It was last-supper time for Paul Qui and Sarah Grueneberg tonight on Top Chef: Texas.
The season nine finalists were tasked with the usual challenge: cook the best four-course meal of their careers for a panel of particular palates—and, like last season, restaurants full of people.
Paul and Sarah (and four sous chefs apiece) took over the kitchens of Vancouver restaurants Coast and Black & Blue, respectively, to get the job done. As tends to be the case, neither made huge mistakes...But only one was sitting particularly tall in the saddle by night's end.
As Hugh Acheson said, any criticisms at this point were just the judges "splitting hairs," but the hairs had to be split in order to pick a winner.
"You hate to see one lose," Tom Colicchio regretfully concluded.
In the end, it was Paul who didn't have to feel the sting of defeat. That clam dashi broth and his coconut ice cream with Thai chili foam helped the 31-year-old hometown kid (he lives and works in Austin) win the day.
Way to make your parents proud, sir!
And, in addition to the bragging rights, Paul banked $125,000. Not a bad day's work in the kitchen at all.