All season long “Top Chef” fans have been wondering who would win Season 15 in Colorado, and the answer was finally revealed on Thursday, March 8. As the finale began on Bravo, the final two chef-testants — Adrienne Cheatham and Joseph Flamm — were tasked with impressing the normal judges as well as culinary experts Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman and Curtis Duffy. As far as challenge victories, Joseph had a total of four prior wins compared to Adrienne’s two. However, Joseph was previously eliminated and only brought back to the competition because of the Last Chance Kitchen twist.
So who pulled out a last-minute victory? Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Top Chef” Season 15 finale recap to find out what happened during the anticipated one-hour conclusion. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite chefs, which dishes from the episode looked the tastiest and what you think of this latest addition to the “Top Chef” winners list. Keep refreshing/reloading this page as we’ll be updating live.
8:59 p.m. – Previously, on “Top Chef”! In last week’s 13th episode Joe Sasto was eliminated in third place after missing the mark on his final dish. Heading into tonight’s grand finale, Gold Derby’s odds are predicting that Adrienne will beat Joseph. Are we right? Let’s find out! The Season 15 finale begins in 3 … 2 … 1 …
9:01 p.m. – Adrienne and Joseph had very different paths to tonight’s finale–Joseph was eliminated in a Quickfire Challenge and then battled his way back through Last Chance Kitchen while Adrienne slowly grew as a chef and found her culinary voice through each week of competition. The chefs are both from Chicago, but couldn’t be more different.
9:05 p.m. – The first step on their way to the win is for the chefs to join Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio at the Aspen Mountain Club where they’re asked to cook the best meal of their lives to a table to culinary celebrities. To help them, all the contestants from he season return and each finalist gets to choose two as sous chefs: Adrienne takes Christopher Scott and Carrie Baird; Joseph takes Joe Sasto and Fatima Ali.
9:15 p.m. – At the grocery store, Joseph’s team is able to purchase all of their ingredients $50 under budget and when Adrienne comes up short he graciously offers to help her complete her grocery list. His reasoning? Wanting to beat his competition at their best, not because they weren’t able to fully complete their vision. Great way to approach any competition!
9:18 p.m. – During the first day of prep in the kitchen, both teams hit small snags in their plans. On Team Adrienne, their test batches of her tweels for her first course are unsuccessful and the octopus for another dish didn’t cook through as much as they intended. For Team Joseph, the cake for his dessert course has the right texture, but the taste is too bitter so they plan to bake another the following day.
9:24 p.m. – To offer the finalists a small reprieve from the pressure of the competition, Tom and Graham Elliot surprise Adrienne and Joseph with a home-cooked meal to enjoy and share advice and conversation with before the final day.
9:35 p.m. – For the presentation the chefs go head-to-head course by course. Adrienne’s first dish is a spoon bread with sea urchin and her tweel while Joseph serves a tonno vitellato. The visual presentation of both dishes impress the judges, but Adrienne’s comes off as more provocative.
9:37 p.m. – As the second course, Joseph presents a tortellini en brodo and Adrienne serves her blackened octopus with black grits. Already Tom is saying that this is the best food they’ve ever had in a series finale!
9:39 p.m. – Third course: Adrienne’s cheerwine braised short ribs with black eyed peas vs. Joseph’s rib eye with asparagus and smoked bone marrow. In this course, both dishes had components that worked really well, but other aspects that didn’t quite meet the mark.
9:41 p.m. – Finishing with a dessert course, Joseph’s brown sugar cake finally turns out well and Adrienne’s banana pudding hits the right spot with the judges.
9:46 p.m. – At judges’ table, Tom compliments both chefs on a spectacular season and for putting forth a great final meal. Padma tells Adrienne that her first course is probably one of the best things she ate this season and Gail encourages her to put it on a menu immediately. Joseph received similar acclaim for his second dish, moving some of the judges to think about food differently than they had before.
9:57 p.m. – In one of the closest contests in series history, all of the season’s chefs are present to hear the announcement of the winner–congratulations… Joseph Flamm! A come from behind win for the Last Chance Kitchen winner!