And just like that there were three.
Yes, the Top Chef: Just Desserts finale is just a week away – but first the remaining four contestants – Yigit Pura, Danielle Keene, Zac Young and Morgan Wilson – were thrown two difficult, personal challenges to determine would would make the final cut.
With his confidence still shattered after last week’s candy vase fiasco, Yigit professed his determination to win. And he wasn’t the only chef who felt unsettled this week. Morgan, too, admitted to feeling lonely, missing his son and not connecting with his fellow contestants.
The chefs had plenty of time to dwell on personal matters for their Quickfire challenge, which found them designing four custom Godiva chocolates to represent milestones in their lives. One chocolate had to specifically reference a “golden moment.” The winning chef would also have his or her chocolate reproduced and sold nationally.
Guest judge François Payard especially loved Danielle’s playful chocolates – one, for instance, resembled a baseball and was stuffed with caramel corn, as a play on her relationship with her father, who also loves the sport.
Her fellow contestants, Zac especially, thought they were puerile.
Morgan was also a favorite, spinning an emotional story about his failed marriage and his relationship with his son that captured the judges’ hearts. Their tastebuds were stimulated too, and he nabbed the Quickfire win in the end.
Yigit, meanwhile, was exempt from judging after a mishap with a mold caused him to only finish three chocolates. His confidence remained shaky.
Cakes … With a Twist
Onto the final challenge: the chefs were to create a cake for a darling older man named Ben, who was celebrating his 61st anniversary with his wife and all their family and friends. The chefs were jazzed about the challenge – and then startled when in walked cake-decorating luminary Sylvia Weinstock.
It was, you see, her anniversary – a fun twist to keep the final four on their toes.
After hearing pertinent details from Ben and Sylvia – they met at a beach; she wore a gray dress and carried pink flowers; they shared their first smooch under a piano – it was time to bake.
Zac indulged his most over-the-top, flamboyant instincts, creating a bright blue cake that was piled high with bric-a-brac meant to recall moments in the couple’s lives. Morgan went the simple, elegant and spare route: a white cake with a piano floating on top. Danielle picked up on the gray and pink color scheme and studded her cake with decorative piano keys. And Yigit went with a classic yellow cake but over-thought his fillings.
In the end, it was a tough decision – but only three could advance to the finale.
Despite her dull colors, Danielle’s cake flavors delighted and the chef was named the winner, collecting $15,000 in the challenge and her place in the finale.
Joining her: Yigit and Morgan. For all his bravado and wins over the course of the competition, Zac’s inelegant cake – and colorful personality – was his final undoing.
Tell us: Are you happy with the final three? Did you think Danielle deserved to win? And who do you hope wins the finale?