For the final dessert courses, Nick’s panna cotta comes out with an almond cocoa crumble and tropical fruit. Again, it's not a home run, but still good.
Nina presents her second surprise dish, a compressed dragon fruit and frozen papaya skewer. Mixed feelings on this one.
Her actual dessert is the chocolate zeppole with macadamia nuts and passion fruit. The flavors are fine, but the judges don’t believe this is the best way to end the meal.
Now, that they’ve made it through one service, it’s time to do it all over again! The judges head over to the next restaurant to get a taste of the other contestent’s menu.
Off to the Judge’s Table. It’s the closest finale “ev-ah.” Nick had some issues with his service, some missing dessert spoons, an audible break-down in the kitchen and, of course, his lack of seasoning.
Nina added two extra courses, and the judges debate over whether they actually added to her meal, or if they distracted her from focusing on the four courses she needed to present.
After much debate, it pans out that Nina takes the first two courses. Nick wins the second two course. Obviously, things must be this close for the finale.
It’s already 11:30 p.m. and the judges are in a lock over this tie. Gail says they could sit there for another 60 hours and still not agree on what they all ate. Emeril says, "Where would you want to go back to dinner tomorrow?
Now it’s 12:20 a.m. and the decision is not any closer. They're in the weeds over this. Finally, after 1 a.m., they have chosen the winner. In this incredibly close race to the end, it’s finally time to announce the newest winner of "Top Chef."
Padma slowly announces ... "Nick, you are Top Chef."
This came as a surprise to most, including me. Nick, the “villain” of the season, came out on top. We all know his week of immunity and a failed dish saved him, but it also forced him to step his game up for the following weeks.