Going into the finale of “The Taste” Season 2, Ludo Lefebvre had three team members left — Marina Chung, Jeff Kawakami and Louise Leonard — to one cook on Anthony Bourdain‘s team, Lee Knoeppel. The other two chefs had no contestants remaining.
For the semifinal challenge, international chef Jacques Pépin was there to judge. Each chef prepared a “poor dish” and a “rich dish,” which made for quite the contrasting ingredients. Pépin put through Marina, Louise and Lee, leaving Jeff eliminated before the finals.
The final challenge was a “Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner” challenge — three mouthfuls, one each for each meal of the day. With Chef Pépin helping them in the kitchen!
Marina made English muffin with quail egg, a pork belly and oyster spring roll and short ribs with kale for her three stages. Louise chose a fried quail egg, fried oyster po’ boy and steak with red wine sauce and mushrooms. Lee decided on Parmesan flan with bacon and quail egg, crab cakes with corn aioli and wagyu strip steak with cauliflower puree. It all looked amazing, we don’t know how the judges choose.
But choose they did. The third place cook was revealed as Lee Knoeppel, which brought audible gasps of disbelief from the audience. Were you surprised, viewers? He had the most gold stars on the season (6), though he did have two red stars.
The second place cook was Marina Chung and that means Louise Leonard is the winner of “The Taste” Season 2. She takes home the $100,000 prize and she says she’s “over the moon, through the roof” about her victory.
Did the right cook win?