“Maybe nice girls don’t always come in first, but they are still winners in my opinion.” -Kathy
Hosea was the winner on last night’s Bravo Top Chef Finale. In the Top Chef world it appears that nice girls finish last. Or do they?
Carla did not do well last night. I was cheering for Carla to win, once my favorite Jeff got sliced out of the ‘second chance’ competition in New Orleans.
Since the Top Chef winner was Hosea, what does this mean for the culinary world? For society even? Why did Padma and Tom keep requesting a chef with “heart” and end up with guys like Stefan in the finale, who appeared to care less if he won?
Well I have a few thoughts on this…
Read more for my “nice girls” theory on how Carla bombed and Hosea pulled through…
Nice Girls Finish Last?
I am a nice girl. And all ‘nice girls’ know that they are going to lose out a few times in life by the ‘mean girls or boys’. But in this case, it wasn’t anyone ‘mean’ who sabotaged Carla. Carla sabotaged herself. She had all the makings of a Top Chef winner:
Unique Culinary Identity
and “that something special”
Unfortunately, her ‘nice girl’ attitude killed her. How?
1. She listened to someone else. She listened to Casey. I love Casey, but Casey is good at cooking Casey-style, not Carla style. Carla should have taken more initiative to shut Casey up when they were brainstorming and refining the Carla’s menu. The nice girl in Carla said: “Trust Casey. She has great ideas and she almost won Top Chef!”
2. She didn’t listen to her “Blink,” aka Malcolm Gladwell’s theory. She didn’t listen to her heart or her gut. And the worst part about that is that Carla knew it. She knew what she was cooking was not 100% her, but she pressed on anyways. She took Casey’s advice. Carla stopped using her heart as her guide and tried using her head. Not smart for a girl who cooks with some real heart and soul.
I was shocked to see Carla cave in the finale. She caved mentally, emotionally and skill-wise. Look how she stood up to the “I don’t drink, so I’m not serving an alcoholic beverage” issue at the New Orleans Mardi Gras. That took some real personal passion and guts to do that.
Top Chef winner: Hosea. So in the end, Hosea, the under-the-radar, looks like the Frat kid next door chef won. He did an amazing finale meal and he deserves to win for that.
Last Word: Stefan
Stefan was not a ‘nice guy’. He was the typical, “I don’t care about the other contestants,” contestant. Which in some ways is good. It shows backbone and determination. And clearly since he was runner-up, he had skills. And interestingly, his cocky attitude didn’t get him kicked off. The judges didn’t even blame his loss on his ‘bad attitude’. They blamed it on his circa 1982 dessert and frozen fish technique. Yet Carla got blamed for both her failed food and ‘pushover’ attitude.
In the end, the top Chef winner, Hosea will I’m sure do well. And I’m sure you will find the losers in a town near you doing celebrity cooking demos and signing autographs. And as for Carla? In my deepest heart of hearts I don’t like to think that the “nice girls finish last.”
…I like to think that she gained a lot of fans from being ‘nice and silly and cheerful’ on the show. And will indeed do very well. If you had to hire someone, who would you pick from the loser pile: Carla or Stefan? I’d pick Carla.
Maybe nice girls don’t always come in first, but they are still winners in my opinion.
TOP CHEF ON BRAVO
Carla’s Catering Company in Washington DC: Alchemy Catering