With only six hours of prep time the day before the dinner, the finalists quickly decided on their respective styles of cooking. Paul's would be influenced by Japan and Sarah's by Italy. Menus were formed, shopping was done, and finally, they got to their restaurants to cook the meal that could change their lives.
In a twist, the families of Paul and Sarah are brought in to their respective restaurants, which has everyone emotional and crying. Sarah even gets a little tip from her fiancé that he found a bone in his trout, sending her immediately back to the kitchen to rectify the situation by checking every piece of fish.
As the finishing touches are being put on the meals, the judges assemble and get ready to make their last decision of the season. Marco Canora, Cat Cora and Mark McEwan join Tom Colicchio, while Emeril Lagasse, Bill Terlato and Hugh Acheson join Padma Lakshmi.
Dish by dish, judgments are made. The overall consensus was positive and it seemed to be a very tight race. Sarah's tagliatelle was a winner, as was her trout (bones removed, of course.) Paul admitted to overcooking his chawanmushi for one of the tastings, but his loup de mer was a huge hit and so was his dessert. From what the judges said, both finalists succeeded in making their tasting menus stand out.
After what had to be an agonizing wait, Paul and Sarah return to their places in front of the judges, along with their families, to learn who will be the next Top Chef. And it's Paul!
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