may have been tempted to put him at the very top of the pack. He was that impressive Wednesday night, and we know that he has great technique and desire to take big risks with his food.

1. Nina – The problem is that from day one, it has felt like this season was Nina’s for the taking. She has dominated many challenges throughout, has been consistent, and even though she had missteps, it never felt like she was really going to be eliminated from the competition. We just have so much confidence in her ability to bring it, and the only thing that may hurt her is that “Top Chef” is not a cumulative competition. What we’ve seen from past seasons prove that.

Who do you think is going to win “Top Chef” season 11? Vote in the poll below! Also, sign up now if you want to get some tasty TV updates sent to your email inbox every week.

Photo: Bravo


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