Joseph Flamm may have been voted out of “Top Chef” midway through Season 15, but he didn’t let that stop him from claiming the ultimate prize on Thursday, March 8. (Read our recap of the “Top Chef” finale.) After beating out all his fellow castoffs at Last Chance Kitchen three weeks ago, Joseph was allowed to re-enter the main competition where he then took down several fan favorite chefs — including Adrienne Cheatham, Joe Sasto and Carrie Baird — on his quest to joining the “Top Chef” winners list.
The one-hour conclusion of Season 15 was a nail-biter between Chicago natives Joseph and Adrienne, as judges Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio had trouble deciding whom to choose. Joseph got help from former contestants Joe and Fatima Ali as his sous chefs, while Adrienne was assisted by Carrie and Christopher Scott. Ultimately the “Top Chef” judges named Joseph as the winner thanks in part to his expertly cooked second dish, tortellini en brodo.
This is actually the second season in a row where the Last Chance Kitchen champ ended up winning the whole season, following Brooke Williamson in Season 14. Despite being voted out early, Brooke still prevailed and now runs four eateries in Los Angeles: Da Kikokiko, Hudson House, Playa Provisions and Small Batch. Prior to Joseph and Brooke, Season 10 title holder Kristen Kish was the first person to win “Top Chef” after being voted out and earning a second chance thanks to the Last Chance Kitchen twist.
Based on the comments from “Top Chef” superfans, not everyone is happy that Joseph won Season 15. Barbara Hall writes, “His dishes were so common and Adrienne’s dishes showed her growth.” And Jeanie agrees, noting, “Very disappointed with the outcome. Why do they bring back someone who has been asked to go? Is that fair to those who have not yet been asked to pack their knives and go?”