Richard Blais, Stephanie Izard, Lisa Fernandes, Top Chef Season 4

Rafael Pichardo/BRAVO

Who sizzled and who sank on the season finale of Top Chef? Find out after the jump...

Chef whites may not do much for a woman's figure, but that doesn't mean she won't still be the hottest thing in the kitchen.

Stephanie Izard was named the winner of the fourth season of Top Chef Wednesday, becoming the first female contestant to chop, stir and sauté her way to the top of the food chain after the judges figured a lackluster final dessert shouldn't derail her chances after an impressive season-long performance, which included four Elimination Challenge wins.

"I won Top Chef—holy s--t!" the 31-year-old Chicago resident said. "This is the biggest thing that has happened in my life. My life's about to change, it's going to be absolutely insane."

"I'm so glad I was able to pull through and, after all this hard work—and maybe doubting a little bit—this is a reaffirmation that this is what I'm supposed to do with my life," Izard added, acknowledging how many times she appeared close to letting her nerves get the best of her.

For her efforts, which included a landmark lamb with olives, braised pistachios and berries (that the judges loved, mind you), Izard won $100,000, a showcase at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and a spread in Food & Wine magazine.

Not to mention bragging rights over some pretty stiff competition.

Top Chef Winner

Chuck Hodes/BRAVO

Heading into the finale, right alongside Izard with four challenge wins was gadget lover Richard Blais, the most experimental—and emotional—chef of the bunch. He ultimately copped to "overthinking" his final meal, which included "What Came First?"—a mélange of guinea hen, egg and foie gras—and his trademark banana "scallops."

"Losing at the last second, it sucks," the baby-faced gourmet, who runs a restaurant in Atlanta, said, blinking back tears. But on the bright side, "it lets me kind of refocus, keep doing what I like to do. The future's bright, for sure."

Also not making it all the way was the stone-faced Lisa Fernandes, who squeaked into the finale after being on the chopping block six times this season, including last week, when she got the go-ahead because Antonia Lofaso undercooked her peas—a decision that, according to head judge Tom Colicchio's blog, "brought a wellspring of vitriol from the theorists on our message boards."

Fernandes at least saved her best for last, serving up a mostly delightful (killer Thai soup, delicious rice pudding) Asian-influenced feast for her final challenge.

The judges were so pleased by the New Yorker's effort, we thought for a moment that Lisa was about to pull the reality-TV upset of the season.

But ultimately, Fernandes, who never met an opportunity to use the F-word she didn't like, sauced her Wagyu beef with a too-sweet glaze and didn't have the history to fall back on when it came time to pick a winner.

"I'm thinking, there's a really good shot that I can take this and then [host Padma Lakshmi] said Stephanie's name, and I was like, 'F--k!'" Fernandes said, going out true to form.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.