Season 4 of Top Chef Masters ended Wednesday night, with San Francisco-based chef Chris Cosentino awarded the victory over New Yorker Kerry Heffernan. Cosentino won $141,000 on behalf of his charity, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The decision was reached after a final meal served to a group of leading food writers and the show’s judging panel, led by host Curtis Stone. The men were asked to serve dishes that illustrated four types of letters: a love letter, a thank-you note, a letter of apology, and a letter to themselves.
Cosentino’s offbeat “use the whole animal” sensibility, which led to him serving dishes such as Neapolitan tripe, beef heart, and blood sausage, prevailed over the more traditional Heffernan approach. And since he wears his own heart on his sleeve, for better and sometimes worse, the win will probably appeal to viewers too. Heffernan, while talented, has a more reserved personality, and often seemed indifferent to the needs of those chefs he had to work with in challenges.
Cosentino has become a familiar face on various restaurant and cooking-oriented shows, but before now, he was probably best known for a competition he lost, as he came in third on the initial season of The Next Iron Chef. He now joins Rick Bayless, Marcus Samuelsson, and Floyd Cardoz as Masters champions.
Did you think the judges made the correct call on Wednesday?