Top chef season 13: the final notes

The crazy train of this season 13 ends its race at George V, in a final between two opposing leaders in style, offensive attitude and relationship to fries: Louise and Arnaud.

That’s it: it’s the final. And if we had foreseen the presence of Louise there from episode 10, this was not the case for Arnaud, whose low-altitude flight, level with corons and mounds, had passed under our radars. Their common point? Beyond their tattooed hands, throughout the season the two candidates had the distinction of being fairly consistent in their styles, found identically and without a stroke of genius in front of the 80 Red Cross volunteers.

For Louise, a gourmet cuisine of products with a marked flavor, with Japanese influences and other gimmicks (fried capers, smoked eel, haddock, dashi…). A kitchen that never revolutionizes technique, but fits well with the times, never forgets the pleasure, adorns itself with a few challenges. For Arnaud, a more professional approach, a habit of high-volume gastronomy, a cuisine always delivered cleanly, with Belgian influences sometimes flirting with the mascot dish. In a smoothie or a gastro dish, he will have declined mussels and fries in all its forms.

In the final, Louise made Louise, keeping a formation rather dedicated to the attack, but on territories that are very familiar to her. Arnaud, he made a very defensive sub-Arnaud in 5-3-2, once again serving us a very Belgian cuisine (and despite its appeal, it does not have the depth of the rest of the world), whose l he total lack of audacity required perfection from start to finish.

Composition of the teams

As in the worst of our school memories, the two leaders named their teammates in the pool of former candidates. The two compositions are rather comparable, with their equivalent proportions of technicians, originals and black cats. Despite his terrible hairdressing accident, Lilian is named second for Arnaud, who will opt for a mega escoffian organization throughout the final, with his share of captains, sauciers and finger gunners at each position. Louise, although used to a 100% female brigade, resolves to opt for a 100% male team at her side, and generously entrusts Lucie Sympa to Arnaud, “for parity” .

the entrance

  • LouiseLouise plays a sashimi of amberjack marinated in kombu, pearl ponzu sauce with ceps oil, rice crisps, daikin, spring onion, black truffle. Better configuration than a fish in the hands of Ambroise: this killer amberjack is cut into sashimi and lightly burnt so as not to discourage anyone. We cut the too acidic ponzu sauce with porcini mushroom oil. The dish is refined, plays the alliance of flavors on a product of great quality, no more. Little cooking, taste and quality. In that sense, it’s a very Japanese recipe for a very Italian starter.

    Louise’s entrance

    To give a note

    The reactions : “very clean look” , “I don’t feel the truffle” , “good, fresh, the juice is good” , “just amazing” , “Perfect Asian Fusion” .

  • ArnaudThe famous reinterpreted mussels and chips of the stage: mussels, herbaceous marinière, potato chips, smoked potatoes, potato skin veil. We do not jump to the wall at the statement. Lilian, whose new hairstyle seems to predispose him more to rays than to mussels, overcooks the molluscs. Viel smashes him, Arnaud regrets his “overconfidence” for Lilian, raise them all. To make up for it, Lilian fashions pretty veils of cooking water from potatoes stuck in agar, which prove recalcitrant when dressed. It’s not really her day: you have to quickly return to the previous hairstyle and abandon the Brandon Walsh style, miskine.

    Arnaud’s entry

    To give a note

    The reactions : “well-cooked mussels” , “a lot of depth of taste” , “nice dish, lots of balance” , “the fry, I don’t know where it is” .

    The dish

  • LouiseA rather strange dish on the plate, with this veal chop roasted on the bone, smoked eel, pearl veal jus, mashed potatoes, braised lettuce, oyster. But as Léo Ferré surely sang: the juice saves everything. Binding between the lettuce and the veal, it will flood everything with gluttony and anesthetize the brains, even ours when we have tasted nothing. Pascal ensures the cooking of the veal, the oyster is barely poached, the lettuce deglazed with apple extraction, the device seems tasty, but not very smooth, and certainly not gourmet in the dressing. The Louise team hugging each other at each stage completed, their delay accumulates and poses a problem for sending. Arnaud, great lord, comes to lay down three sheets to support his co-finalist, sick that day, and the dishes can go.

