Not too much is needed, it would perhaps be the moral of this finale concluding in beauty this season 14 of “Top Chef”. In this ultimate battle of the leaders, broadcast this Wednesday, June 7 on M 6, Danny Khezzar and Hugo Riboulet, the Red and the Blue, competed against Georges V, in Paris. The two young prodigies of French gastronomy had ten hours and four partners each to treat the four chefs of the jury and a hundred volunteers from the Red Cross.
Alban, Mathieu, Jean and Sarika for Hugo, Jérémie, Jacques, Carla and Alexandre with Danny, the brigades formed, the duel could begin. Two rooms, two atmospheres. The “fuego latino gang” among the reds of rapper Danny who distributes blood-colored scarves to his troops. “I want Tupacs on the team!” he throws at them. Word of war “fuego”, fire. “If you win, you make a rap clip with your brigade,” Jacques challenges him. At Hugo, “the good humor brigade”, for Jean, we are rather “atchic atchic atchic aïe aïe aïe, for Hugo de Montmirail! “, reference to his haircut well cleared behind the ears.
“Your broth, will it change color? A final day of Top chef ? »
This final is the happy occasion to find the gay lads that are Jacques, Jean or Carla, relaxed and mischievous. “Do you want a Jeremy chair? Ten hours is a long time”, mocks the Jeannot coming to distribute gles of water to the Reds who make him “painful”. And Carla to knock it over his head! “Why don’t fish go to school?” Because they don’t care”, Jacques dares, who lifts dozens of char fillets without flinching. Nothing stops it!
As usual, Danny wants to impress and plans a color-changing broth to serve. “From shadow to light”, he presents, amused. “Your broth, will it change color? A final day of Top chef ? “, chokes Hélène Darroze, who recognizes there her “mister more” that she would have liked to see do less. “And that doesn’t scare you? “, she completes, displaying a dubious pout as he starts his characteristic laugh…
After his Arctic char, a fish he is used to cooking in Geneva, he will offer the chocolate soufflé tart with which he had seduced Darroze in the parallel competition. “Doing it for two plates is not the same as for 100”, she warns him again. And to launch to his comrades: “Do not be afraid to calm his ardor”.
“It pisses me off, I haven’t managed to organize ourselves well”
Among the Blues, Hugo is aiming for a mushroom-based sheet-to-sheet with small touches of protein. A cold starter, an advantage, but the fungus oxidizes and Hugo wants to cut it at the last minute… Dangerous, Glenn Viel tells him. But Hugo sticks to his idea and his training in extremis. It will heat up a little in the kitchen for this starter, sent in pain, Hugo getting annoyed by the imprecision of Jean’s editing, the slowness of his comrades. And especially of himself. “It pisses me off, I haven’t managed to organize ourselves well,” he gets angry. The dish will happily seduce when tasted… Unlike Danny’s, whose promise of a color change is not kept. He has yet tested it in the kitchen, but at the table, it’s “pschitt”. And “grrr” for Darroze who fulminates. “It’s shadow in the shadow”, she stings, “angry” against her foal. Advantage Hugo.
“Chou must go on”, launches Albane, tackling a mountain of cabbage to wash, blanch, irritate for the pâté that will accompany Hugo’s scallops topped with an oyster tartare. In the wine sauce that will combine land and sea, the scallop bards must play matchmaker. “Don’t wash them!” “, Etchebest urges them, horrified at this idea … “But it’s full of sand”, retort the little Blues. “You filter them afterwards! “, slips the Basque who confides there one of his tips.
All have always done so… “We are going to be the ugly ducks and we are not going to listen to the chefs, we rinse them out”, slices Hugo. He fears the loss of time, he loses this strong taste of scallops which would have linked his dish. “The sum of very good things does not make a whole”, points out Paul Pairet. Hélène Darroze reconciles with Danny on this dish in which she finds a lot of roundness and sweetness. Opinion divided at the chef’s table. Point to Danny on the flat. One everywhere, the ball in the center.
“It’s a blower you’re going to take”
Everything will be played on the dessert. A puffed tart from Danny’s side, a perfectly balanced combination of chocolate, savory ice cream and Timut pepper for Hugo. “We’ve never seen a soufflé in the final,” says Danny with a conquering air. “You’re going to take a blower,” replies Hugo. But no false note from any side on this point. The two seduce jurors as Red Cross volunteers. What does a victory depend on? Not much… Maybe because of Danny’s desire to always do more. “It’s always more of a gentleman”, still breathed Hélène Darroze.
Perhaps to this carbonic snow which smokes the plate of Danny, of the swagger recalling the disappointed promise of the entry? After the chiefs vote, the two are tied. The decision is up to the volunteers. They surely had it in mind when they took the knife out of the base during a ceremony that was still just as moving. Families, loved ones, chefs there to discover the result. The pride of a father, a mother and a sister at Danny, that of a mother, a sister, a brother at Hugo. And the tears of the two candidates in front of the words which touch, the intensity of the moment, the stake.
Before getting their hands on the knife handle, they discover the score: 54.19 for one, 45.81 for the other. There is no photo. Hugo draws first, the blade is steel. Explosion of joy and melee around the boy. Carried in triumph by his relatives, he loses his jacket. “It’s the happiest day of my life, he slips. Like what, it is not because we are young that we cannot do great things”.
Another atmosphere, of course, at Danny’s. “I’m disgusted, it’s pissing me off, I’m not proud of myself, I want to run away and go hide,” he says. We see him immediately surrounded. “Fortunately the family is there,” he breathes. “You’re still the one who screwed us all up,” comforts Jacques.