This is the first time that this site has done “Top Chef” rankings, but given the popularity of the Seattle season thus far, along with the fact that we now have a pretty good read on all of the contestants, why not give it a try? Cooking’s all about taking risks, and there’s nothing more enjoyable about a reality show on this end than trying to size up some of the contenders.
While it is inevitable that there are some things with this show (or any show, for that matter) that we don’t see, we are going to judge the remaining seven chefs in the game based on the following criteria that has been given to us by producers: overall performance, momentum, range in the kitchen, and even to an extent attitude (given that no one wants to see an unlikable winner represent the “Top Chef” brand).
6. Stefan Richter / CJ Jacobsen – We don’t really see either one of them winning, but they could feasibly beat out one or two of the other chefs still in the running depending on who America votes for in the “Save a Chef” competition.
5. Kristen Kish – The only reason Kristen is last here is just because she’s still in “Last Chance Kitchen.” If she makes it back, we have no problem putting her at #2 right behind Brooke. She only left because of biting off more than she could chew during restaurant wars, and few people on this season have the same amount of ambition.
4. Lizzie Binder – Lizzie wins big points for creativity, and when it comes to taking risks she is probably only behind Brooke. Unfortunately, not all of those risks have paid off lately, and she also tends to become lost in the edit. Another thing worth noting is that she is the only contestant left without a challenge win.
3. Josh Valentine – While he has at times been ridiculed for using pork (or breakfast) in a good many of his dishes, it gets lost that Josh has been in the top six times during elimination challenges … which is either equal or more than the other contenders. The downside? He’s also been in the bottom more than any of them. The primary reason he is ranked higher than Lizzie at the moment is a little something known as momentum, and he has had it the past few weeks. (His five-episode streak of being a judges’ favorite is the best of the season.)
2. Sheldon Simeon – The first thing that really helps Sheldon is just that he’s so darn likable, and he is the sort of winner that we see Tom Colicchio really championing. He’s a very good chef, and nothing seems to rattle him. This means that as we progress further into the competition, it is unlikely that we will see him struggle under the pressure. Now, he just needs to promise to never cook tempura again this season.
1. Brooke Williamson – Brooke’s just a phenomenal chef, and even when she fails she tends to fail big after taking a risk. “Top Chef” is due for a female winner, and it certainly helps that when it comes to just overall creativity and cooking ability, she is the most deserving one. Save for Kristen, she has more challenge wins overall than anyone else remaining.
Who do you want to see win “Top Chef: Seattle”? We want to hear your thoughts in the poll below, and you can read all of our other coverage of the show here.