    Louise’s dish

    To give a note

    The reactions : “we find the land and sea by smell” , “veal is well cooked” , “very surprising, perfect in balance” , “not really wrong” , “very nice dish” , “sublime juice” .

  • ArnaudArnaud once again reinterprets a Belgian classic with a chicken neo-waterzooï, buttermilk marinade, pressed carrot-celeriac-daikon and fine stuffing, ceps-parmesan crumble. The cooking of the chicken is entrusted to Michaël the saucier roaster: daikon, coconut in the marinade, vacuum cooking, perfect texture. The creamy sauce with butter, yellow wine and parmesan cream looks crazy. In the “big bertha” of George V (he could have done that in a swimming pool without moaning), the Northerner sends an aromatic broth to the carcasses and trimmings, flambéed with Arbois wine. The editing tells us little about the pressed carrots, and this explains that, it didn’t look terrible. The job is well done, but what does it advance in the kitchen? Nothing.

    Best moment of the final: Mickaël and this tilting 120-litre sauté pan he deserves.

    Arnaud’s dish

    To give a note

    The reactions : “pretty classic, but well executed” , “very neat” , ” Super good ” , “cooking poultry is a marvel” , ” really great ” , “the vegetables lack flavor” , “bland accompaniment” , “remarkable sauce” .


  • LouiseLouise continues to develop a classic of her non-classics: black garlic ice cream, white chocolate mousse and mousse infused with vegetable mousse, buckwheat crumble, pistachio sponge cake, miso caramel. It is a land she knows, a dessert she has experienced, and surely a dish of victory. It contains the right dose of little madness to shock the benevolent bourgeois, give its share of thrill and adventure to the amateur gourmet snack, while being, she knows, perfectly gourmet and appreciated. Without paying much attention, it’s a match point, maybe soft, maybe expected, but a match point all the same.

    Louise’s dessert

    To give a note

    The reactions : ” elegant ” , “very nice volume effect” , “super interesting” , “I enjoy” , ” excellent ” , ” extraordinary ” , “It speaks to me much less” , ” Truly unbelievable ” , “good risk taking” .

  • ArnaudHis apples candied in butter and sugar, speculoos ice cream, speculoos biscuit, granny apple gel, cider vinegar gel, it’s the incomprehensible whim in the second period. Dish devoid of any originality apart from the hint of vinegar, speculoos biscuits made… with speculoos biscuits: if the others had known that you could take an existing product to serve it again, there was not enough to cook all the season ! And if Louise had done such a thing, she would have been atomized all over. Incomprehensible.

    Arnaud’s dessert

    To give a note

    The reactions : “pretty classic” , “simple, tasty, controlled” , “I expected more fantasy” , “beautiful recipe” , “comforting” , “a real childhood memory” , “really heavy” .

    Collection of votes


    Louise Bourrat winner of Top Chef 2022 !
    With 56.19% of the votes

    We already wrote it last week: this season 13 could not give birth to a technical genius, nor to enough polarizing candidates to mark the year. But the constancy of Louise, her signature of the period, passionate, greedy, messy, cosmopolitan in her influences, and her progressive self-confidence, which will have annoyed a part of the public still unprepared for big female mouths, makes her deserve without shame victory at the end of the race. Top chef is a cooking contest, not a personalities contest, nor an election of miss and mister Smile. It is a competition which, from test to test, asks candidates to make dishes in a bouquet of constraints: that is all that is required. And at each test, Louise passed. At each event, without her dishes being the most beautiful or the most technical, Louise delivered her style. Louise cooked, always aware of her limits and daring, with a language of her generation, to carry with her a little of the confidence of any male candidate in normal times. Was Louise the best cook? This is not the question, which nevertheless comes up in each final of Top chef. Louise passed all the tests, won the final, and she deserves her title. Hat. Or rather chapéu, as we say in Lisbon.

    By Henry Michael

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