‘Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen’ finale: Carl Dooley, Amar Santana fight to re-enter competition

Top Chef -After Thursday night’s new episode of “Top Chef,” the show made the final episodes of “Last Chance Kitchen” available … but they may have forgotten to include one part. (Okay, we’re kidding — they did this intentionally.)

At the end of part 1 (watch the video for that over here), longtime underdog Jason Stratton was sadly eliminated for a dish that was meant to incorporate sourdough. This meant that he was forced to sit on the sidelines while Amar Santana and Carl Dooley, both recently eliminated from the flagship show, had to square off in what proved to be a speed challenge like no other.

First and foremost, we love how Tom Colicchio skewered the whole field this season for making so many raw dishes, something that was more of an exercise in precision than anything else. With that, he wanted cooked fish for the finale! Both Amar and Carl took different approaches, grabbed different fish, and also cooked with a different set of flavors. Judging from the quick reaction from Tom, it seems like they both actually did a great job.

Here’s where we get frustrated. Why not just tell us who the winner was of the duel? Are there really people out there who are not going to watch the final episodes of the show if either Amar or Carl is absent from it? It feels like a disservice to not just give you all the information now, and we’ve felt this way ever since “Last Chance Kitchen” started with the cliffhangers. We’re not really sure who emerged on top here. We feel like Amar may have more winner upside, but at the same time we’ve thought Carl was a much more consistent chef all season and this may have just come down to seasoning in the end.

Interested in getting some other news on “Top Chef”? Then head over here to read our review of this past episode proper, and sign up over here to secure some more TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Bravo.)


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