Oregon Live on the draw of the knife: "Milliken gets Ruth Reichl, who fell in love with food when she was 10 on a trip to Paris, and had a lemon soufflé that blew her mind. Cardoz gets to cook for James Oseland, who fell in love with spicy food during a trip to Indonesia, and beef rendang in particular. And Des Jardins gets to interpret Gael Greene's memories of fried duck with béarnaise sauce that she had on a French honeymoon in the early 1960s."
CNN's Marquee Blog on breakfast at Curtis': "The next morning, we get a brief interlude as the finalists are whisked away to a Hollywood home, and the panic starts to set in that they might be cooking in an unfamiliar environment. Nope. Turns out they’re going to Curtis Stone’s place so he can cook for them. One: I had almost forgotten that Curtis was a chef, since it SHOULD have come up regularly throughout the season but never really did. Two: All I could think about during this segment was whether the delay would impact the prepped food sitting back in the kitchen. (Buzzkill, party of one.)"
AV Club on foreshadowing: "The show, so absent of real narrative, showed its hand in the past few episodes when Floyd’s 'Always a Bridesmaid' narrative was oddly prevalent despite the fact that we likely would have never noticed it otherwise. It was the only story we were really being sold, and its prevalence early in the episode clearly foreshadowed a Floyd victory."
A Just Recompense on hugfest: "And now the best part: The third course starts with a hug. Before the chefs explain their dishes, Susan runs over and hugs Mary Sue. Mary Sue interviews that Susan was on TCM2; she tries things out, then Mary Sue does them. Like the husband; Susan tried him out, then Mary Sue married him. I love these two. Bring back Two Hot Tamales! But only Mary Sue gets a hug. Floyd complains! 'How about a hug for me?' Traci pipes up, 'Yeah' kind of weakly. Jonathan hugs them both. I love Jonathan. This was the best three minutes of the show."
TWOP on deliberations: "The cheftestants retire to the wine room so the critics can deliberate one last time. The consensus is that all three meals were phenomenal. What's more, the critics appreciated experiencing the cheftestants' individual voices and seeing skills they hadn't previously exhibited come to the fore. Witness, Mary Sue's Asian twist on a steak tartare. Floyd's constant spicing paid off in his upma. And Traci's shrimp Creole is contentious -- Oseland literally uses the term 'fightin' words' when Gael disparages it. Curtis appreciates Traci's mixture of textures and flavors."
Examiner.com on the verdict: "Back from the break, Curtis does the slow reveal with the really freaky music and then announces that this year’s Top Chef Master is… Floyd Cardoz! Go Floyd. He’s been at the upper end of the middle all competition but in the end he did what was needed. He takes home 100k for the Young Scientist Cancer Research Society. It’s a great charity for a great cause."
Grub Street on The End: "And yet! Floyd wins! 'I’m shocked,' he remarks. We are, too. He basically won nothing this season. They pop open some bubbly and everyone hugs. They give Floyd a navy chef’s jacket bearing the show’s logo, probably so he can stop wearing his jacket from now-shuttered Tabla. We’re puzzled how Traci dropped the ball tonight, but who cares? Rocco’s Dinner Party is starting and Kelly Choi is on! Just kidding, you couldn’t pay us to watch that."
Posted on AllTopChef.com