'Top Chef Duels' Prediction: Who Will Survive Week 9?

'Top Chef Duels' Prediction: Who Will Survive Week 9?

Week 8 of Top Chef Duels had the only two female winners of the series, Stephanie Izard ( Top Chef Chicago) and Kristen Kish ( Top Chef Seattle) showcasing their skills.

These two women have very different styles when it comes to preparation and plating. They also favor different flavor profiles. Kristen is still all tingly from her win, and she's very meticulous when it comes to preparation. Stephanie's focus is creating rustic flavor and not necessarily sweating the small stuff. Even though the judges loved Kristen's take on a sinful dessert, experience prevailed when the judges found Stephanie's food more "tempting."

Kristen headed to The Knockout where she was reunited with, Brooke Williamson, who she faced in the finals of her season. There's still no love lost on Brooke's end, but Kristen didn't let the bad mojo distract her from the task at hand. After all, she is the comeback kid. Kristen went egg to egg with reigning Knockout champ Tiffani Faison. Wolfgang Puck challenged them to make the perfect omelet, and Kristen prevailed.

Week 9 has Top Chef Masters seasons 1 and 4 competitor, Art Smith cooking against Top Chef Las Vegas runner-up and fan favorite, Kevin Gillespie.

Art Smith

Smith is the executive chef and co-owner of five restaurants, the author of three award-winning cookbooks and a two-time James Beard Foundation winner. Some viewers may be more impressed that at one time, he worked as Oprah Winfrey's personal chef.

Why He'll Win: He's a master. His accomplishments speak for themselves. How can Gillespie not be intimidated? He may preen and posture to give the illusion of complete confidence, but there's no doubt that Art Smith is a formidable opponent.

Why He'll Lose: Smith has not fared well during either of his appearances on Top Chef Masters, winning only one competition. There's also the dreaded celebrity chef curse. It's hard to believe that he's logging a ton of hours on the line in the kitchen when he's writing and making a plethora of television appearances and working as a contributing editor for O magazine. Not to mention the time he devotes to his tireless humanitarian efforts.

Kevin Gillespie

Gillespie's restaurant Gunshow, which he opened in Atlanta in 2013, earned a coveted spot as one of GQ magazine's "12 Most Outstanding Restaurants." His first cookbook was a James Beard Award finalist in the Cookbooks: American Cooking category. Gillespie's list of accolades is exhaustive.

Why He'll Win: Gillespie has won more Quickfire and Elimination challenges than any other cheftestant on the show. He's very hands on when it comes to his eatery, offering up an ever-changing menu of food that ranges from rustic to refined.

Why He'll Lose: Even though his performance on Top Chef Las Vegas was impressive, he still didn't take the title. Going up against a legend could rattle his nerves. It all comes down to the challenge, and which chef appeals to the judges' palettes more.

My Prediction

I think Gillespie has this one in the bag.

Top Chef Duels airs Wednesdays at 10pm on Bravo.


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